03/03/2012 2:57PM

Gulfstream: Ever So Lucky fires a bullet

Barbara D. Livingston
Ever So Lucky remains a possible Swale starter despite some setbacks.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - There were a handful of important works at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, none more so than the bullet five-eighths drill turned in by the unlucky Ever So Lucky shortly after the first renovation break. With Mario Madrid aboard, Ever So Lucky inadvertently hooked in with a Bill Mott team, zipping his opening three furlongs in 34 seconds before readily running away from his targets and completing five panels in 58.82 seconds while under some pressure coming to the wire. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.

“I really didn’t have anything in my barn suited to work with him, so I rather think it worked out well,” said trainer Jonathan Sheppard. “It gave him something to run at. Mario said he was really happy with him. He got a nice blow out of it but not to the point of getting distressed or fatigued.”

Ever So Lucky has had a couple of setbacks since shipping to south Florida earlier this winter, having to scratch out of the Hutcheson the morning of the race and then missing a scheduled work last week because of a bruised foot. Sheppard said he had hoped to make next Saturday’s Grade 2 Swale after skipping the Hutcheson, but those plans remain up in the air at this time.

“Until today, I would have definitely said no regarding the Swale because I wanted to give him two more works,” said Sheppard. “But since he worked so nicely this morning, the Swale remains a possibility. We’ll just keep our options open for now.”

Trainer Dale Romans also had two of his best out to work after the first break, Shackleford and Dullahan, both of whom went five furlongs. Shackleford completed the distance in 1:00.79, while Dullahan was clocked in 1:00.60.

Romans says Shackleford, a disappointing seventh as the tepid favorite in the Grade 1 Donn, could return in the seven-furlong Carter at Aqueduct. Dullahan remains on target for the Palm Beach, a Grade 3 on turf here next week as a prep for the Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland.

Dullahan missed several weeks of training because of a cough after working five furlongs in 1:01.40 here on Jan. 14. The morning’s breeze was his third since he got back on track.

“I don’t know if he’ll be 100-percent tight for this race, but he’s training super, going in the right direction, and it’s a good place to get him started,” said Romans in reference to the Palm Beach.

Currency Swap, winner of the Grade 1 Hopeful, continues to progress towards his 3-year-old debut. He worked a very easy five furlongs in 1:03.86 in company with Core Inflation here Saturday.

At Calder, Musical Romance, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, worked five furlongs in 1:00.60, much to the delight of trainer Bill Kaplan. Musical Romance grabbed a quarter and ripped her shoe half off right after the start of the Florida Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint, leaving her status for the Grade 2 Inside Information on March 17 in doubt.

“She looks like she’s back on track now the way she breezed this morning,” said Kaplan. “Which leaves the door open again for her making the Inside Information depending upon how she comes back and works next weekend.”

Other notable works at Calder on Saturday included Triniberg, five furlongs in 1:01 for the Swale, and Tackleberry, a bullet half in 47.20 seconds for Saturday’s Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap.