06/17/2013 3:52PM

Belmont Park: Eblouissante getting closer to return

Shigeki Kikkawa
Eblouissante worked five furlongs in 1:01.44 on Monday as she readies for her first start since January.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Eblouissante, the younger half-sister to champion Zenyatta, worked a solid five furlongs in 1:01.44 on Monday at Belmont Park, and trainer John Shirreffs believes his filly is one work away from a return to the races.

Eblouissante has not raced since winning a first-level allowance event on Jan. 17 at Santa Anita, her second victory in as many starts.

For the second straight week, Eblouissante worked in company with the 5-year-old male Tiz Gianni. With very little run up to the five-furlong pole, the pair went their first eighth-mile in 13.38 seconds. The tempo quickened from there, with the quarter in 25.66, three-eighths in 37.39, and a final quarter of 24.05, with Eblouissante edging clear by about three lengths.

Eblouissante galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.12 and seven-eighths in 1:27.34.

“She worked really well,” Shirreffs said. “She’s probably one work away from me feeling comfortable running her. She worked exactly the same this week as she did last week, maybe a little bit better.”

Though there is an overnight stakes in the condition book for Sunday that fits Eblouissante, Shirreffs said he isn’t pointing her to that race.

“I don’t think so,” he said. “Today, I just wanted to see how fit she was. It looked like she galloped out pretty strong, so she looks like she’s pretty fit.”

Shirreffs said he is pointing Mr. Commons to the Grade 3, $150,000 Poker Handicap here July 4. Mr. Commons was entered in the June 7 Jaipur but scratched when that race was taken off the turf and moved to the main track due to rain.