09/17/2011 12:43PM

Belmont Park: McLaughlin stakes runners get to work

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Tom Keyser
Rattlesnake Bridge tuned up for the Pennsylvania Derby with a four-furlong work in 49.85 seconds on Saturday at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. – While the focus around these parts is the Oct. 1 card featuring five Grade 1 races, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is hoping for more than one Super Saturday in the next month.

McLaughlin on Saturday morning put a quartet of horses through workouts at Belmont Park for upcoming stakes both here and out of town. McLaughlin waited until late in the morning – when both the main track and training tracks have less traffic – to send out his stakes horses.

Rattlesnake Bridge, runner-up in the Travers, and Trappe Shot, runner-up in the Alfred G. Vanderbilit, worked four furlongs in company in 49.85 seconds over the main track. With a bit of a headwind at the horse’s backs down the backside, the tandem went the opening quarter-mile in 23.97 seconds. They galloped out five furlongs in 1:03.07, with Rattlesnake Bridge galloping out the better of the two.

Rattlesnake Bridge is pointing to next Saturday’s $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing, while Trappe Shot is targeting the Grade 1, $350,000 Vosburgh at Belmont on Oct. 1.

“They both were kind of easing up late,” said McLaughlin, referring to exercise riders Renzo Morales on Rattlesnake Bridge and Marsha Barrs on Trappe Shot. “Rattlesnake went 47-and-2 last week, so we weren’t looking for anything too fast. It was a nice work, and Trappe Shot will work again next Saturday. All is well.”

A little while after that pair worked, McLaughlin sent out the 2-year-old filly Miss Netta for a half-mile move in 49.47. She went in company with Opening Move.

Miss Netta, a daughter of Street Sense, is pointing to the Grade 1 Frizette here Oct. 8 after winning her debut at Saratoga on Aug. 27 by 2 3/4 lengths.

“She was impressive in her race, she broke well and rushed to the lead, and waited and took off again,” McLaughlin said.

About 20 minutes after Miss Netta worked, McLaughlin and his assistant, Artie Magnuson, switched venues, going to the training track to breeze their multiple Grade 1-winning filly It’s Tricky.

In her first breeze since finishing second to Royal Delta in the Alabama, It’s Tricky went four furlongs in 50.86, going her first quarter in 25.33 and her second quarter in 25.53.

It’s Tricky looks exceptionally well for a filly whose campaign included wins in the Acorn and Coaching Club American Oaks before her second-place finish in the Alabama.

“She’s as fit as anybody in the country,” McLaughlin said. “She doesn’t miss much training and she just ran a mile and a quarter.”

It’s Tricky is being pointed to the $750,000 Cotillion at Parx on Oct. 1.

Pennsylvania Derby draw Monday

The field for the Pennsylvania Derby will be drawn Monday, following the completion of that day’s card at Parx.

In addition to Rattlesnake Bridge, others under consideration for the race are To Honor and Serve, Arthur’s Tale, Ruler On Ice, Rush Now or J W Blue, Norman Asbjornson, and Dominus or Wilburn.

At Saratoga on Saturday, To Honor and Serve worked five furlongs in 1:02.80, the fastest of 15 breezes at the distance over the Oklahoma training track.

◗ Also working at Saratoga, Forego winner Jackson Bend worked four furlongs in 49.00 seconds over the training track in preparation for a start in the Grade 2, $200,000 Kelso Stakes at Belmont on Oct. 1.