Kentucky Derby

Mile-and-a-half Belmont will suit Cherry Wine just fine, Romans says

Kent Desormeaux, riding Exaggerator, was congratulated by Corey Lanerie, atop Cherry Wine, after the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on May 21, 2016.
Kent Desormeaux, riding Exaggerator, was congratulated by Corey Lanerie, atop Cherry Wine, after the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on May 21, 2016. AP

Preakness Stakes weekend in Baltimore proved to be a successful one for trainer Dale Romans, who saddled one-two finishers Go Maggie Go and Ma Can Do It in the Grade II Black-Eyed Susan before his Cherry Wine finished a late-closing second behind Exaggerator in the Preakness the following day.

“I thought that I would win the Preakness,” Romans said. “But we took horses over there knowing that they would do really well and that they were going to run their best if they were good enough and we left there feeling pretty good about everything.”

Cherry Wine, a son of Tapit, turned in a Preakness effort that convinced Romans to point him to the Belmont Stakes on June 11.

“A mile-and-a-half won’t hurt him, he’ll run all day,” Romans said.

Cherry Wine is owned by a partnership that consists of Frank L. Jones Jr., who also owned horses trained by Romans’ father Jerry. He also talked of his good relationship with the owners of Go Maggie Go and Ma Can Do It.

“They had horses together forever,” Romans said. “Frank (Jones) has had horses with two trainers: me and him. It makes it much more special and plus the other partners, the Pacellas, are some of my dearest clients and some of my closest friends.

“I have four great clients: Maggie’s owner (Mike Tarp) is one of the best guys I’ve dealt with; Kyle Nagel (owner of Ma Can Do It) has been one of my best friends for 25 years; the Pacellas are some of my closest friends; and then of course there’s Frank. So the owners for those three horses are some of my closest friends that have been with me through thick and thin. I got rid of some toxic environment in my barn that has been pulling me down and stressing me out so I feel like a new person and I’m ready to roll.”

Romans went on to say that Go Maggie Go would point to the Grade I, $700,000 Acorn at Belmont Park on June 11. Still a maiden, Ma Can Do It will likely drop back down and face maiden special weight company at Churchill Downs in her next start.

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