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Invasor back to work for Suburban
ELMONT, N.Y. - Invasor, the defending Horse of the Year, breezed four furlongs in 50.84 seconds Wednesday morning at Belmont Park, his first timed workout since winning the Dubai World Cup on March 31.
"He's doing great," trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. "Just an easy half-mile."
Invasor is pointing to the Grade 1, $400,000 Suburban Handicap here on June 30. Invasor won the Suburban last year, one of four Grade 1 victories he recorded en route to Horse of the Year honors.
McLaughlin did not back off on Invasor after he returned from Dubai. He had been galloping strongly for about a month before returning to the work tab.
"I did feel like he lost about 50 to 75 pounds right off the plane," McLaughlin said. "I thought he lightened up a little bit, which is par for the course. But four days later he looked great again."
Wednesday's breeze was the first of about six works Invasor will have before the Suburban.
"We won't work him every week because he gallops very strong," McLaughlin said. "He'll have five more works before he runs."
Sightseeing confirmed for Peter Pan
After briefly flirting with the idea of running Sightseeing in the Preakness, trainer Shug McGaughey has decided to stick with his original plan and point his 3-year-old to the Peter Pan here on May 20.
On Tuesday, Sightseeing, who finished second in the Wood Memorial, worked six furlongs in 1:12.87 on Tuesday over Belmont's main track.
"I worked him hard enough where if I decided to run in the Preakness I could have," said McGaughey, who noted that Sightseeing galloped out a mile in just under 1:40. "As of right now, I'm not planning to run in the Preakness."
McGaughey doesn't believe Sightseeing is mentally prepared for the large crowd that shows up at Pimlico on Preakness Day.
"To take him down there in front of all those people, I just think right now he's not ready for it," McGaughey said. "My main objective is the Jim Dandy, two turns on that track up there. I think he's maturing all the time, but he's still got a ways to go."
The 1 1/8-mile Jim Dandy will be run July 29 at Saratoga.
Boca Grande, the McGaughey-trained winner of the Grade 2 Comely on April 14, worked four furlongs in 49.89 seconds on Wednesday as she prepares for the Grade 1 Acorn on Belmont Day, June 9.
Anew, Songster return in Bold Ruler
Anew and Songster, who both won graded stakes here on Belmont Stakes Day last year, are expected to make their seasonal debuts in Saturday's Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap at six furlongs.
Anew, who capped a four-race winning streak by taking the Grade 2 True North against older sprinters, has been off since last Aug. 6, when he finished sixth of seven in the Teddy Drone Stakes at Monmouth Park. He stumbled at the start of that race and cut his foot, which precipitated a layoff.
Toby Sheets, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen, said he attempted to enter Anew in a starter handicap several times, but the race wouldn't fill.
"I would have liked a much easier spot, but it's not happening," Sheets said.
After working a bullet five furlongs in 59.80 seconds on April 23, Anew has breezed two easy half-miles, including a work in 50.84 on Monday.
Songster, who won the Grade 2 Woody Stephens for 3-year-olds last June, has been off since running fifth in the Grade 1 King's Bishop last Aug. 26. In the interim, he has switched barns from Tom Albertrani to Saeed bin Suroor. That coincided with the transfer from Darley Stable to Godolphin.
Songster has worked 16 times since Jan. 4, most of the works at the Payson Park training center.
"He trained well, pretty straight forward," said Rick Mettee, who oversees Godolphin's New York string. "Might be a small field and hopefully a good spot for him. He won a group race over this track, so hopefully he likes it."
Others planning to run in the Bold Ruler are Pave, Dashboard Drummer, and Executive Search. High Finance is possible.
Dave to return in Kingston
Dave will seek a repeat victory in the Kingston Handicap when the 6-year-old gelding makes his seasonal debut in the $100,000 turf stakes for New York-breds here Sunday.
On Wednesday, Dave worked six furlongs in 1:15.54 out of the gate. John Velazquez was aboard for the work and will ride him on Sunday. Dave has not run since finishing second in the John Henry Stakes last October at the Meadowlands.
"I wanted to make sure he was fit enough; Johnny worked him and he thought he was fit enough," trainer Barclay Tagg said. "I'll know more if he cleans up his feed and comes out bouncing, but I'm planning on running. He had some time off this winter and I hate to run him short in a race that tough, but he's doing real good and seems real happy."
Dave was assigned 116 pounds for the Kingston, four fewer than Certifiably Crazy, who is also returning from a layoff in that spot. Others expected for the nine-furlong race are Red Zipper, Chestertown Slew, Classic Pack, Dreamin of Victory, Oedipus O'Neal, and Log Jam.
Lawyer Ron on target for Met Mile
Lawyer Ron drilled five furlongs in 59.87 seconds Wednesday morning over Belmont Park's main track as he prepares for a start in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap on May 28.
The work was the fastest of five timed breezes at the distance Wednesday morning. Lawyer Ron is coming off a victory in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Park Handicap on April 7.
"He came out of the race very well," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "He trained well at Keeneland since then; this was his first work at Belmont. We're right on schedule for the Met."
Pletcher said that Magna Graduate, who won the Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap at Aqueduct on April 7, would likely make his next start in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs on June 16.
Sinister G euthanized
Sinister G, winner of the Grade 2 Lane's End Stakes at Turfway Park in 2004, died Tuesday due to complications from colic, his owner, John Toscano III, said Wednesday. Sinister G was 6.
According to Toscano, Sinister G began to colic Tuesday night and was rushed from his Delaware Park barn to the New Bolton equine hospital in Pennsylvania.
"He had a twisted colon and a ruptured bowel," said Toscano, who trained the horse early in his career before giving him to Scott Lake. "He was too far gone and they couldn't save him."
Sinister G, a son of Matty G, won 8 races from 37 starts and banked $599,469.
Bustin Stones takes Screenland
Bustin Stones ($3.20) improved to 3 for 3 lifetime by withstanding pace pressure from Indian Camp, then pulling away in the stretch for a 3 1/4-length victory over that rival in the $66,750 Screenland Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds. Chief's Lake finished third.
Bustin Stones, a son of City Zip, covered 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.20 under Edgar Prado. He is trained by Bruce Levine and owned by Roddy Valente.