Casino Drive expected to race despite hoof problem

NEW YORK -- Casino Drive cantered three furlongs early Saturday morning and is expected to race in the Belmont Stakes later in the afternoon despite a minor injury to his left hind hoof.

The 3-year-old colt was held off the track Friday as a precaution. He was treated with Epsom salts, ice and heat overnight and racing manager Nobutaka Tada said the horse appears to be fine.

Tada said Casino Drive may have a stone bruise in the hoof from walking on hard, rocky ground at Belmont Park. Tada classified the injury as minor and that he has no concerns about sending Casino Drive to the post for the grueling 1½-mile race.

The Peter Pan winner is the early second choice behind Triple Crown favorite Big Brown.