Magic Weisner gets Belmont green light

Runner-up in Preakness to battle `War' once more

Horse Racing

May 24, 2002|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Magic Weisner, who charged down the stretch after War Emblem in the Preakness, will chase the speedy black colt again in the Belmont with a Triple Crown on the line.

Nancy Alberts, the Laurel-based trainer, owner and breeder of Magic Weisner, said yesterday she has decided to run her gelding in the Belmont Stakes on June 8 at Belmont Park.

Her Maryland-bred horse could spoil War Emblem's bid to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner. War Emblem has won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

"I'm not going up to beat him," Alberts said. "I'm going up because I want to win."

At odds of 45-1, Magic Weisner nearly ran down War Emblem in the Preakness, falling three-quarters of a length short, but claiming second over horses with Hall of Fame jockeys and trainers.

Now, Alberts is going to take them on again, and she has never even run a horse in New York. What's more, she has never even been to Belmont Park.

She's planning on staying in Maryland as long as she can and then coming home as soon as she can. She's considering vanning Magic Weisner up the day before the race and vanning him home the day after.

That way, she won't neglect her other horses in Maryland for too long, and she'll avoid most of the hubbub in New York. Already, she is being besieged by callers, most of them reporters seeking interviews.

"It's getting worse," Alberts said. "I'm trying to enjoy it, but I can only do so much."

She said Magic Weisner is doing better than ever since the Preakness. She began galloping him Wednesday at Laurel Park.

"The horse came back wonderful," she said. "Isn't that amazing? What a nice boy."

Richard Migliore, who rode Magic Weisner in the Preakness for the first time, will ride him again in the Belmont.

"He thinks that the horse will fit very well," Alberts said. "Now that he's had a ride on him and finished second, he should be ready to win, right?"

Magic Weisner will be a far more popular bet than 45-1 in the Belmont, but he won't be the only one challenging War Emblem.

Others lining up to run include Proud Citizen and Table Limit, third and 11th, respectively, in the Preakness; Perfect Drift, third in the Kentucky Derby; Request for Parole, fifth in the Derby; and Essence of Dubai, ninth in the Derby.

Bobby Frankel, trainer of Medaglia d'Oro, fourth in the Derby and eighth in the Preakness, is also considering running his highly regarded colt in the Belmont.

Others under consideration include Sarava, winner of the Sir Barton Stakes; Wiseman's Ferry, Tracemark and Windward Passage, first, second and fourth, respectively, in the Lone Star Derby; the California-based Like a Hero, who won the Alydar Stakes yesterday at Hollywood Park; and three entrants in the Peter Pan Stakes tomorrow at Belmont: Ibn Al Haitham, Puzzlement and Sunday Break.

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