Sarava, War Emblem depart Belmont together
By Jay Privman
Daily Racing Form
ELMONT, N.Y. -- Sarava and War Emblem, the colts whose fortunes swung wildly in Saturday's Belmont Stakes, left Belmont Park by van at 8:30 on Sunday morning for a plane ride that would return them to Churchill Downs, where they will be based until making their next starts.
Sarava, who at 70-1 became the longest-priced winner in Belmont history, "came out of the race great," according to his trainer, Ken McPeek, who said he felt "numb" a day after scoring the biggest victory of his career.
"It's unbelievable. Great," McPeek said. "You work hard for a day like yesterday."
McPeek said the major summer races such as the Travers Stakes at Saratoga would be obvious objectives for Sarava, but he said he had yet to form any definitive plan for the colt's next start.
War Emblem, who was seeking a sweep of the Triple Crown, remarkably did not emerge with injured hooves despite stumbling badly at the start of the race, according to Jim Barnes, Bob Baffert's top assistant trainer. "It was very fortunate," Barnes said. "Usually when that happens, you grab a quarter or pull a shoe off." Barnes did not know when War Emblem would make his next start.
Both Medaglia d'Oro, who was second, and Sunday Break, who was third, will make their next starts in either the Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga, or the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth, both of which are on Aug. 4.
Bobby Frankel, who trains Medaglia d'Oro, was thrilled with his colt's performance. He said losing to a longshot winner reminded him of the 1993 Breeders' Cup Classic, when his horse Bertrando was beaten by Arcangues. Frankel said Medaglia d'Oro would remain in New York this summer.
Neil Drysdale, who trains Sunday Break, said his colt was "a little sore behind" on Sunday morning. "His back end went out on the last turn," Drysdale said. Drysdale said he was not sure if Sunday Break would continue to train in New York, or return to California, to prepare for his next start.
Proud Citizen, who finished fifth in the Belmont, emerged from the race with a minor fracture to his left front shin. He likely will have surgery on Monday morning at the equine hospital at Belmont that is run by Dr. Steve Selway.