03/30/2011 5:00PM

Data Link a candidate for Blue Grass, but not Kentucky Derby

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Trainer Shug McGaughey said that Data Link will be heading to Kentucky for the Grade 1 Blue Grass shortly after the steadily improving 3-year-old worked an easy three furlongs in 38.40 seconds here at Gulfstream Park on Wednesday.

Data Link, a 3-year-old son of War Front, has won his last three starts, including a maiden special weight and entry-level allowance race here this winter. All three of those victories have come on the grass.

“He’ll ship this weekend,” said McGaughey. “I just wanted to give him an easy work this morning before he goes.”

McGaughey said he wants to give Data Link an opportunity to get over the Polytrack surface at Keeneland prior to the Blue Grass on April 16.
“He’s never even seen Polytrack before,” said McGaughey. “If he doesn’t handle it we’ll do something else.”

McGaughey said the Blue Grass is not being used as a prep for the Kentucky Derby.

“We’re not looking at the Derby with him,” said McGaughey. “I think he’s probably best on grass but we just wanted to try the synthetic and see how he did. The timing and everything else is good for this race.”

McGaughey said that Alex Solis, who has ridden Data Link in his three victories, will again have the mount if the horse runs in the Blue Grass