Reincarnate Passes on Belmont Stakes for G1 Travers

May 31, 2023

Sham Stakes (GIII) winner Reincarnate with exercise rider Baltazar Contreras in a pre-Derby work at Churchill Downs. (JennyPhoto/Past The Wire)

• Doppelganger on target for G1 Met Mile
• Fort Bragg, Gilmore, and Fort Warren point to G1 Woody Stephens

NYRA Press Office

ELMONT, N.Y. – While Grade 1 Preakness Stakes winner National Treasure is ramping up for the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets, stablemate Reincarnate will skip the “Test of the Champion” with the ultimate objective being the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers on August 26 at Saratoga Race Course. 

Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Reincarnate was most recently 13th in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby for trainer Tim Yakteen, who conditioned the son of Good Magic through his last three starts. He was previously third in Oaklawn Park’s Grade 2 Rebel and Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. 

Both Reincarnate and National Treasure are owned by SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert E. Masterson, Stonestreet Stables, Waves Edge Capital, Jay A. Schoenfarber, and Catherine Donovan.

“He’ll redirect to the Travers. It’ll fit him well and will give him some time to fill up again out of the Derby,” said Tom Ryan, racing manager for the ownership group. “It feels like he’s getting bigger and stronger with time. We all want everything to happen tomorrow, but if you’re patient with these horses and give them the chance to be able to be what they can be, it’s amazing how they can repay you.”

Ryan said he was unsure as to when or if Reincarnate would race leading up to the Travers. 

Bred in Kentucky by Woods Edge Farm, Reincarnate was purchased for $775,000 at the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. He is out of the stakes-winning Scat Daddy mare Allanah. 

National Treasure won’t be the large ownership group’s only starter on Belmont Stakes Day. Ryan reported that Grade 1 Carter-winner Doppelganger will return to the Empire State for the Grade 1, $1 million Hill ‘n’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap for trainer Brittany Russell. The Hill ‘n’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap offers a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in November at Santa Anita.

Doppelganger winning the Carter at Aqueduct in April. (Walter Wlodarczyk)

Owned by SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert E. Masterson, Jay A. Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital, Catherine Donovan, Golconda Stable and Siena Farm, the 4-year-old Into Mischief colt is unbeaten since joining the Maryland-based Russell’s stable, capturing a pair of allowance events at Laurel Park before shipping to Aqueduct for his Carter conquest. 

A debut maiden winner at two for Baffert, he finished second last year in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 2 San Felipe and third in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 3 Affirmed – both at Santa Anita. 

“He’s a spectacular physical son of Into Mischief with a great pedigree,” Ryan said. “He had some 2-year-old form. He’s a horse that had some bone bruising at a time in his career when we just needed to stop on him. We gave him all that time he needed. The Carter is a bear of a race, but the horse is doing well, and he’s definitely improved from race to race, and we’re excited about it.” 

Ryan also reported that the ownership conglomerate which campaigns National Treasure will go three deep in the Grade 1, $400,000 Woody Stephens presented by Mohegan Sun for sophomores going seven furlongs with Fort BraggGilmore, and Fort Warren.

Fort Bragg was a last-out second to General Jim in the Grade 2 Pat Day Mile on the Kentucky Derby undercard at Churchill Downs following a pair of fifth-place finishes in the Grade 2 San Felipe and Grade 1 Florida Derby. 

Gilmore, who was a closing third in the Pat Day Mile, ran second in the Grade 3 Bay Shore at Aqueduct two starts back for trainer Brendan Walsh. His lone win was a four-length victory going one mile in December at Los Alamitos for Baffert. 

Fort Warren, a distant third in the Grade 2 San Vicente in January at Santa Anita for Baffert, defeated winners going six furlongs on May 19 at Pimlico for Russell. 

“They’re three nice colts,” Ryan said. “Fort Bragg – it feels like he’s potentially the top of that trifecta, but Gilmore is a nice horse, too. He’s a horse that comes from off the pace. He’s really learning and improving with each start. Fort Warren ran very well at Pimlico on Preakness weekend. He came out of that race well. We always felt like, despite the fact that he’s by Curlin, that he’s more a sprinter, miler type.” 

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