08/21/2011 2:08PM

Saratoga: King's Bishop prospect Flashpoint works under the radar at Aqueduct

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Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Flashpoint, easy winner of the Jersey Shore at Monmouth Park, will leave New York on Monday to travel upstate to Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.-  While Uncle Mo has captured most of the attention and been squarely in the spotlight as he works his way up to his much anticipated return in Saturday’s Grade 1 King’s Bishop at Saratoga, trainer Wesley Ward has taken just the opposite approach preparing Flashpoint for the same race.

Flashpoint has trained throughout the summer along with the rest of Ward’s New York based stable in the relative anonymity of Aqueduct,  culminating a series of sharp works for the King’s Bishop with a five-furlong drill under exercise rider Amanda Casey timed in 1:00.03 by track clockers on Sunday morning. Flashpoint, who was transferred to Ward’s barn shortly after his fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Florida Derby, is undefeated and as yet untested at distances of seven furlongs or less having won all three of his one-turn starts, including the Grade 2 Hutcheson and Grade 3 Jersey Shore.

“I just wanted a maintenance drill and he was just cruising as easy as a horse can do it,” Ward said by phone from Aqueduct shortly after Flashpoint had completed his work. “I originally had planned to work him on Saturday but pushed it back a day because the track was muddy and not up to its usual high standard. I gave up my summer at Saratoga for the Big A because of the surface of the track, which has been beautiful the whole time we’ve been down here.”

Sunday’s work was Flashpoint’s fourth since his seven-length victory over a muddy track in Monmouth Park’s six-furlong Jersey Shore on July 3.

“I’m really excited about bringing him up there for the King’s Bishop,” said Ward. “I know there’s going to be a lot of other speed in the race but he’s pretty fast too. He’s been sitting off his regular work mate Judy the Beauty, giving her a three- to four-length head start in his three previous works, and proven to be a very manageable horse, so he doesn’t necessarily need the lead. A lot of our strategy will depend upon the post position and the break.”

Ward said Flashpoint will van to Saratoga on Monday evening.

Judy the Beauty, an undefeated 2-year-old  filly by Ghostzapper, also worked Sunday at Aqueduct, breezing five furlongs in 1:01.32 according to  track clockers. Judy the Beauty is being pointed to the Grade 1 Spinaway here on Sept. 4.                

“It’s a lot of fun just to watch the two of them work together,” said Ward. “Flashpoint will spot Judy the Beauty three of four lengths, pounce on her at the eighth pole and then the two of them will take off like rocket ships as soon as he gets on her and really take off the final quarter-mile through the wire and galloping out to the mile pole. She’s absolutely on target and ready to run and I’ve got a lot of confidence in both horses going into their races up there.”