Trainer Chad Brown said Sunday that Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Cloud Computing will not run in the Belmont Stakes (G1), but the conditioner will not be left on the sidelines of the 149th edition of the “Test of the Champion.”
Brown announced that dual stakes winner Twisted Tom will line up in the 1 1/2-mile contest at Belmont Park on June 10.
Twisted Tom breezed five furlongs in 1:01.16 over Belmont’s fast main track on Sunday, impressing Brown enough for him to give the go ahead for the chestnut gelding to be entered in the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes.
Exercise rider Peter Roman was aboard Twisted Tom, who worked in company with stakes-winning stablemate Economic Model. The duo clocked a final quarter in :23.60 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.80, according to NYRA clockers.
“(Twisted Tom) worked great,” Brown said. “This horse has continued to improve all year, and more of the same today. It was a nice, strong work from him.
“(The Belmont is a) huge class test for this horse, but I love the way he’s developed. I do think he can stay a mile and a half. I think the longer the better for him, so I’m anxious to get him out to that distance, but it’ll be a tough field, a large field.”
As of Sunday, the following sophomores have been confirmed to take part in the Belmont Stakes: Classic Empire, Epicharis, J Boys Echo, Lookin at Lee, Senior Investment, Tapwrit, True Timber and Twisted Tom.
Considered likely for the race are Irap, Meantime and Multiplier, while possible runners are Conquest Mo Money, Gormley, Hollywood Handsome, Irish War Cry and Patch.
The field for the Belmont Stakes is limited to 16 starters.
Twisted Tom is unbeaten as a sophomore in three starts after going 3-1-0-0 last year. He opened 2017 with an allowance/optional claiming score at Aqueduct on January 28 before shipping to Laurel Park to take the Private Terms Stakes on March 18.
The Creative Cause gelding was last seen on April 22 capturing the Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel by 2 1/4 lengths. In both instances he defeated O Dionysus, with the Tesio taking place over a sealed, sloppy track.
“He appreciated the time after the win in the Tesio and has had a nice string of works since then, so the horse seems to be sitting on a new top again,” Brown said.
Twisted Tom was not nominated to the Triple Crown and will have to be supplemented at $75,000 to take part in the Belmont Stakes. He’ll attempt to become just the third gelding in history to win the contest after Crème Fraiche (1985) and Ruler On Ice (2011). Geldings were allowed to compete in the Belmont from the inaugural running in 1867 until 1918, but then were barred from the race until 1957.