08/22/2009 11:00PM

Summer Bird looks sharp in drill

Barbara D. Livingston
Although Summer Bird's first Saratoga workout on Aug. 15 (above) may not have been his best, he was sharper Saturday when working five furlongs in 1:00.91 for this weekend's Travers.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Tim Ice was already feeling good about his 3-year-old Summer Bird's chances in next week's $1 million Travers Stakes. But the trainer's confidence level ratcheted up a notch after watching the Belmont Stakes winner work a solid five furlongs in 1:00.91 early Saturday morning over a muddy Saratoga strip.

Even though Ice was satisfied with Summer Bird's five-furlong work last week, he was encouraged to see the pattern that has developed with this horse continue. That is, his second work at a new track is better than the first.

Preferring to get his work in earlier than later, Ice sent Summer Bird to the track when it first opened at 5:30 Saturday morning. Rather than warm the colt up with a pre-work gallop as he did last week, jockey Kent Desormeaux backed Summer Bird up to the eighth pole before heading off the right way to get into his work.

Track clockers caught Summer Bird's first quarter in 24.62 seconds and three furlongs in 36.68, meaning he got his last quarter in 24.23. Clockers caught him galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.50.

"He worked awesome this morning," Ice said. "I thought it was an excellent work. He looked good. Kent came back very excited. He's coming into this race great."

Last week, Summer Bird worked five furlongs in 1:01.84, a work Ice labeled as "so-so." But it was similar to his first works at Belmont Park when he arrived five weeks early for the Belmont Stakes and at Monmouth Park when he arrived early enough to get three works over that course prior to the Haskell Invitational.

"It's just more him, that's why we try to bring him in where we can get two or three works over a track, because his first work is not always going to be his best," Ice said. "But everything that I saw today, I feel very confident coming up to next week."

Summer Bird's first work here came 13 days after he ran hard to be second to Rachel Alexandra in the Haskell. Ice believes Summer Bird may have still been feeling the effects of that effort.

"His first week back, he's a little tired coming off the race," Ice said. "I think it's a combination of both as far as him being able to get a feel for the track and him just coming back up to himself where his energy level is getting higher."

Ice said Summer Bird would likely get two days off before returning to the track Tuesday.

Our Edge on edge for Travers

Nick Zito will be making his ninth appearance in the Travers in the last 10 years - and 16th appearance overall - when he sends out the longshot Our Edge in the Midsummer Derby. While Our Edge is likely to be the longest shot on the board, he enters the race on a three-race winning streak and coming off two consecutive bullet workouts.

The second of those works came Saturday, when Our Edge drilled five furlongs in 59.55 seconds over the Oklahoma training track under exercise rider Maxine Correa.

Our Edge, a son of 2004 Travers runner-up The Cliff's Edge, has won three consecutive races, including the Grade 3 Barbaro Stakes by seven lengths last month at Delaware Park.

"It'll be a hard thing to do," said Zito, who won the 2004 Travers with Birdstone. "The only reason I'm a little reserved is you got the Derby winner [Mine That Bird], the Belmont winner [Summer Bird], the Jim Dandy winner [Kensei], plus the Florida Derby winner [Quality Road]. I think the word is ambitiously placed. We like running in the big races, we'll try the impossible again."

Zito is assuming owner Jess Jackson will run Kensei as opposed to Rachel Alexandra, the superstar filly who also is being considered for the race. No final decision on those two horses has been made.

Meanwhile, Mine That Bird jogged two miles for the second straight day. Trainer Chip Woolley opted to forego a gallop over the muddy main track.

Cat Moves points to Cotillion

Cat Moves, winner of the Grade 1 Prioress at six furlongs, will attempt to stretch out around two turns in the $750,000 Fitz Dixon Cotillion at Philadelphia Park on Oct. 3. The Cotillion is run at 1 1/16 miles.

Cat Moves finished third as the favorite in the Grade 1 Test here Aug. 8, but emerged from the race with a bruised foot.

"We put an aluminum pad over that abscess and she seems just great, so we're going to try and stretch her two turns in the Cotillion," trainer Tony Dutrow said. "We know how to win that race."

Dutrow won the Cotillion last year with Seattle Smooth, who upset Proud Spell.

Speaking of the Grade 1-winning Seattle Smooth, she is 40 days into a 60-day freshening at Aqueduct. Dutrow said Seattle Smooth may return to light training in mid-September. She is not expected to run again this year, and Dutrow said an early-season target for 2010 is the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn in April.

* Two days after trainer George Weaver won three races on one card, Tony Dutrow followed suit, winning three races from four starters on Saturday.

Dutrow won the third with Three in the Bag ($7.20), the fifth with Happy Bull ($10), and the seventh with Winslow Homer ($4.30). Dutrow's only loser on the day was Cat Day, who finished sixth in the sixth race.

Dutrow now has seven winners this meet, putting him a tie for fifth with Kiaran McLaughlin.