04/04/2016 2:00PM

Mor Spirit, Songbird impress in works

Shigeki Kikkawa
Songbird, who worked five furlongs at Santa Anita on Monday, will be a heavy favorite Saturday in the Santa Anita Oaks.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Mor Spirit and Songbird, one the likely favorite for the Santa Anita Derby and the other a certain favorite for the Santa Anita Oaks, put in impressive workouts Monday at Santa Anita. The Santa Anita Derby and Santa Anita Oaks will be run Saturday.

Both were officially given half-mile times by Santa Anita’s clockers, and both had their works termed “breezing.” Of the 122 horses who worked on the main track Monday, they were the only two to have their works designated as breezing. The other 120 horses were listed as “handily.”

Mor Spirit was a troubled second in last month’s San Felipe Stakes behind Danzing Candy. They will have a rematch in the Santa Anita Derby. Mor Spirit was given an official time of 47 seconds by the clockers, who had Mor Spirit going out five furlongs in 59.80 seconds to the seven-eighths pole.

Bob Baffert, who trains Mor Spirit, had him in 59.60 seconds from the five-furlong pole to the wire. Mor Spirit worked in company, was about five lengths in arrears at the three-furlong pole, and breezed on by in the lane. Martin Garcia was up for the work, but Gary Stevens – who watched the work from the stands – has the mount Saturday.

“Beautiful,” a clearly enthused Baffert said. “That’s what I’m talkin’ about. He’s ready now.”

More than two hours earlier, just after sunrise, the unbeaten filly Songbird was timed in 46.80 seconds – the best of 58 works at the distance Monday – while appearing to be in no more than a high lope under jockey Mike Smith.

When Smith rode her past the grandstand after the work, he turned toward trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who was sitting in the stands, took both hands off the reins, and flashed two thumbs up.

Hollendorfer, who watched the work from near the eighth pole, had Songbird in 46.42 seconds, but his vantage point didn’t give him the same view as the official clockers, who sit right on the finish line. Songbird looms a heavy favorite when she goes for her seventh win Saturday.

“She did that nice and easy,” Hollendorfer said. “Smooth and easy, as usual.”

Hollendorfer said Songbird has matured physically this spring.

“We’ve all thought working with her this year that she’s stronger,” Hollendorfer said, referring to observations made by him and assistant Dan Ward.

Entries will be taken and posts drawn for the Santa Anita Derby and Santa Anita Oaks on Wednesday.

JeffreyBurke18 More than 1 year ago
Songbird will be exactly where a woman needs to be, in the kitchen, NOT using steel wool to clean my TFAL. Make me pot pie, Silly Rabbit, Kentucky Derby for Colts.
James Grisby More than 1 year ago
Jim Fields More than 1 year ago
I've been involved in racing for almost seventy years, and the difference between breezing and handily seems undefinable, maybe class makes it look easier or breezier.  It is interesting that Songbird's connections don't succumb to the greatness of the Kentucky Derby.  It increases my respect for that team, but, wow, she's going to run the day before.  I guess we can all compare times.
Tim More than 1 year ago
Songbird really ought to go into the Kentucky Derby instead of the Oaks.
john g More than 1 year ago
The owner has made his feelings widely known, and with good reason is against running her against the boys in the 20 Derby cavalry charge.
Chuck Seddio More than 1 year ago
derby is a tough race with 20,tough for a filly but the preakness , i will guarantee she is headed after her oaks win and a mediocre groujp of males this year
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
I wish they had a Preakness future bet!
J Vette More than 1 year ago
John is correct, why would S.A. do anything to benefit the horse players who have been supporting racing for 40-50 years or more, & if they do put her in the P-6, there be be at least 2 garbage races in that P-6....
brian More than 1 year ago
Every think that the reason only 2 out of 122 that got the 'breezing' designation was because the 2's names were Mor Spirit and Songbird? Seems like the star status influences the designation  to me and thus should be taken with a grain of salt....
TRacingLifeMore More than 1 year ago
Workouts and workout times should not be taken so seriously in general, unless you are there and can see with your own eyes how the horse traveled and finished.
John More than 1 year ago
I have a feeling they wont put Songbirds race in the Pick 6 sequence . Although, it would get people buying some of the other races when they might not go that deep !