June 15, 2021

Epicharis in the house at Belmont Park

Epicharis has landed at Belmont, where he's chasing a $1 million bonus (Photo courtesy of NYRA)

Japan’s Belmont S. (G1) hopeful Epicharis arrived at Belmont a little before 3 p.m. (EDT) Thursday, according to a New York Racing Association press release.

His Wednesday flight left Japan 10 hours later than planned because of mechanical problems, but he just spent the extra time in the Miho Training Center, not enduring a brutal airport delay. Once finally airborne, his trek took the anticipated 24 hours, including a layover in Anchorage.

The UAE Derby (G2) near-misser will remain in quarantine in Barn 5 for the next 36-48 hours, and will probably get his first feel of the main Belmont oval Saturday morning. Plans call for him to breeze Tuesday or Wednesday.

Trainer Kiyoshi Hagiwara is due in Friday afternoon. Assistant Masa Aki and groom Yoh Akima are already on the scene with Epicharis, who is eligible for a $1 million bonus if he becomes the first Japanese-based Belmont S. winner.