Thursday, May 31, 2007

Street Sense Won't Run in the Belmont

There will be no third jewel of the Triple Crown for James Tafel's Street Sense after trainer Carl Nafzger announced today that the winner of the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands and runner-up in the Preakness would skip the June 9 Belmont Stakes to focus on a fall campaign.

"I gave Mr. Tafel all of my reasons for going, and all my reasons for not going," said Nafzger. "The Triple Crown is out - Curlin took us out. We're not going to the Belmont. We have set goals for this horse - we want the Travers and we want the Breeders' Cup Classic. If we can be the first horse to win the [Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup] Juvenile, the Derby, the Travers and the Classic, then Mr. Tafel said these are worthy goals, let's go after it."

Nafzger said that the entire Street Sense camp was "really deflated" after Curlin rallied to edge the Kentucky Derby winner in the memorable Preakness finish. He said that, as sportsmen, both Tafel and he wanted another shot at Curlin in the Belmont - but with no Triple Crown on the line, the option of a fall campaign became more attractive.

"Let's don't chase spilled water," Nafzger said. "We spilled water in the Preakness - we spilled it. We got beat and we got outran. So that's behind us, and our decision now is to regroup."

Nafzger said that Street Sense would remain in "light training" at Churchill Downs before he gears up for the fall campaign, and that the $1 million Haskell Invitational on August 5 at Monmouth Park or the $500,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga would be used as a prep for the Travers later in August in Saratoga. There would be one more prep for the Classic, but Nafzger said "there's a million races for us to choose from" to use as a final prep for the 1 1/4-mile Classic.

(Received via NTRA press release)