ELMONT, N.Y. -- Two of the 10 horses expected to run in the $1 million Belmont Stakes here on June 5 put in half-mile workouts Saturday in New York.
At Saratoga, Fly Down, who figures to go off as no worse than the third betting choice in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont, worked four furlongs in 49.40 seconds Saturday morning at Saratoga.
Meanwhile, at Belmont Park, Uptowncharlybrown breezed a half-mile in 50.16 seconds in company with the promising 3-year-old Trappe Shot.
Fly Down stamped himself a serious player for the Belmont with a dominant six-length victory in the Dwyer here on May 8. Trainer Nick Zito has since shipped the Mineshaft colt to Saratoga to train. In his first work since the Dwyer, Fly Down was timed by clockers in a first quarter of 24.80 seconds and a second quarter in 24.60. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.60. Maxine Correa was up for the work.
"He looked good," Zito said by phone from Saratoga. "You know about their fitness because he just ran a mile and an eighth. You just want to see how strong they are and how they act. So far, so good."
Fly Down will likely have one more breeze before the Belmont, Zito said.
Zito's other Belmont hopeful, Ice Box, the Kentucky Derby runner-up and likely Belmont favorite, galloped Saturday morning at Saratoga. He will have his final breeze toward the end of the week.
Uptowncharlybrown, who has not run since finishing third in the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 17, had his third work since being transferred to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
With exercise rider Alfredo Clemente in the irons, Uptowncharlybrown worked four furlongs in 50.16 seconds, in company with Trappe Shot. While McLaughlin was expecting a little bit faster move, the work may have been compromised by Trappe Shot being a bit rank galloping to the pole under Alan Garcia.
Uptowncharlybrown broke off two to three paths off the rail but inside of Trappe Shot, The team went the first eighth in 13.20 seconds, and the quarter in 25.59. Straightening away in the stretch, Uptowncharlybrown was still two paths off the rail and Trappe Shot was two paths further out from him. The two finished basically on even terms in a final quarter in 24.57 seconds. Uptowncharlybrown galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.41.
"We weren't looking for a 47 and change again," said McLaughln, referring to a half-mile move on May 15 in 47.80 seconds. "We're there and ready to go. It would have been nice to have been 48 and change, but there's no money in the morning. It was fine. He galloped out well and we have one more work. He's doing great and ready to go. I wouldn't mind if [the race] was next Saturday."
Trappe Shot, who has won his last two starts impressively, is possible for the Grade 2, $250,000 Woody Stephens, a seven-furlong race on the Belmont undercard.
In other Belmont news:
-- After an overnight van ride from Kentucky, Preakness runner-up First Dude arrived at Belmont Park early Saturday morning along with stablemate Quiet Temper, who is being pointed to the Grade 1 Acorn for 3-year-old fillies on Belmont Day.
First Dude was to have his first day on the track Sunday morning and will gallop all week leading up to a workout next Saturday. Trainer Dale Romans said he is pleased with how well First Dude came out of the Preakness, in which he was beaten just three-quarters of a length by Lookin At Lucky.
"He acts like he never even ran," Romans said from Kentucky. "He seems very happy."
-- Trainer Alexis Barba arrived in New York following a red-eye flight from Southern California and watched her Belmont Stakes hopeful Make Music for Me gallop once around the 1 1/2-mile track. Barba said Make Music for Me will work a mile on Sunday morning.
-- Others pointing to the Belmont include Drosselmeyer, Game on Dude, Stately Victor, Spangled Star, and Stay Put.
-- Garrett Gomez has accepted the mount on Spangled Star, owner Larry Roman said. Gomez is winless in four previous Belmont mounts.