Charismatic's final workout turns out to be one of his fastest

Derby, Preakness winner flies to New York today

Belmont notebook

June 02, 1999|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- At 5: 55 a.m. yesterday, Charismatic stepped out from under the shedrow of D. Wayne Lukas' barn at Churchill Downs. With exercise rider Joanne McNamara on his back, the horse striving for a Triple Crown strode to the track for his final Belmont workout.

Astride his pony, Lukas led Charismatic onto the dimly lighted track. The strong chestnut colt walked, then jogged, then finally broke into near-racing speed. He covered five-eighths of a mile in 1 minute, 2/5 seconds -- one of the fastest workouts of his 16-race career.

Afterward, Lukas acknowledged not having a clue how fast Charismatic worked. The track clockers recorded the time.

"We don't even own a stopwatch," Lukas said. "But I thought he worked extremely well. He's had some stout gallops. All I wanted to do was sharpen him a little, make sure he was thinking `race.' "

Charismatic won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Lukas will fly with the colt this morning to New York and then van to Belmont Park. On the flight will be three other Belmont horses from Churchill Downs: Silverbulletday, Pineaff and Prime Directive. They will join the eight horses already at Belmont preparing for Saturday's race.

Here's the prospective 12-horse field with Daily Racing Form odds: Charismatic 5-2, Menifee 7-2, Silverbulletday 4-1, Best of Luck 8-1, Lemon Drop Kid 12-1, Patience Game 12-1, Stephen Got Even 12-1, Vision and Verse 20-1, Adonis 30-1, Pineaff 30-1, Prime Directive 30-1, Teletable 99-1.

Et cetera

Menifee, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness runner-up, worked five-eighths of a mile in 59 seconds yesterday at Belmont Park. His trainer, Elliott Walden, said the colt seems to like the racetrack. Post positions will be drawn tomorrow. This will be the third straight Belmont in which a horse has tried to capture a Triple Crown. Real Quiet last year and Silver Charm the year before failed, both finishing second.

Pub Date: 6/02/99

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