CHARITABLE MAN WORKS FOR BELMONT

Virginia-bred Charitable Man and Dunkirk, the likely second and third betting choices, respectively, behind Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird for Saturday’s $1 million Belmont Stakes, each put in their final workouts for that race on Sunday morning at Belmont Park.

Charitable Man, working by himself, went a half-mile in 49.00 seconds a short time after Dunkirk, who worked in company with Monba, went the same distance in 49.57. Both works were done over a fast main track following the renovation break.

Last week, Charitable Man went his first quarter in 22.97 seconds in a work that was timed in 47.85. On Sunday, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin instructed exercise rider Renzo Morales to start slower, and that’s exactly what he did, maintaining a firm grip of the reins through an opening eighth in 12.37 and the quarter in 24.07. Morales kept Charitable Man several paths off the rail and never asked the colt for run through a final quarter in 24.97. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.88.

“I was happy that he went off slower because last week he went off fast so we didn’t need that,” McLaughlin said. “He went better, finished and galloped out stronger, I felt like. He is doing great – we’re ready to go, I’m happy. We’ll see how he is for the next five days.”

Charitable Man figures to go off the second choice based on the fact that he is 3 for 4 in his career, including a perfect 3 for 3 record on regular dirt that includes Grade 2 stakes wins in the Futurity here as a 2-year-old and the Peter Pan here on May 9. He also could play out as the main speed horse in what is shaping up to be a 10-horse field for the Belmont Stakes.