07/25/2011 6:16PM

Saratoga: Flat Out sharpens for Whitney


On Sunday, trainer Scooter Dickey confirmed that Flat Out, runaway winner of the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap earlier this month, would return in the Grade 1 Whitney. On Monday, Dickey felt even better about that decision after Flat Out worked five furlongs in 59 seconds and galloped out six furlongs in 1:11 under exercise rider Rafael Holgein at Monmouth Park.

“It was a real good move,” Dickey said by phone from Monmouth Park shortly after the work. “We’ve been pretty sure about going into the Whitney all along. We’ve had so much trouble with him throughout his career and I just wanted to see how he came along after his last race and how he was doing with his feet. But he’s as sound now and doing as well now as he was back when he won the Smarty Jones.”

Flat Out put himself on the Kentucky Derby trail after winning Oaklawn’s Smarty Jones by a widening 3 1/2 lengths during the winter of 2009. But after finishing fourth in the Southwest and sixth in the Arkansas Derby, Flat Out went on the sidelines for nearly eight months and would make only one start through the spring of 2011.

Flat Out made his Grade 1 debut with a sixth-place finish in the Stephen Foster Handicap on June 18 before exploding to a 6 1/2-length triumph in the Suburban.

Monday’s work was Flat Out’s second bullet drill since the Suburban. He zipped a half-mile in 47.00 at Monmouth on July 14.