01/23/2012 6:03PM

Palm Meadows: Toby’s Corner goes by himself

Barbara D. Livingston
Toby's Corner has been Animal Kingdom's workmate but breezed alone Monday.

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - One horse who could end up a force in the handicap division before the end of the year is Toby’s Corner, who has not started since upsetting Uncle Mo in the 2011 Wood. Toby’s Corner had been the regular workmate of the recently elected 3-year-old champion Animal Kingdom until Monday when he breezed five-eighths by himself in 1:02.80 at Palm Meadows, tiring some while fighting the headwind through the stretch to complete his final three furlongs in 38.21 seconds.

“Overall I was pleased with the work,” said trainer Graham Motion. “He got a little tired, as you might expect. It’s a double-edged sword trying to decide whether to work him alone or in company. When he worked with Animal Kingdom he was a little too keen because both horses were fresh, but he can also get a little lazy without a workmate.”

Motion is targeting either the Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship on Feb. 18 or Tampa Bay Downs’ Super Stakes one week earlier for Toby’s Corner’s return. Both races are carded at seven furlongs.

“The race at Gulfstream might be a pretty tough spot, but he’s going right along now so we’ll just see how he’s doing and then make a decision,” said Motion, who added that he’s penciled in Animal Kingdom’s next work for Wednesday on the turf at Palm Meadows.

Albertrani firster scores

Trainer Tom Albertrani was accepting congratulations on Monday for his victory the previous afternoon with first-time starter Zo Impressive, who rallied to an easy victory against a well-touted field of 3-year-old maiden fillies under jockey Rajiv Maragh. Zo Impressive, a daughter of Hard Spun and Zoftig, is a half sister to Grade 1 winner Zaftig.

“Going in it looked like she might need a race,” said Albertrani. “I usually don’t get to the bottom of them for their first start. Rajiv said she was racing greenly and tossing her head from the kick back, so with a little experience I expect further improvement. I’m tempted to look at the Davona Dale but will probably come back with her in a one-other-than allowance race.”