Dornoch Works Sharp Half-Mile Ahead of Belmont

June 1, 2024

Dornoch takes the Fountain of Youth (G2) March 2 at Gulfstream Park (Coglianese)

NYRA Press Office

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.— West Paces Racing, R.A. Hill Stable, Belmar Racing and Breeding, Two Eight Racing and Pine Racing Stables’ dual Grade 2-winner Dornoch breezed a half-mile in 48.68 seconds Saturday over the Oklahoma Dirt Training Track at Saratoga Race Course.

Trained by Danny Gargan, the Good Magic bay worked to the inside of New York-bred Ramblin’ Wreck, putting a neck in front during the latter stages after the pair traveled in splits of 11.56, 23.42, and the half-mile in 48.68, with a gallop-out of 1:02:27 and 1:16.11, according to NYRA clockers.

“I had him in 48 and change. He was rolling early but then I had him slow down a little bit,” said Gargan. “He worked well.”

Gargan said after the work that all being well Dornoch will contest Saturday’s Grade 1, $2 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets, a 10-furlong test for sophomores, on June 8 at Saratoga Race Course.

“He’s training really well. He worked good. We are really pleased with him,” Gargan said regarding Saturday’s breeze with regular exercise rider Priscilla Schaefer in rein, which ranked 3rd-of-39 timed works at the distance. “He is doing everything we want right now.”

Out of the graded stakes-placed Big Brown mare Puca, Dornoch is a full-brother to last year’s Grade 1 Kentucky Derby-winner Mage. Last out, he looked to follow in his brother’s footsteps, but finished tenth after a troubled trip from post 1-of-20 in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby on May 4 at Churchill Downs.

“We are hoping,” said Gargan of Dornoch making an appearance in the third leg of the Triple Crown in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes. “We just have to stay focused and get lucky. Hopefully, have a good trip this time.”

Dornoch made the Derby starting gate after a pair of Grade 2 wins including Aqueduct Racetrack’s Remsen in December over Belmont-probable Sierra Leone and Gulfstream Park’s Fountain of Youth in March, in addition to a fourth in the Grade 1 Blue Grass in April at Keeneland.

Luis Saez, who has been aboard for 6-of-7 lifetime starts, including an additional win in a third-out graduation in October at Keeneland, will have the call in the Belmont, according to Gargan.

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