07/26/2010 1:48PM

A Little Warm, Trappe Shot tune up for stakes at Sarartoga and Monmouth


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – A Little Warm and Trappe Shot appear ready for their close-ups.

After missing the Triple Crown series for various reasons, A Little Warm and Trappe Shot will look to join the more established colts and geldings in the chase for the 3-year-old division title when they run this weekend in separate stakes. A Little Warm will go in Saturday’s $500,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga. Trappe Shot is pointing to Sunday’s $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.

On Monday, both A Little Warm and Trappe Shot were part of a swarm of horses who put in workouts at Saratoga. That list included Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, who is headed to the Haskell.

A Little Warm, who finished second in the March 27 Louisiana Derby, did not have enough earnings to qualify for the Kentucky Derby and missed the Preakness due to illness. In his first start since the Louisiana Derby, A Little Warm returned to win a second-level allowance at Delaware Park on June 29, earning a 105 Beyer Speed Figure. He has come back with two works that have trainer Tony Dutrow supremely confident entering the Jim Dandy.

The second of those works came Monday when A Little Warm went five furlongs in 1:00.05, getting his last three furlongs in a sharp 35.47 seconds under exercise rider Tessa Bisha.

“I’m just over the moon at how this horse has gone forward since his Delaware win,” said Dutrow, who trains A Little Warm for owner/breeder Ed Evans. “I’m not naïve; I’ve been doing this a long time. Who knows what’s going to happen Saturday, but I couldn’t feel better about my horse going into the Jim Dandy, and we’ll see how he fares.”

The field for the Jim Dandy will be drawn on Wednesday. The field is expected to include Afleet Express, Aikenite, Fly Down, Steinbeck, and undefeated New York-breds Friend or Foe and Stormy’s Majesty.

Fly Down, the Dwyer winner, looked very good in a four-furlong breeze timed in 47.33 seconds Monday morning over the Oklahoma training track. Fly Down worked in company with Morning Line, starting 3 1/2 lengths behind that one and finishing three-quarters of a length in front at the finish.

Aikenite, a recent allowance winner, worked four furlongs in 48.66 while Friend or Foe went the same distance in 47.33, both over the main track.

Meanwhile, while the Haskell field is going to draw Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and Preakness winner Lookin At Lucky, the intriguing contender in the race is Trappe Shot, who has won four consecutive races, including the Long Branch. On Monday, Trappe Shot worked a solid half-mile in 48.28, drawing away from his workmate, Yankee Fortune late.

“He worked great, we’re happy,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. “We’re ready to step up and try them. We feel like we have a top horse.”

McLaughlin also will run Uptowncharlybrown in the Haskell. On Monday, Uptowncharlybrown worked four furlongs in 59.80 at Belmont.

Super Saver was among the first horses to work on a beautiful morning in Saratoga. Super Saver was scheduled to work in company with the maiden winner Heart Butte. However, the two got separated on the track, and exercise rider Patty Barry decided to work Super Saver by himself.

Super Saver was tossing his head about as he was galloping down the backside approaching the five-furlong marker. Super Saver leveled off and went in fractions of 13.08 seconds, 24.62, 35.67, and 48.27. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.51.

“That’s him, he does that a little bit,” trainer Todd Pletcher said about Super Saver’s head-tossing. “I thought once he got breezing he settled in fine. I wouldn’t have wanted him to do any more than that if he were in company so I thought it worked out fine. The track appeared to be a little more demanding before the break than it was after so it was a solid enough work.”

In California, Lookin At Lucky worked a bullet five furlongs in 58.60 at Del Mar.

Others expected for the Haskell include Afleet Again, First Dude Ice Box, and possibly Our Dark Knight.

– additional reporting by Mike Welsch