By Jon Lees
USA: Kentucky Oaks winner Malathaat will skip the Belmont Stakes and won’t reappear until later in the summer when the Breeders’ Cup will be her main goal.
The filly took her unbeaten record to five with a hard-fought neck victory over Search Results at Churchill Downs last month.
Having dismissed a tilt at the Preakness Stakes, owners Shadwell Stable and trainer Todd Pletcher have also ruled out having a go at the final leg of the Triple Crown series in favour of the Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga on July 24.
Rick Nichols, vice president and general manager of the late Hamdan Al Maktoum’s Shadwell Farm, speaking to Tamarkuz Media, said: “Todd and I have talked and have elected to bypass the Belmont. She is a little light right now because she is still growing into the frame that she has. We want to give her a nice break and hopefully put some weight on her.
“We will point her toward the CCA Oaks at Saratoga, which is 12 weeks from the Kentucky Oaks. Then we will aim for the Alabama Stakes, which is the main target, four weeks later. Then we will be able to give her a nice 10-week breather and head toward the Breeders’ Cup.”
Both the Breeders’ Cup Distaff and Breeders’ Cup Classic will be under consideration for Malathaat at Del Mar in November.
Belmont Stakes betting (Ladbrokes): 5-2 Essential Quality, 11-4 Rombauer, 3 Hot Rod Charlie, 7 Midnight Bourbon, 10 Known Agenda, Promise Keeper, 16 Rebel’s Romance, Weyburn, 20 Keepmeinmind, 25 France Go De Ina, 40 Brooklyn Strong.