02/06/2010 12:00AM

Presious Passion back at the track

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Benoit & Associates
Presious Passion last raced at Calder in the Dec. 26 W. L. McKnight. He is back in training after being given a winter break.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - No horse is easier to spot or more enjoyable to watch train in the morning than Presious Passion, who put on quite a show on a regular basis in the mornings leading up to his second-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita.

As a result, no horse had been more conspicuous by his absence during training hours last month than Presious Passion, who finally returned to the track last week after being given a much-deserved hiatus by trainer Mary Hartmann.

"Originally I was going to give him 10 days off, but I recalculated our schedule and decided to give him a little extra time," said Hartmann, who trains the multiple Grade 1 winner Presious Passion for owner Patricia Generazio. "His layoff also coincided with my assistant Fernando Espinosa's vacation. He's Presious Passion's regular exercise rider, and to be honest this horse gets a little moody when he's not on him."

Part of the attraction between horse and rider is the fact Espinosa spends so much time with his big horse each and every morning on the track.

"Other exercise riders just don't have the time to spend with him because of their schedules," Hartmann explained. "Fernando has spoiled him. He spends about 45-50 minutes with him each day. They go out around 7:45 a.m. and are the last ones off the track each morning before the break at 8:30."

Hartmann is targeting the Grade 3 Mac Diarmida at a 1 3/8 miles on Feb. 27 for Presious Passion's return with the main goal the Dubai Sheema Classic on March 27. Presious Passion is coming off a disappointing fifth-place finish in Calder's Grade 2 W. L. McKnight Handicap on Dec. 26.

"He doesn't need to work more than once before his race," said Hartmann. "He gets enough out of his gallops in the morning. I'll let him go a good mile at a clip, a little faster than he normally gallops, in about a week or so."

Wolfson explains scratch

Trainer Marty Wolfson said he scratched You and I Forever from Saturday's Grade 1 Donn Handicap simply because he did not want to run against Quality Road again. You and I Forever finished second behind Quality Road in the Hal's Hope on opening day.

"I would have run him if Quality Road scratched, and I stayed in as long as I could, although to be honest I think a mile is my horse's best distance, not a mile and one eighth," Wolfson explained.

Wolfson said You and I Forever would return going a mile in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap on March 13.

Noble's Promise has local work

Noble's Promise, who finished third just a half-length behind Vale of York in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, had his first work since his arrival here last week from California, going an easy three furlongs in 37 seconds on Saturday. He was joined on the tab by two other notable 3-year-olds, Williams Kitten and Homeboykris, the third- and fifth-place finishers respectively in the Grade 3 Holy Bull.

William's Kitten worked four furlongs in 48.15 seconds, with Homeboykris covering the same distance in 47.95. Both could return in the Fountain of Youth on Feb. 20.