To describe how his horse Stay Thirsty may get him to the circle of the winners this Saturday at the Belmont Stakes, Queens native Mike Repole depend on local know how and rare breed.
He said after Wednesday’s post position draw at Belmont Park, “Stay Thirsty has the home-track advantage. He has two wins and two seconds in New York” (For the record, Stay Thirsty finished 12th in the Kentucky Derby, seventh in the Florida Derby and fifth in the 2010 Breeder’s Cup Juvenile).
After that there is the matter of the bloodlines of the horse which Repole said, are well fitted to the mile-and-a-half of Belmont. He said, “He has the pedigree to run two miles. Stay Thirsty was sired by 2006 Preakness and Travers Stakes winner Bernardini, the son of the 1992 Horse of the Year A.P Indy. Stay Thirsty’s dam Morozia by Storm Bird succeeded at the 1 ½ mile distance racing in England.”
Stay Thirsty drew the No. 2 slot in the post position draw. The present desired, Kentucky Derby-winner Animal Kingdom, drew No. 9 and odds of 2-1 Preakness winner Shackleford drew No. 12 and odds of 9-2.
Until now, this has been an unsatisfactory year for Repole, who had Uncle Mo, the 2010 two year old champion who was sleeted as a Triple Crown desired. However, he ended third in the Wood Memorial, was identified with an internal illness and scraped from the Kentucky Derby. He was proclaimed to be suffering from a swelling of the liver. Uncle Mo is increasing weight, Repole said, and might begin exercising again in around two weeks.
Repole stayed his standpoint more personal as for the pressure that appears with the hope to win by a New Yorker or a New York horse in the Belmont. “I never look at it as pressure. I see myself as a racing fan. I need to do what’s right for my horse. I’ll take my 20-1 odds and feel like I’m the favorite. It’s an impossible race to handicap.”