Updated on 09/15/2011 1:10PM

Affirmed Success tightens up on turf


ELMONT, N.Y. - Affirmed Success, who is being pointed to the $1 million Breeders' Cup Mile, worked a bullet five furlongs on Thursday morning over the Belmont Park turf.

With the dogs up, and over a course listed on the work tab as firm, Affirmed Success was timed in 1:01.02, breezing, the fastest of six works at the distance.

Even though the turf was listed as firm, it's probably still holding plenty of moisture from the heavy rains that have hit the area in recent weeks.

"The course was very soft and the dogs were way out," said Richard Schosberg, Affirmed Success's trainer. "It was a pretty good work for out there."

Schosberg said he clocked Affirmed Success in a flat 48 seconds for his half-mile time.

In a thrilling finish, Affirmed Success was second in the Atto Mile, beaten by a nose by Numerous Times, in his last start on Sept. 9 at Woodbine.

Last year, Affirmed Success was third in the Atto Mile, before returning in the Kelso and finishing second. Schosberg used the Kelso as Affirmed Success's final prep before the Breeders' Cup Mile, where the gelding finished fourth in a sharp effort, beaten only a half-length by the winner, War Chant.

This year, Schosberg didn't bother to nominate the 7-year-old Affirmed Success to the Kelso, which will be run on Saturday. Schosberg said it was essential to provide Affirmed Success with as much turf experience as possible before last year's Mile because grass racing was new to him. But that wasn't the case this season.

Affirmed Success made his turf debut in the Poker Handicap, which he won, in June 2000 at Belmont.

"Last year, we were throwing so much at him that was new," Schosberg said. "The Poker was a great race, but it was his first start on the turf. He needed more experience because anything can happen on the turf. The trip means so much on the turf."

Affirmed Success will make his fourth start in the Breeders' Cup - now called the World Thoroughbred Championships - when it is run at Belmont Park on Oct. 27. In 1998, he finished sixth in the Sprint, and then was 12th the Sprint the following year. After those losses, Schosberg decided to switch gears and try Affirmed Success on the grass because the six-furlong distance of the Sprint was too short for his gelding.

Sharp Performance runs next week

Trainer David Donk said Sharp Performance, who won the Grade 3 Lexington here this summer, is on target for next Saturday's $150,000 Lawrence Realization.

Sharp Performance had been under consideration for the $200,000 Jamaica on Sept. 23, but had a slight filling in one of his legs and was not entered.

Donk said he wasn't terribly disappointed by missing the 1 1/8-mile Jamaica because he really didn't want Sharp Performance to cut back in distance.

Sharp Performance finished third in the 1 1/4-mile Secretariat, a Grade 1, at Arlington Park on Aug. 18 in his last start.

The Lawrence Realization, a handicap for 3-year-olds, will be run at 1 1/2 miles on the turf. Among early probables for the Grade 3 Lawrence Realization are Berchtesgaden, Bicentennial, Megantic, Rapid Ryan, Reduit, Tiger Trap, and Whitmore's Conn. The weights will be released this weekend.

Peeping Tom ready for Forest Hills

Peeping Tom, who missed last month's Vosburgh Handicap because of a cough, blew out three furlongs in 39.02 seconds over a good Belmont turf course Thursday in preparation for Sunday's Forest Hills Handicap on dirt.

It will mark Peeping Tom's first start since the Tom Fool Handicap on July 4 when he finished last. Before the work on Thursday, Peeping Tom had breezed five furlongs in 1:00.85 out of the gate last Saturday.

"He had a nice work time-wise, and he did it the right way,'' Reynolds said earlier this week. "The cooler weather and the nice rest he had - we're hopeful he can be competitive on the same level he was running at. The only bad race he ran he got beat all of seven lengths, and he never ran a drop.''

Before his Tom Fool debacle, Peeping Tom had won the Grade 1 Carter, the Grade 2 General George Handicap, and the ungraded Toboggan.

Peeping Tom will be the starting co-highweight at 118 pounds, along with defending Forest Hills winner Delaware Township. Also expected are Disco Rico (117), Alannan (116), Hook and Ladder (114), Yonaguska (113), and possibly Bet Me Best (113).

He's Denver and Over no more

The horse now known as Heavyweight Champ was called Denver and Over when he was purchased by Keith Taylor out of the Fasig-Tipton Timonium Sale in 2000 for $675,000. That's because he was foaled on Super Bowl Sunday in 1999, when Denver whipped Atlanta, 34-19, the score of which also covered the over/under wagering line.

Tonja Terranova, wife of trainer John Terranova, told Taylor that the horse could run and he should change the name "to something good.''

* Argentina, prepping for Sunday's $100,000 Astarita Stakes, drilled three furlongs in 35.85 seconds Thursday over Belmont's main track. It was the fastest of 11 moves at the distance.

Argentina, who won her maiden on Aug. 31 at Arlington Park, will face a short field that figures to include Bella Bellucci, Forest Heiress, Madame X Ski, and Speed to Burn.

- additional reporting by David Grening