News and STORIES
Sole Volante Set for the Belmont Stakes; Circus Maximus Heads Queen Anne Field
Author: Clint Goodman
Published: Tuesday June 16, 2020
According to majority owner Dean Reeves, Sole Volante will ship to New York to run in Saturday's $1 million Belmont Stakes (G1).
Reeves owns the 3-year-old son of Karakontie along with Andie Biancone.
Heading to Belmont
"The horse made the decision for us. He's ready to run in the Belmont," said Reeves. "The main thing is he's doing real well. (Trainer Patrick Biancone) is happy with him, so everything is on for the horse."
Sole Volante is currently stabled in Florida at the Palm Meadows Training Center. His path to Belmont Park had some challenges but ended up working out for his connections.
"It wasn't perfect in this day and age," Reeves said. "We have to go FedEx. He has to go to Memphis first, wait there a bit, and then he'll get to New York about 8 p.m. (on Tuesday)."
The news of Sole Volante heading to Belmont comes five days after the colt took a June 10 allowance optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park. The race was his first start since finishing second in the March 7 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (G2).
Other possible entrants ended up going elsewhere, mainly due to the presence of the heavy favorite Tiz the Law in the field. However, Reeves said that Sole Volante is ready for the challenge.
"In this business, if your horse is ready to go, you have to run. If you wait, something invariably happens," Reeves said. "None of these races were going to be easy, be it the Belmont or the (July 11 Toyota) Blue Grass Stakes (G2). All of these horses can run a big number any day. We may get some grief, but we're shipping out tomorrow, and we'll see how we do."
Sole Volante is the winner of the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) and is coming into the event with four victories from six career starts. Reeves is coming into the race with confidence surrounding his horse.
"He belongs with this group," Reeves said, "and we have a big shot. We'll probably be third choice. It will be a competitive race and hopefully, an exciting day for us."
The field of eight or nine for the opening leg of the Triple Crown will also likely include Dr Post, Farmington Road, Max Player, Tap It to Win, Pneumatic, and Jungle Runner.
According to trainer Bill Mott, he will speak with owners Pam and Martin Wygod about Modernist, the grade 2-winning son of Uncle Mo.
The Queen Anne Stakes
In Great Britain, Circus Maximus is heading the field of Royal Ascot Winners in the Queen Anne Stakes (G1).
The field of 16 has a lot of familiar names, including four previous Royal Ascot winners. The straight-mile contest for 4-year-olds and up is a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" event, and the winner will be awarded a paid fees berth into this year's TVG Breeders' Cup Mile (G1T).
Circus Maximum is last year's St. James's Palace Stakes (G1) winner. Aidan O'Brien will be looking for his fourth Queen Anne victory.
"He's just ready to start back, and this looks the right race for him," O'Brien said. "We've been very happy with how he did over the winter, and he's continued that progress through the spring, so you'd have to be happy with where he is at the moment. We're looking forward to seeing how he gets on."
The other Royal Ascot winners set to run in the Queen Anne include 2019 Jersey Stakes (G3) winner Space Traveller and 2017 Britannia Stakes winner Bless Him.
Billesdon Brook, the 2018 QIPCO Thousand Guineas (G1) winner, is also set to run in the Queen Anne.