05/30/2011 1:51PM

Belmont Park: Awesome Feather making progress toward comeback

Barbara D. Livingston
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Awesome Feather has worked twice within six days.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Awesome Feather, the undefeated 2-year-old filly champion of 2010, took another step towards making a comeback from a bowed tendon when she worked a solid half-mile in 48.12 seconds Monday morning over Belmont Park’s main track.

It was the second work in six days for Awesome Feather, who on May 24 went three furlongs in 36.78 seconds, also at Belmont.

Now in the barn of Chad Brown, Awesome Feather still has a long way to go to prove she can make it back to the races at a high level, but so far she has impressed her new trainer.

“We’re not out of the woods yet, but so far everything looks good,” Brown said. “We’re real, real patient. She’s breezed twice, she’s gone well. We started her up, took our time, you got to be real patient with these types of injuries.”

Brown said he wouldn’t even begin to look for a race for Awesome Feather until she is further along in her training.

“Right now I’m just going work to work with her,” Brown said. “If she were to put another couple of works in a row like she did today and still look tight and sound, then I’ll probably start searching.”

As a 2-year-old, Awesome Feather went 6 for 6 for her then-owner/breeder Fred Brei and trainer Stanley Gold. She won four stakes at Calder including a sweep of the trio of Florida Stallion Series stakes before winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs by 2 1/4 lengths as the 4-1 favorite.

Two days after the Breeders’ Cup, Awesome Feather went through the sales ring at the Fasig-Tipton November auction, where she was purchased by Frank Stronach for $2.3 million. But before Awesome Feather ever got back to training, a legion was found in a tendon and she had to be taken out of training.

“It’s of the large variety,” Brown said. “For her to even get back and get a couple of works in and to be traveling as smooth as she is is encouraging. Arguably, she’s traveling better than she was. Even in the Breeders’ Cup she didn’t switch leads, she was on her left lead the whole way. Both times I worked her she switched leads on a dime and was smooth as silk. That’s a good sign. I just can’t be sure these things are going to hold. You just don’t know.”

Hilda’s Passion heads Vagrancy

Hilda’s Passion, the runner-up to Sassy Image in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff, heads a field of seven fillies and mares entered for Saturday’s Grade 2, $150,000 Vagrancy Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Hilda’s Passion, trained by Todd Pletcher, won the Grade 3 Hurricane Bertie and the Grade 2 Inside Information at Gulfstream Park during the winter before setting hot early fractions and settling for second behind Sassy Image in the Humana. She is the only graded stakes winner in the Vagrancy field.

Hilda’s Passion drew post 2 and will be ridden by Javier Castellano. As the 123-pound highweight, Hilda’s Passion will be conceding six to 10 pounds to a field that includes Kissa Melissa, Curlina, Erin Rose, Tidal Pool, and Kid Kate.