10/17/2009 12:00AM

Summer Bird works five furlongs

Benoit & Associates
Summer Bird's Saturday work at Santa Anita was his first since winning the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on Oct. 3. .

ARCADIA, Calif. - It was obvious by his comments on Saturday that trainer Tim Ice is not based in California.

After Summer Bird breezed five furlongs in 1:02 for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 7, Ice said a slow clocking was not a major issue.

"That's the last thing on my mind," Ice said. "If they go fast, I get mad."

Such comments do not jibe with the stopwatch-crazy mentality of California trainers. Instead, Ice is more concerned about having Summer Bird ready for the BC Classic, which will be the colt's first start on a synthetic track.

Saturday's workout was Summer Bird's first since a one-length win in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on Oct. 3, the colt's third major stakes win of the year. Earlier this year, Summer Bird won the Belmont Stakes and the Travers Stakes at Saratoga to emerge as a leader in the 3-year-old division.

Ice said Saturday's workout compared favorably with Summer Bird's other initial works on tracks such as Belmont and Saratoga. Saturday, Summer Bird breezed his last furlong in 11.60 seconds, according to official clockers, who timed him galloping out six furlongs in 1:15.80.

"He didn't look like he struggled," Ice said. "I thought he looked good down the lane."

The trainer has a different plan for the colt's next workout. Jockey Alonso Quinonez worked Summer Bird on Saturday, but regular rider Kent Desormeaux will work the colt on Oct. 25. Ice wants to conduct the workout between races.

"I want a work on the track when it's race ready," Ice said. "They say it's a little different in the afternoons."

Stevens saddles first winner

Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens saddled his first winner as a trainer with Higher Incentive in a $32,000 claiming race on the hillside turf course on Friday.

"I think I'm more emotional than I was after my first Thoroughbred win" as a rider, he said.

Stevens, 46, launched a racing stable in the summer. Higher Incentive, who races for Winning Move Stable and Winter Park Partners, was his seventh starter. She was recently transferred from trainer Gary Contessa's stable in New York.

"They thought she'd love the downhill distance," Stevens said. "She's a complete professional."

Stevens has 10 horses and hopes to expand significantly this winter. "This helps," he said of the win. "I'm trying to do it the right way. In this economy, to get new people is tough."

Stevens had his wife, Angie, and infant daughter Madison with him for Friday's race.

BC Juvenile hopefuls work

Pulsion and Dave in Dixie, second and sixth in the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes on Oct. 4, worked on Saturday in preparation for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Nov. 7.

Pulsion, second by 1 3/4 lengths to Lookin at Lucky in the Norfolk, worked five furlongs in 1:02, according to trainer Patrick Biancone.

Dave in Dixie, beaten 2 1/4 lengths, worked a half-mile in 47.60 seconds.