Most of the horses obtaining ready to operate in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes are coming off lengthy layoffs — as very long as 4-in addition months, in the circumstance of Max Player — due to the fact of the coronavirus pandemic shaking up the activity.
But Sole Volante, legitimate to its name, is coming in warm.
The 3-12 months-previous bay colt, whose identify indicates flying sun in Italian, received an allowance race just final Wednesday at Gulfstream Park in Florida right before traveling up to New York on Tuesday night time. On Wednesday, it drew the No. 2 write-up place with the 2nd-very best early morning line odds at 9-2.
“He just arrived out of that small mile allowance so very well,” said Andie Biancone, a component owner with Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and an assistant trainer for her dad, Patrick Biancone. “We did a tiny open gallop with him on Monday. We definitely waited just for him to do the talking — his behavior, how he arrived out. He was just so contemporary, so delighted, so well. We could not not go.”
Before June 10, Sole Volante had final raced on March 7, ending second in the Grade 2 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby. But they did not want him to go far too extensive without a race entering the Belmont Stakes, leading to their determination to run a heat-up final week.
Trying to chart out the ideal agenda for a thoroughbred has been a complicated assignment for trainers in modern months simply because of the pandemic canceling some races and putting the Triple Crown legs in flux. Andie Biancone mentioned her father “took a significant gamble” by to begin with tapering down Sole Volante, but believes the relaxation has served him perfectly in the very long run — primarily with Saturday’s massive race remaining his second in 11 times with jockey Luca Panici.
“He’s just the ideal he’s at any time been suitable now, conditioning-intelligent and mentally,” Andie Biancone stated. “We wanted to run him in advance of the Belmont mainly because 100 days without having a race, they get a minor little bit itchy. I suggest, they’re athletes. We went from planning to run in the Kentucky Derby to tapering him simply because of the virus and all the things finding moved. So mentally, he was a little bit itchy, desired to do much more.
“Once he bought that race in him, he was just like, ‘Ah, Alright, I’m all right, everything is very good.’ They adore to operate. So mentally and physically he’s just great correct now. We could not be happier.”