Commanding Curve/California Chrome Rematch in Belmont Stakes
California Chrome looks to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 on Saturday, June 7 at Belmont Park. He captured the first two Jewels in impressive fashion, but there may be a curve in the road in Elmont, New York....
West Point Thoroughbreds’ Commanding Curve made dreams into reality for his Partners on May 3 in Louisville. After having only one horse beat at first call, he rallied from off the pace to finish second to California Chrome in the Kentucky Derby. Now he’s ready for a rematch on June 7.
Within days of the Run for the Roses, WPT president Terry Finley and trainer Dallas Stewart made the decision to bypass the Preakness Stakes and take dead aim on the 12 furlong Belmont Stakes. Commanding Curve’s grandsire A.P. Indy won the 1992 Belmont Stakes and there’s plenty of stamina influence in his pedigree.
“He’s big, strong horse who just seems to get better as his races get longer, so in theory the Belmont should be a perfect fit for him,” said Finley. “We’re in it to win it. Period. That said, if it’s not our day on June 7, I’d be very happy to see California Chrome get the job done. He’s an amazing horse with a touching rags-to-riches story. It just goes to show that a good horse can come from anywhere.”
Trainer Dallas Stewart is seeking his first win in a Triple Crown race after saddling the Kentucky Derby runner-up the past two years.
“The horse is really doing super,” said Stewart. “He was so calm, cool, and collected during all the Derby hoopla and ran like I thought he would. It didn’t matter to me that he was a longshot, I had a ton of confidence in him, he’s a real good horse. He’s versatile enough that I don’t think we need to be way off the pace in the Belmont like we were in the Derby. He’ll do whatever Shaun (Bridgmohan) asks of him.”
Commanding Curve is slated to breeze this weekend at Churchill Downs before flying to the Empire State. He’ll have one breeze over “Big Sandy” before the Belmont Stakes. Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan retains piloting duties.