04/08/2013 3:46PM

Aqueduct: West Hills Giant shows readiness for Blue Grass

Email
Michael Amoruso
West Hills Giant, en route to running second in the Gotham, missed the Wood but will run in the Blue Grass at Keeneland.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - West Hills Giant, the runner-up in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes here on March 2, appears fully recovered from the respiratory infection that forced him to miss a workout a few weeks ago and last Saturday’s $1 million Wood Memorial.

On Monday, West Hills Giant drilled five furlongs in 1:00.47 on the Belmont training track under exercise rider Simon Harris, and later that afternoon was put on a van bound for Lexington, Ky., and Saturday’s Blue Grass Stakes.

“This work was going to determine if he was going to the Blue Grass,” said Tonja Terranova, assistant trainer to her husband, John. “Simon was very, very impressed with him.”

[BLUE GRASS STAKES: Get Keeneland PPs, watch video previews]

West Hills Giant began his work about six lengths behind the 3-year-old maiden Rock Show. After working three furlongs in 37.36 seconds, West Hills Giant tipped outside at the quarter pole, overtook his workmate inside the eighth pole, and finished about eight or nine in front at the wire, getting his final quarter in 23.11 seconds.

“We just wanted to give him a target,” Terranova said. “In the Gotham, he was cruising on the lead but Jose [Espinoza] thought he lost interest until Vyjack went by him.”

Espinoza will ride West Hills Giant in the Blue Grass.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]