Haskin: Morning at Belmont

If the first two mornings at Belmont Park are any indication, we should see a top-class field of horses in Saturday's Belmont Stakes who are all looking great and working sensationally. California Chrome, of course, is the center of attention, and he, like fellow Kentucky Derby and Preakness starter Ride On Curlin, has held his weight extremely well and has been full of life since arriving in New York, showing no signs at all of fatigue. Ride On Curlin, as usual, has been on the muscle, and one never knows what to expect from him. Two of the more handsome colts, Commissioner and Tonalist, one-two, respectively, in the Peter Pan, both had excellent works, making the task of finding horses to play in the exotics all the more challenging. 

California Chrome has plenty of security, as Alan Sherman has a light moment with NYRA security officer Juan Dominguez, whose uncle, Laz Barrera, trained the last Triple Crown winner Affirmed.

California Chrome is set aglow by the morning sun as he checks out his surroundings, which has become a daily routine.

You can always expect the perfect pose from Chrome.

Chrome heading on to the track.

A view of what it's like to be on California Chrome's back...well, sort of.

Tonalist was a perfect gentleman schooling, as he heads to the gate under the careful eye of trainer Chris Clement.

Tonalist stands quietly in the gate. This colt does everything right...great temperament.

A tender moment between Social Inclusion and trainer, 85-year-old Manny Azpurua.

Whether he's rearing, on the muscle, or acting ornery around his handlers, Ride On Curlin is never boring. You gotta love him.

The handsome head of Tonalist.

Unlike Tonalist, Social Inclusion had his blood up at his gate schooling session and must return on Wednesday at the request of the assistant starter.

One thing you can count on is Jimmy Jerkens grazing Wicked Strong at around 3 o'clock every afternoon. The colt is looking fantastic and is really holding his flesh and coat.

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