Even though the distance of the Manhattan Handicap better suits Presious
Passion, he will bypass the Grade 1 $500,000 turf race at one-mile-and-a-quarter
at Belmont on
June 9 in favor of the Grade 2 $200,000 Monmouth Stakes, which is a furlong
shorter, on June 10.
“We’d rather stay right here and support the
program,” said Mary Hartmann, who trains him for owner Patricia Generazio. “He
likes it better a little longer still and the Monmouth is a little short for
him, but he’s getting closer to his ideal distance of a mile and a
Now nine-years-old, Presious Passion still
enjoys being a racehorse and has been training well since spending last summer
resting and relaxing at Wellsprings Farm in nearby Colts Neck, N.J.
“He was very happy there and it was great
because I could visit him all of the time after getting done at the track,”
Hartmann said. “He had a window in his stall and would start nickering every
time he saw my car coming up the driveway. Now he loves being back at the track
and in training.”
In 2008 and 2009, Presious Passion won the
Grade 1 $750,000 United Nations Stakes here at one-mile-and-three-eighths and
was caught in the stretch to finish second in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Turf
at his preferred distance of one-mile-and-a-half in 2009.