01/09/2010 12:00AM

Einstein not done running just yet

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Barbara D. Livingston
Einstein, shown with trainer Helen Pitts aboard, has been in training in south Florida since mid-December.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - An advertisement playing on the in-house television system at Gulfstream Park on Friday afternoon talked about the newest stallion coming to Adena Springs this breeding season. That horse is Einstein.

But at the time the ad played, Einstein was a long way from the farm. In fact, the finalist for an Eclipse Award in the older male category for 2009 was standing in his stall in Barn 9 at Gulfstream, where he remains in training for a potential start in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf on Feb. 6. Einstein was purchased privately by Frank Stronach late last year.

"He got here on Dec. 16 and has been in training ever since," said Helen Pitts, who has done a masterful job orchestrating Einstein's career. "Right now the goal is the Gulfstream Turf, although nothing is etched in stone. A lot will depend on how he trains over the next month or so."

Einstein won 2 of 8 starts in 2009, including both the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap and Turf Classic at Churchill Downs. He was also second, beaten a neck by Richard's Kid, in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic. Following a disappointing and inexplicable 11th-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic, the Brazilian-bred Einstein closed out his campaign by finishing a game third in the Grade 2 Clark. Einstein, a son of Spend a Buck, has lifetime earnings of more than $2.9 million.

Pitts, who currently has just eight horses stabled locally, had her hands full jogging Einstein the wrong way around the racetrack on Friday.

"For a 7-year-old, he feels as good as any horse in the barn," said Pitts. "I still wish I had an answer for what happened to him in the Breeders' Cup. I guess he just picked the wrong time to have a bad day. But he came out of the race perfect and then bounced back with a great effort in the Clark."

Jack Brothers, who handles the season sales for Adena Springs, said on Saturday that the farm is still uncommitted as to whether Einstein will stand at stud or continue to race in 2010.

"At the moment we are keeping our options open while trying not to discourage people from booking to him this season," said Brothers. "Right now the plan is for him to run in the Gulfstream Park Turf, and then we'll make a decision after that whether he'll continue to race or go to stud this year. There will still be plenty of time for clients to book mares and for him to stand at stud for the breeding season if he's retired after that race."

Jackson Bend, Bickersons work well

Jackson Bend, among the leading 3-year-old prospects stabled in south Florida this winter, continues to progress nicely towards his 2010 debut, which is expected to come in the one-mile Holy Bull on Jan. 23. Jackson Bend breezed five furlongs in 1:00 over a fast track on Saturday at Palm Meadows, the fastest of nine works recorded at the distance.

Bickersons, who was Grade 1 placed and a stakes winner at 2, turned in the bullet half-mile work Saturday at Palm Meadows, going four furlongs in a brisk 46.40 seconds for trainer Kelly Breen.