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Castle Village Farm’s New York-bred Megalithic, who had been prepping upstate for the start of the 2013 turf season, suffered a tendon injury and will be retired. After a couple of promising breezes, Megalithic showed some weakness in the tendon near the sesamoid, a situation that just created too great a danger, so we took the safer course of action and retired him. We’re hoping he’ll find a successful second career as a pleasure or show horse.

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Castle Village Farm horses Alston Gunter and Afternoon Treat are both entered in the 10th race at Belmont on Friday, May 3rd. It’s a 6-furlong turf sprint, for a claiming price of $25,000. Alston Gunter, with David Cohen aboard, is in the main body of the race, while Afternoon Treat is entered main-track-only if the race comes off the turf. If that happens, both will run, as Alston Gunter is adept on either surface. Post time at Belmont is 5:35 pm.

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Castle Village Farm’s five-year-old NY-bred Megalithic is scheduled to return to Bruce Brown’s barn at Belmont the week of April 15th, following an extended winter vacation.

Megalithic has been at Mike Shrader’s In-Front Training Center in Ghent, NY since last fall, recovering from a tendon injury and skipping the inner-track dirt racing at Aqueduct. He’s a turf specialist, and Bruce aims to have him ready for turf racing at Belmont this spring.

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Castle Village Farm’s six-year-old Alston Gunter skipped the Mister Diz Stakes at Pimlicon on Saturday, April 6th. Alston Gunter had recorded a bullet breeze, going a half mile in 47.4 on the Belmont training track on April 1st, but a couple of days later he was showing signs of gastric irritation and generally acting as if he wasn’t 100%. While tests should no obvious illness or injury, Bruce Brown and Steve Zorn elected to be cautious and passed on the Pimlico race.

Next steps for Alston Gunter will be decided when he’s feeling better.

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Castle Village Farm’s six-year-old Afternoon Treat tried the turf for the first time on Wednesday, April 3rd at Aqueduct, and pretty much guaranteed that it would be the last time. Running in a starter allowance at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass, Afternoon Treat never acted comfortable on the surface. After making a brief move on the backstretch, he faded and trailed the seven-horse field home.

Afternoon Treat has a full brother who’s 2-for-2 on the grass, and he has large flat hooves that look as though they were made for turf racing. But you don’t know for sure until you try it.

Now we know. Back to the dirt next time out.

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Castle Village Farm’s Alston Gunter, who’s nominated for the $75,000 Mister Diz Stakes at Pimlico April 6th, turned in a bullet 47.4 half-mile breeze at Belmont this morning (April 1), galloping out well and scoping clean afterward. The breeze was the best of 24 at the distance. Steve Zorn and trainer Bruce Brown will make a final decision on Wednesday whether to enter the Pimlico stakes, a race in which MD-bred Alston Gunter finished a close-up 4th last year.

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