04/02/2011 2:34PM

Kathmanblu breezes sharply for Ashland


Trainer Ken McPeek said he wanted to get a stiff workout into Kathmanblu on Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park and got exactly that as the four-time stakes winner drilled five furlongs in 59.03 seconds, the fastest of 18 works over Gulfstream’s main track.

Kathmanblu, unraced since taking the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds on Feb. 19, is going to make her next start in Saturday’s Grade 1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland.

In her final Ashland breeze, Kathmanblu, under jockey Alan Garcia, began her breeze about six or seven lengths behind stablemate Iwannaiwannaiwanna, a 3-year-old maiden colt, and went three furlongs in 34.72 to collar her workmate at the quarter pole. The two ran together through the lane and with significant encouragement from Garica, Kathmanblu completed the work in 24.31 seconds.

McPeek said it was not the intention for Kathmanblu to start the move that far back.

“It worked out okay, she needed somebody to get her attention the last quarter of a mile,’’ McPeek said. “She collared him by the quarter pole and pushed on past. She needed a good, deep breeze because she hadn’t run in six weeks.’’

Also working for McPeek on Saturday was his Grade 1 winner Noble’s Promise, who went three furlongs in 37 seconds. It was his first breeze since finishing fifth as the favorite in the Grade 1 Malibu at Santa Anita last December.

McPeek said he is pointing Noble’s Promise to either the Churchill Downs Handicap on Derby Day or the Aristides later in the Churchill meet.