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Arcangelo Has Final Work for Travers

There was going to be no heavy lifting for Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Arcangelo  as he had his final work before the Aug. 26 $1.25 million Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course.

Trainer Jena Antonucci got exactly what she wanted to get when the son of Arrogate  went five furlongs in a maintenance work of 1:01.63 on the main track Aug. 16 with jockey Javier Castellano on board.

“He always wants to do more,” Antonucci said outside her barn at the Oklahoma Training Track after the work. “He just loves his job. He literally pulled up today and it was almost like he was saying, ‘that’s it? Where is the rest of my breeze?’ He was bouncy coming off the track, and, honestly, he wasn’t blowing at all. This was exactly what we wanted.”

Arcangelo’s major work for the Midsummer Derby came on Aug. 6 when he went five furlongs in 1:00.21. Antonucci sent the gray out to the track after the first break on the main on Wednesday.

There had been rain in Saratoga Springs in the early morning and the skies were overcast with the threat of more rain which never came. Antonucci wanted to get the work in and was pleased with the condition of the track.

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“I did not want a big gallop out today,” Antonucci said. “I wanted Javier to pull up as he was coming out of the turn. I wanted rhythm and wanted evenness and I wanted him to stretch his lungs and legs and have fun and that is what we got.”

As far as working her horse 10 days apart, she said that has been the regimen for Arcangelo since Day One.

“Whoever said we have to breeze a horse every seven days?” Antonucci said. “It’s definitely not a rule. There is no science behind this. It has just worked for him. There are others I have on seven (days), some are on nine. For him, the space has been right.”

After running in one maiden races as a 2-year-old, Arcangelo got into the winner’s circle at Gulfstream Park March 18 and then quickly moved up the ladder. He won the Peter Pan Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park May 13 and then made the big jump June 10 when he took the Belmont.

He will head to the Travers as one of the favorites.

“”I knew he was an amazing horse, we just did not know when and where he would develop,” Jon Ebbert, whose Blue Rose Farm owns Arcangelo. “We are just blessed to be in the Travers. To have one of the top horses is just amazing.”


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