Decision Due Soon on Red Bullet
NEW YORK (AP) _ The trainer and owner of Red Bullet are on the verge of reaching a decision on whether to run the Preakness winner in the Belmont Stakes June 10.
``We’ll know Sunday,″ trainer Joe Orseno said Saturday after watching Red Bullet gallop at Belmont Park.
Orseno said he will have a conference call with owner Frank Stronach and son Andy Stronach to ``kick it around.″
``Right now the horse is doing great, but there are a lot of factors to consider,″ Orseno said.
As for the Belmont prospects of Fusaichi Pegasus, winner of the Kentucky Derby and second in the Preakness, trainer Neil Drysdale said, ``It’s still too early to say. The horse is doing very well, and I’m happy with where he is at right now. But I haven’t made any plans yet as to when he will work.″
Drysdale was at Aqueduct Saturday to watch Fusaichi Pegasus canter with a pony.
With no Triple Crown at stake for the first time since 1996, a rubber match between Fusaichi Pegasus and Red Bullet would add spice to the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes. Fusaichi Pegasus won the Wood Memorial April 15 at Aqueduct, where Red Bullet finished second. Red Bullet did not start in the Derby.
Fusaichi Pegasus’ defeat in the Preakness means the Triple Crown drought will run at least 23 years. The 11th, and last winner, was Affirmed in 1978.
The last Belmont without the Derby winner was in 1996 when Grindstone was retired after the Derby because of injury. The last time the Belmont was run without the Preakness winner was in 1995 when Timber Country was scratched the day before the race because of injury. The last time neither the Derby winner (Dust Commander) nor the Preakness winner (Personality) did not start in the Belmont was 1970.