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Belmont Stakes: Epicharis didn’t train Friday, could run Saturday

Belmont Stakes contender Epicharis walks outside his paddock

Belmont Stakes contender Epicharis walks outside his paddock after training before the 149th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 5, 2017 in Elmont. Credit: Getty Images / Al Bello

Epicharis, a contender for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, did not go to the track to train Friday for the second straight morning.

The horse wore a glue-on shoe on his right front hoof, which was given two grams of phenylbutazone, an analgesic, by IV Wednesday afternoon after trainer Kiyoshi Hagiwara said he detected lameness.

Epicharis was examined by a veterinarian Friday morning, and the Japan-based colt’s connections expressed optimism that he can run in the Belmont, according to New York Racing Association executive Martin Panza.

The colt walked around the barn with a rider on him and later stood with his affected hoof in an ice bucket. Glue-on shoes often are used to protect sore or damaged hoof walls.

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