Updated on 08/27/2010 11:47AM

Blame has first workout since Whitney upset

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Barbara D. Livingston
Blame will make his next start in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. − Trainer Albert Stall was planning to return Whitney Handicap winner Blame to the worktab Saturday. Blame had other ideas.

Believing Blame was a bit too full of himself, Stall called an audible and worked Blame an easy half-mile in 50.50 seconds Thursday morning over the Oklahoma training track. Under exercise rider Randi Melton, Blame went his first quarter in 25.51 seconds and his second quarter in 24.99. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:04.57.

“He just said he was ready,” Stall said. “He’s been galloping strong. He was acting too fresh around the barn. I just wanted to take the edge off him. We caught a nice track and a nice day. He’s in really good shape. I’m thrilled to death with him.”

It was Blame’s first work since he upset Quality Road by a head in the Grade 1 Whitney on Aug. 7, his fifth consecutive victory and seventh from his last eight starts. Blame will make his next start in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on Oct. 2.

Stall said Blame would remain in Saratoga, where he will probably have one more work, before being flown to his Keeneland base most likely a few days after the Travers. Stall said he doesn’t mind keeping Blame in Saratoga that long, especially given the ideal weather conditions.

“We know what it’s like in other parts of the country,” said Stall, referring to the sweltering heat in Kentucky. “He’s always done well here, and he’s doing great.”