Bo Cruz May Contest Belmont Stakes 2024 Undercard

Graded stakes-winner Bo Cruz under consideration for Belmont Stakes Racing Festival

Bo Cruz, who cut back in distance last-out to win the seven-furlong Grade 3 Commonwealth at Keeneland, will be nominated to both the Grade 1, $1 million Hill ‘n’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap and the 6 1/2-furlong Grade 2, $350,000 True North presented by F. W. Webb on Belmont Stakes Day June 8 at Saratoga Race Course.

Trained by Al Stall, Jr. for owners Roger Cettina, Brian Pagano, Patrick Grippo, Peter Martine and Bruno De Julio, Bo Cruz was scratched from the Grade 1 Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day but returned to the work tab Saturday at the Louisville oval to cover a half-mile in 48.60 seconds.

“It’s a possibility,” said Stall, regarding the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival. “We shortened him up and like the way he ran around one turn, so we’ll stick with that for a little while.

“He worked by himself on a wet-fast racetrack,” added Stall. “Hopefully, we can get him back in a routine and a rhythm.”

Belmont Park horse racingThe Creative Cause colt, a $45,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, boasts a record of 7-3-1-2 for purse earnings of $340,550. He was a gate-to-wire winner of a 1 1/16-mile optional-claimer last year on Kentucky Derby Day and followed with a pacesetting third in the nine-furlong Matt Winn.

Bo Cruz was a game third in his seasonal debut traveling one mile and 70 yards in February at Fair Grounds and proved tough last out when 2 1/2-lenghths the best in the Commonwealth.

“He’s a good gate horse. He breaks so sharp, he sometimes outbreaks himself,” Stall said. “He broke on his feet and that was it. There was a scratch at the gate that day [Here Mi Song] and he might have shown a little speed, so we might have got a little lucky.”

Stall noted Bo Cruz is also being considered for races at Churchill Downs, including the Listed $275,000 Aristides going six furlongs on June 1 and the Listed $300,000 Hanshin at one mile on June 30.

“We’re going to play it by ear for now and see who is going where,” Stall said.

source: NYRA

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Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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