After sweeping moves in both the Arkansas Derby and the Kentucky Derby, Nehro has become a buzz horse for the 2011 Belmont Stakes. Trainer Steve Asmussen and owner Ahmed Zayat elected to skip the Preakness with the 3-year-old son of Mineshaft to prep specifically for the Test of Champions at Big Sandy.
Nehro disappointed in his first two outings before a breakthrough maiden performance at Oaklawn Park under late jockey Michael Baze, who also rode him to a runner-up effort in the Louisiana Derby.
He needed earnings to make the starting gate on the first Saturday in May and got them in a second place finish in the Arkansas Derby under new pilot Corey Nakatani.
Speaking of Nakatani, he sensed the slow pace in the Kentucky Derby and made a wide early move aboard Nehro, which resulted in yet another runner-up finish.
The Preakness was seriously considered but the Kentucky Derby was Nehro’s third start in six weeks so his connections are left with a fresh horse making his first start in five weeks at Belmont Park.
Nehro’s sire Mineshaft, out of ’92 Belmont Stakes hero A. P. Indy, is responsible for last year’s Belmont Stakes runner-up Fly Down.
On June 6, Nehro completed his Belmont Stakes preparations with a four furlong work in :50.88 and his brash owner is confident in his colt’s chances in the Test of Champions.