06/07/2017 2:01PM

Imperial Hint breezes twice prepping for comeback

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Imperial Hint may be ready to run in the Smile Sprint at Gulfstream Park on July 1.

Imperial Hint, who came down with pneumonia after shipping to Dubai in March for the $2 million Golden Shaheen on World Cup Day, is back on the Parx Racing work tab for trainer Luis Carvajal Jr.

Imperial Hint worked a slow three furlongs in 37.58 seconds on May 27 and then picked up the pace last Saturday, going a half-mile in 48.32.

“He’s doing fantastic now,” Carvajal said. “I have three works left for him, and I think he will be ready to run.”

Carvajal and owner Ray Mamone have been discussing possible comeback spots for Imperial Hint, a winner of 6 of 10 starts and $349,000. Imperial Hint has won three stakes, including the Grade 3 General George at Laurel Park in February.

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“We are about 80 percent sure we will be sending him to Gulfstream Park for the Smile Sprint,” Carvajal said.

The Grade 3 Smile Sprint has a purse of $250,000 and will be run at six furlongs July 1.

Carvajal, who has a small stable based at Parx, has won three races there recently. On May 23, he sent Malekith out for a $177.40 upset in a $5,000 claiming race. Dexter Haddock, a 10-pound apprentice, was aboard.

“The horse always cheats, so I put a bug boy up on him and told him to ride like the race was a quarter-mile,” Carvajal said.

Malekith’s victory was not the biggest upset of his career. In 2007 at Gulfstream Park, Carvajal won a $16,000 maiden-claiming race with Running Super Star, who paid $310.80.