Baffert: Game Winner may be ready to run in Belmont

Reuters

We may not have heard the last from Game Winner this Triple Crown season as racing in the Belmont Stakes has become a possibility.

After finishing sixth at the Kentucky Derby (and bumping up to fifth following Maximum Security's disqualification), the Bob Baffert-trained horse will miss the Preakness Stakes with "muscle soreness," having reportedly missed about a week of training.

But according to Baffert, Game Winner is training again and could give it a go at the finale of the Triple Crown in New York on June 8.

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"Game Winner is back at the track now. He looks good. He was a little roughed up or he would have been great in the Preakness," Baffert recently said, per BloodHorse. "I lost a week of training with him to check him and make sure he was OK. A great thing about (owners Gary and Mary West) is that the horse comes first for them. He tells me to train them like I own them."

Game Winner easily won the Breeders Cup Juvenile in November and was unbeaten until finishing second to Omaha Beach at the Rebel Stakes on March 16.

The update on Game Winner comes on the heels of Baffert telling horse racing outlet XBTV last weekend: "We're going to give him an easy two weeks and decide what we're going to do with him."

According to BloodHorse's Bob Ehalt, after attending the Preakness at Pimlico in Maryland this Saturday, Baffert will visit Game Winner at Churchill Downs next Monday before returning to California to plan for the future.

"I haven't closed the door on (the Belmont Stakes)," Baffert told Ehalt. "We're going to let the horse show me."

As for this weekend, Baffert will saddle Improbable, currently the 2-1 favorite. Improbable is the highest-finishing Kentucky Derby horse in the Preakness, having finished fourth after Maximum Security's DQ.

--Field Level Media

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