Graded stakes winner Interactif will compete in Saturday’s Grade I Belmont Stakes, trainer Todd Pletcher announced Monday morning. With the presence of Interactif, the Belmont is now expected to feature a field of 12.
Pletcher and owner Alain Wertheimer had originally planned to send Interactif to Friday’s Grade III Hill Prince on the turf, but began to consider the Belmont following a promising workout on May 22 when the son of Broken Vow covered six furlongs on the main track in 1:14.29.
“We decided to call an audible and send him to the Belmont,” said Pletcher. “Two works ago, we had it in our minds, and after surveying the field we decided to go.”
Javier Castellano will have the mount aboard Interactif, who will be making his first start on dirt since finishing eighth in the Grade II Sanford at Saratoga in July. He closed his juvenile campaign with victories in the Grade III With Anticipation and Grade III Bourbon on the grass before finishing a close third in the Grade II Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
Second by a nose in the Hallandale Beach on the turf at Gulfstream in his sophomore debut, Interactif has competed over synthetic surfaces in his last two starts, finishing second to Sidney’s Candy in the Grade II San Felipe at Santa Anita and fourth in the Grade I Blue Grass at Keeneland.
“His second to Sidney’s Candy in the San Felipe was very good, although we were a little disappointed with his performance in the Blue Grass,” said Pletcher. “We had the Derby in mind after [the Blue Grass], but thought the three weeks might be a little fast back.”