05/14/2007 11:00PM

Street Sense work 'perfect'

Michael J. Marten/Horsephotos
Street Sense works under regular rider Calvin Borel at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The game plan that Carl Nafzger used in getting Street Sense to win the Kentucky Derby apparently has an addendum.

By breezing five furlongs at Churchill Downs in 1:00 on Tuesday, the day before he was to be flown to Baltimore for the 132nd Preakness, Street Sense added another flawless chapter to his trainer's script. "Perfect," is how Nafzger described the work, just as he had unfailingly described the manner in which Street Sense had approached the May 5 Derby, which the colt won by

2 1/4 lengths in brilliant fashion.

"This is a good time for us," Nafzger told a crowd of media assembled outside his Barn 26 headquarters on the Churchill backstretch. "We're on a great roll right now. We're having fun. I just hope it keeps going."

With regular rider Calvin Borel aboard, Street Sense stepped onto the fast Churchill strip at the five-furlong gap at 7:28 a.m., then wasted little time jogging around the wrong way to midstretch. He then galloped over to the backstretch, and by the five-furlong pole he appeared to be going only a little faster than a two-minute lick.

"He was always relaxed, never charging the bit," said Nafzger.

Street Sense then proceeded through fractions of 12.60 seconds, 25, 37, 48.60, and 1:00, with a six-furlong gallop-out time of 1:12.60. Nine minutes after first entering the track, Borel and Street Sense exited at the same gap, this time with the jockey grinning from ear to ear.

"He worked super good," Borel said later.

Nafzger said he worked Street Sense five furlongs, as opposed to a shorter distance, "because I didn't think he'd get to hit his stride the way he likes to."

"He likes to just stride along," Nafzger said.

Nafzger said he believes the colt "wanted to go faster than he did, but he listened to Calvin."

"He might have gone a touch faster than I'd thought they would, but it doesn't really matter," he said. "I thought they did it just right."

Street Sense, bred and owned by Jim Tafel, will be a solid favorite in what appeared Tuesday would be a field of nine 3-year-olds when the Preakness is run Saturday at Pimlico Race Course. The colt was scheduled to be aboard a charter flight from Louisville on Wednesday, with arrival time at Baltimore-Washington International Airport scheduled for about 1:45 p.m. Eastern.

Circular Quay definitely in

The prospective field for the Preakness grew by one Tuesday when trainer Todd Pletcher, who already had planned to run the speedy King of the Roxy, confirmed that he would have a second entry - Circular Quay, the stretch-running colt who finished sixth in the Derby.

"I didn't really plan right after the Derby that the horse was going to run back in two weeks," said Pletcher. "The horse has trained very well in between. The race sets up well on paper for a


Pletcher had not finalized riding assignments as of Tuesday. John Velazquez, who rode Circular Quay in the Derby, was going to ride King of the Roxy in the Preakness, but that was before Circular Quay entered the picture. If Velazquez moves back to Circular Quay, then Garrett Gomez will ride King of the Roxy.

When Circular Quay's name was mentioned to Nafzger at Churchill, the veteran trainer replied, "He'll definitely be a formidable foe. We've run against him a few times already. He's tough."

This will be the fourth time the two have raced against each other. Prior to the Derby, they met twice at 2, with Circular Quay nipping Street Sense by a nose for second in the Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland, then Street Sense winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile by 10 lengths over runner-up Circular Quay.

Entries for the Preakness were to be drawn late Wednesday afternoon at the ESPN Zone in downtown Baltimore. Instead of the convoluted draw process that has been used in recent years for both the Derby and Preakness, officials planned to revert to the traditional blind draw.

Lukas has high expectations for Flying First Class

About 90 minutes before Street Sense worked, Preakness longshot Flying First Class was out before dawn for his final prerace drill at Churchill, getting a half-mile in 49.80 under Stacy Prior.

A gate-to-wire winner of the 7 1/2-furlong Derby Trial on April 28, Flying First Class seems to ensure a solid pace in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness, although trainer D. Wayne Lukas insisted he has no plan with the colt other than to try to win.

"We're not going for the crab cakes," said Lukas, a five-time winner of the Preakness. "We're going over there with high expectations. I think we're going to raise hell, I really do."

Barbaro to be honored

Pimlico will honor Barbaro in numerous ways throughout Preakness Week. It was in the Preakness last year that Barbaro, owned by the Lael Stable of Roy and Gretchen Jackson, suffered the injuries that led to him being euthanized in late January.

On Thursday morning at the annual Alibi Breakfast, the Special Award of Merit will be presented to his connections, including his jockey, Edgar Prado, and his surgeon and caretaker, Dr. Dean Richardson. Several specialty items will be on sale through the weekend to benefit the Barbaro Memorial Fund, including books, DVDs, and the "Riding With Barbaro" wristbands. And on Saturday, a member of a U.S. Air Force elite parachute jump team will carry from the skies into Pimlico a flag designed with the Lael Stable colors before the newly named Barbaro Stakes is run.

* The weather forecast for Saturday is good. After hitting nearly 90 on Tuesday, showers and a cooling-off period were forecast for Wednesday, with the chance of more rain Friday. On race day, however, the forecast as of Tuesday was for mostly sunny skies and a high near 80.

* Nafzger will be the featured guest on a special Preakness edition of "Across the Board" on HRTV at 6 p.m. Eastern on Thursday. Before the show starts, viewers can e-mail questions to Nafzger at comments@hrtv.com.

- additional reporting by David Grening