05/28/2007 11:00PM

Imawildandcrazyguy works before shipping

Email

Imawildandcrazyguy ran perhaps the best race of his life when closing strongly to finish fourth in the Kentucky Derby, a performance that convinced his trainer, Bill Kaplan, to try for the longer Belmont Stakes.

While precious few are willing to take on Curlin, Hard Spun, and possibly Street Sense, Imawildandcrazyguy will be part of the field for the 139th Belmont on June 9. On Tuesday at Calder, he turned in his penultimate drill for that race, which was officially timed in 1:03.60 for five furlongs.

The prospective Belmont field was shortened by one Tuesday, when the connections of Chelokee officially removed him from consideration, which they had said all along was the likeliest scenario following his victory in the Barbaro Stakes 10 days earlier. And at Churchill Downs, Derby winner Street Sense galloped the day before his first scheduled workout since a second-place finish to Curlin in the Preakness.

Daily Racing Form timed Imawildandcrazyguy going a half-mile in 50.74 seconds, and galloping out five furlongs in 1:03.67. Jockey Juan Leyva was aboard, but Mark Guidry, who rode Imawildandcrazyguy in the Derby, will be back aboard for the Belmont.

Working over a fast but cuppy track, Imawildandcrazyguy was timed by Daily Racing Form in fractions of 13.08 seconds, 26.06, and 38.36. He was in hand early, finished nicely, and galloped out with good energy around the turn.

Kaplan said Imawildandcrazyguy was acting so strong that he was compelled to work him Tuesday.

"I took him out at 5:30 and walked him," Kaplan said. "The plan was to give him an easy day today, travel on Wednesday, and gallop him at Belmont on Thursday. I didn't want to work him because he's already very fit. But he made me do it. He was kicking the walls down later in the morning, rearing up, and throwing himself around the stall, so I figured I better work him before he hurt himself."

Imawildandcrazyguy was scheduled to fly to New York on Wednesday along with stablemates Storm in May and Emma's Candy.

Chelokee is heading to the Northern Dancer Stakes on June 16 at Churchill Downs, according to Don Little Jr., whose Centennial Farms partnership owns Chelokee.

Street Sense galloped 1 1/4 miles on Tuesday. He was scheduled for a workout Wednesday, after which trainer Carl Nafzger said he would discuss a possible Belmont start with owner Jim Tafel.

"This will be a work we can go either way with," Nafzger said. "Whatever Mr. Tafel's decision is, we can come off of that work and go either way. He's doing good and he's getting around there okay, but you've just got to see where you are."

Curlin walked at trainer Steve Asmussen's Churchill Downs barn on Tuesday, one day after his first post-Preakness work.

- additional reporting by David Grening and Mike Welsch