|Goldencents tracked Oxbow in second before fading to fifth in Preakness 138
(Matt Wooley/EquiSport Photos)
"It doesn't make sense to go on to the Belmont," O'Neill
stated. "We had talked prior (to the Preakness) that if we didn't run huge and
came out of it great, we wouldn't come back in three weeks. Even though I'm very
proud of him and the way Kevin (Krigger) rode him, I just don't think coming
back in three weeks off that effort is the right move."
Last year, O'Neill left Pimlico looking for a sweep to the
Triple Crown with I'll Have Another, who had followed up his Kentucky Derby win
with a score in the Preakness. He would never get the opportunity when that son
of Flower Alley came down with a leg injury that forced him to be scratched the
day before the Belmont Stakes.
Goldencents, a three-time graded winner going into this
year's Kentucky Derby, was a dismal 17th at Churchill Downs, but O'Neill
believed the sloppy, sealed race track was largely responsible for that.
admitted the son of Into Mischief simply couldn't keep up with Preakness winner
Oxbow after briefly heading him coming out of the gate on Saturday.
"We'll relax and see what's in the cards five, six, seven
weeks down the road," O'Neill said. "You've got the three-year-old series on the
turf down at Del Mar, so we could possibly try a different surface with him.
"Or we could go over him good, train him out there and then
look for races like the Haskell or Travers somewhere down the road. We'll huddle
up with the owners and put together a game plan. He's a good horse. You'll be
hearing from him."
Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's War
Front gelding Departing was shipped back to Kentucky Sunday morning following his
sixth-place finish in the Preakness.
"He's fine, but he cooled out very tired," trainer Al Stall
Stall said he had not talked with the owners about future
plans for Departing, but that the Illinois Derby victor would not be participating in the Belmont
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert reported
Sunday that Preakness eighth-place finisher Govenor Charlie came out of the race in good shape and was
being shipped back to California with stablemate Fiftyshadesofhay, who captured
Friday's Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico.