04/23/2013 3:31PM

Churchill Downs: Fort Larned breezes for Grade 2 Alysheba

Tom Keyser
Fort Larned, last year's Breeders' Cup Classic winner, might run next in the Grade 2 Alysheba on Kentucky Oaks Day, May 3.

Fort Larned, the reigning Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, worked four furlongs in 48.80 seconds at Churchill Downs on Tuesday, his first breeze since finishing a disappointing fifth as the odds-on favorite in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap on April 13. He galloped out five-eighths in 1:01.80.

The Oaklawn Handicap was the second disappointing outing in a row for Fort Larned, who stumbled and lost rider Brian Hernandez Jr. immediately after the start of the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap five weeks earlier.

“I think he really struggled with the track out there at Oaklawn, which is unusual for him, although I don’t want to take anything away from the winner [Cyber Secret], who ran very well that day and beat us fair and square,” trainer Ian Wilkes said. “But sometimes you just have to put a line through a race and move on from there.”

Wilkes said he was pleased with Fort Larned’s work Tuesday and, if all goes well, he’ll run him in the Grade 2 Alysheba on Kentucky Oaks Day, May 3.

“I thought he went well this morning,” Wilkes said. “The horse is doing fine, although if there are any questions, I certainly won’t run him in the Alysheba.”