NEW YORK (AP) – Nolan’s Cat is winless in five career races, yet the 3-year-old colt could end up running in next Saturday’s Belmont Stakes.

“It may look silly running a maiden in the Belmont,” trainer Dale Romans said Friday, “but we think the horse will improve with distance.”

Nolan’s Cat finished second in his last start, a half-length behind A.P. Arrow in a 1 1/4-mile maiden race at Belmont Park. The Belmont Stakes is 11/2 miles.

“We’re not going to send him to fill the race or be part of Belmont day,” Romans said. “If he runs, it will be because we feel he can at least hit the board.”

Romans said if Nolan’s Cat continues to train well, the 3-year-old colt will be entered at Wednesday’s post position draw.

“He’s run with some good quality horses in his maiden races like Noble Causeway, Coin Silver and A. P. Arrow and hasn’t been beaten too far by them,” Romans said.

A.P. Arrow, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, also is under consideration for the Belmont.

Nolan’s Cat, owned by Ken Ramsey, is a son of Catienus, out of the Easy Goer mare Single Goer. Easy Goer won the 1989 Belmont.

Ramsey, who won the 2004 Eclipse Award as the nation’s top owner, also campaigns Roses in May and Kitten’s Joy.

In other Belmont news:

– Peter Pan Stakes winner Oratory was declared out of the final leg of the Triple Crown, with trainer Tom Albertrani saying “the Belmont comes up too quick.” Oratory, owned by Sheik Mohammed’s Darley Stable, won the Peter Pan last Saturday.

– Preakness winner Afleet Alex is scheduled to arrive by van from Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, New York Racing Association stable and security supervisor Rick Wickman said.

AP-ES-06-03-05 1753EDT

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