06/02/2006 12:00AM

Steppenwolfer works for Belmont


Steppenwolfer, the third-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, zipped through six furlongs in 1:10.36 Friday morning over the Belmont Park training track in preparation for the $1 million Belmont Stakes on June 10.

Jockey Heberto Castillo Jr. was aboard for the work, which Belmont clockers timed in fractions of 12.16 seconds, 24.00, 35.65, and 47.06. Steppenwolfer galloped out seven furlongs in 1:23.73 and continued out a mile in 1:37.62.

Castillo wasn't pushing on the horse, and the horse was not blowing back at the barn.

"He did it in a way that left my mouth open," Castillo said.

The work was done over a wet track labeled good. Trainer Danny Peitz moved the work up one day because of a forecast that called for several inches of rain in New York Friday night into Saturday.

Asked if Steppenwolfer had worked as fast as that before, Peitz said, "Maybe when we bought him. It's taken me this long to get him back to where he was in the April [2005] sale."