USA: Gutierrez makes Belmont debut on Friday

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By Nicholas Godfrey
Racing Post

Preview: USA, Friday 10.44pm BST (live on ATR)

Belmont Park: Brooklyn Hcap (Grade 2) 1m4f, dirt, 3yo+

MARIO GUTIERREZ, set to partner I’ll Have Another in his Triple Crown bid in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, road tests the Classic venue with five rides at the track on Friday’s card.

The Mexican, 25, has never before ridden at the widest oval in the United States – but he’ll get a full-scale dress rehearsal on Boxeur Des Rues in the Brooklyn Handicap over the full 1m4f distance of the Belmont.

Boxeur Des Rues, who has been found wanting in Grade 1 company, represents the I’ll Have Another team of trainer Doug O’Neill and owner Paul Reddam around one circuit of the ‘Big Sandy’ at a distanced regarded as as a marathon trip in the States, where 1m4f events are a rarity on dirt.

Earlier this week Boxeur Des Rues had to overcome minor bruising to his off-fore foot. Three or four days ago, he didn’t train as well as I’d like but now he’s looking fantastic,” said O’Neill.

“This is a really good opportunity for Mario and I think the horse has a chance to compete and do well. We brought this horse with that intent.”

Rivals in the Brooklyn are headed by Belmont specialist Redeemed (Rick Dutrow/Ramon Dominguez), who beat last year’s all-the-way winner Birdrun (Bill Mott/Rajiv Maragh) by nearly ten lengths in the slop here last month. That was at a shorter trip, though, and he is unproven going this far.

Godolphin are represented by Grade 1-placed Arthur’s Tale (Tom Albertrani/Javier Castellano).

View the original article at the Racing Post

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