01/13/2011 5:39PM

Fly Down sharpens up for Donn Handicap

Barbara D. Livingston
Fly Down remains on target for his 2011 debut in the Feb. 5 Donn Handicap.

Trainer Nick Zito remains delighted with the way Fly Down has trained since shipping to south Florida shortly after his third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. On Thursday, Fly Down continued preparations for his 2011 debut by working a half-mile in 48.60 at Palm Meadows.

“He’s right on schedule for his next start with the Donn right on top of the list,” said Zito referring to the Grade 1 Donn on Feb. 5. “I’m very happy with what he’s been doing this winter and really looking forward to his next start. You know me, I’m always defending my horses, but if Fly Down hadn’t gotten in trouble in the Classic he would have been a lot closer to Blame and Zenyatta. As it was, he wore down Lookin At Lucky for third and we have to be happy with that.”

Zito also reported that Morning Line came out of his third-place finish in last Saturday’s Grade 3 Hal’s Hope in good order and is also a candidate for the Donn.

“The race didn’t shape up the way we expected. We didn’t expect him to be on the lead like that,” said Zito. “I salute the winner, he was good that day, and I think we’ll move forward off the race. I’m proud of my horse, especially the way he was fighting back at the end.”

Dutrow 3-year-olds work together

Trainer Rick Dutrow sent out his top 3-year-old prospect, Boys At Tosconova, and his multiple Grade 1-placed mare Amen Hallelujah to work six furlongs in company here Thursday. With exercise rider Michelle Nevin aboard, Boys At Tosconova broke off approximately seven lengths behind his workmate, then drew even midway on the turn. The pair continued as a team before Amen Hallelujah, with Leparoux aboard, ultimately edged two lengths clear at the wire.

Boys At Tosconova was credited with working six furlongs in 1:13.40 and Amen Hallelujah the same distance in 1:14.40. Boys At Tosconova is scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut in the Grade 3 Holy Bull with Amen Hallelujah expected to return one week earlier in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint.

◗ Defending riding champion Paco Lopez was the star here Wednesday, winning four races, two each on the turf and the dirt. Included among Lopez’s four-bagger was an upset aboard the 17-1 Trix in the City for trainer Rick Violette in the featured eighth race.

◗ There will be racing here Monday, normally a dark day, in honor of Martin Luther King’s birthday. The nine-race card will begin at the regular post time of 12:55 p.m. Eastern.