FRANCE GO DE INA HAS FINAL BELMONT WORK
In his final piece of preparation for Saturday’s Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes, France Go de Ina breezed five furlongs over a fast main track at Belmont Park.
Under mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-60s, Yuji Inaida’s son of third crop sire Will Take Charge took to the track under exercise rider Masaki Takano at 7:30 a.m., and registered his final move for the ‘Test of the Champion’ while running off eighth-mile splits of 13.12, 25.78 and 49.23 before completing his breeze in 1:02.62.
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Trainer Hideyuki Mori was on site to watch his two-time winner train for the final leg of the Triple Crown.
France Go de Ina, who was seventh last out in the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course, shipped to Belmont Park two days following the second American Classic and has been getting acclimated to his new surroundings.
“He moved really well. We were really happy with the work this morning,” Mori said through translator Kate Hunter. “The extra time between this race and shipping in from Japan gives him time to build his body up some more and add condition.”
France Go de Ina will be the first Belmont Stakes starter for Mori, whose first contender in an American Classic dates back to 1995 when Ski Captain finished 14th to Thunder Gulch in the Kentucky Derby.
“I would be very happy to add a Triple Crown race to my portfolio,” Mori said.
Ricardo Santana, Jr. will pilot France Go de Ina from post 5.