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2019 Belmont Stakes June 4 Photos

War of Will galloped for the first time today at Belmont Park
Date: 06/04/2019

The Belmont Stakes Racing Festival runs from June 6 to June 8, highlighted by the 151st Belmont Stakes run on Saturday June 8 with Kentucky Derby 8th place finisher and Preakness Stakes winner War of Will the probable favorite in a field of possibly nine or ten. The weather is currently looking pretty good on Belmont Day, mostly sunny with temperatures in the high 70's.

horse racingPhotos courtesy Nancy Rokos

War of Will paddock schooled shortly before 9am then went to the Belmont Park main track Tuesday morning along with stablemate Sir Winston. Trainer Mark Casse said he had a slight scare when the alarm went off for a pair of other horses who had gotten loose on the track, but the rest of the training session went off without incident. Both loose horses were also fine. horse racing

"I thought they both went really well," Casse said. "My heart rate went up [at the alarm]. Of course, there's always something befalling War of Will. But they said he acted fine. This track is so big, it's tough to really see, but they said he went fine. I had planned on jogging him this morning, but he had so much energy and was trying to jump on everybody and tried to jump on me, so I said to go ahead and gallop him."

horse racing Casse said he'll keep plans for the rest of the week fluid. "I kind of play it day-to-day. He does do a lot of jogging normally," Casse said. "But he'll probably gallop tomorrow. I thought he looked great on the track today."

Jockey Tyler Gaffalione is set to ride War of Will, with the post positions being announced at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the draw being held at Citi Field before the New York Mets face the San Francisco Giants.

War of Will, the only entry in the expected 10-horse Belmont Stakes field to have run in the first two legs of the Triple Crown [placing seventh in the Kentucky Derby] was bred in Kentucky by Flaxman Holdings. Casse's brother, bloodstock agent Justin Casse, purchased War of Will overseas last May at the Arqana Breeze Up Sale in France for just under $300,000.

War of Will drew post position 10 for the Belmont Stakes and is the 2-1 second choice on the morning line. Tacitus, who drew post 9, is the favorite at 9-5.

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