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Super Saver, Drosselmeyer tune up for Haskell, Jim Dandy
ELMONT, N.Y. – With the unofficial start to the second half of the season less than a month away, many of the locally-based 3-year-olds began picking up their training over the weekend in preparation for races such as the Haskell Invitational and Jim Dandy.
On Sunday, about 3 1/2-hours apart, Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and Belmont Stakes winner Drosselmeyer – both owned by WinStar Farm – put in workouts over the main track. Also on Sunday, up-and-coming 3-year-olds Trappe Shot and Friend or Foe breezed.
At 5:30 a.m. Sunday, Super Saver, unraced since finishing eighth in the Preakness Stakes on May 15, worked five furlongs in 1:00.10, his most serious move to date and the fastest of 22 drills at the distance. Super Saver is targeting the $1 million Haskell at Monmouth on Aug. 1.
“We were wanting to pick it up a little bit,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “Going from the Preakness to the Haskell, there’s plenty of time in between races. We want to make sure he’s fit and ready to go. Mostly, he did it on his own. He showed enthusiasm, he was into the bridle and not rank, finished up well, and galloped out strongly. We’re happy with where we are with him.”
Later in the morning, after the renovation break, Drosselmeyer put in his first work since winning the Belmont on June 5, going four furlongs in 49.46 seconds. Drosselmeyer is pointing to the $500,000 Jim Dandy on July 31 at Saratoga.
“We just wanted to let him cruise around there and get him on a good work schedule for I guess the Jim Dandy,” said Leana Willaford, the assistant trainer to Bill Mott. “We gave him a little time after the Belmont. For him, he’s been training forwardly, though he’s not a fantastic work horse. If we want a little more from him, we generally put him in company.”
As he did in his work before the Belmont Stakes, Drosselmeyer did breeze in bar shoes as a precaution. Mott had previously said that the sand-based nature of the main track had created some issues for Drosselmeyer.
Friend or Foe, the undefeated New York-bred who improved to 3 for 3 when he won the Mike Lee Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths on June 20, worked four furlongs in 47.64 seconds over the training track, the fastest of 39 at the distance. He will take on open company and attempt two turns for the first time in the Jim Dandy.
“I got to try,” said John Kimmel, who trains Friend or Foe for owners Chester and Mary Broman. “All the little indicators are he should be able to go a little further; not only based on his pedigree, but the way the horse trains.”
Trappe Shot, who has won three consecutive sprint races for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, worked four furlongs in 47.86 seconds on Sunday. He will make his two-turn debut in Saturday’s Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth.
Aikenite, winner of a first-level allowance on June 19, worked four furlongs in 48.68 seconds Monday and is targeting the Jim Dandy. Exhi, who like Aikenite and Super Saver is trained by Pletcher, is being pointed to the $750,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer on Aug. 7. Exhi has won four consecutive stakes on synthetic surfaces since finishing 15 lengths behind Odysseus when second in a Feb. 17 allowance race on dirt at Tampa Bay.
No plans for Haynesfield
Haynesfield earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 105 for his 2 3/4-length victory in Saturday’s Grade 2 Suburban Handicap, but his connections are at least a week away from deciding what to do next with the New York-bred colt.
The Grade 1 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 7 would have to be considered a possible spot, but Toby Sheets, the Belmont Park-based assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen, said Monday that discussions on where the horse would run next won’t be had until after the colt works back next Monday.
“That might make a difference in what we discuss,” said Sheets, who added the horse came out of the work in good order.
Sheets said he was pleased with Haynesfield’s performance adding “it puts us into a new picture, hopefully.”
Haynesfield, who is 8 for 11, has now won the Grade 3 Discovery and Grade 2 Suburban.
Convocation, the Suburban runner-up, could be pointed to the Fourstardave on turf, according to Stephen Carr, manager of horse operations for Centennial Farms. Carr said Convocation would be nominated to the Whitney on Aug. 7, but that he didn’t want to face Quality Road.
Meanwhile, I Want Revenge, who finished third in the Suburban, his first start in 15 months, would not be pointed to the Whitney, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said. Dutrow did not have a next spot figured out, but was intrigued with the timing and distance of the Grade 3, $300,000 Philip Iselin at Monmouth Park on Aug. 21. The Iselin is a two-turn, 1 1/8-mile race.
Repole Stable on major roll
Owner Mike Repole has heated up the like the weather, winning with four of his last five starters at this meet to move into a four-way tie for third in the owner standings.
Repole won two races on Thursday with Stopspendingmaria and Driven by Success, and single races on Friday with Nonna Mia and Saturday with Zone Breaker. Repole, who did not have a starter on July 4 or 5, has 7 wins from 26 starters at the meet.
Stopspendingmaria is a 2-year-old daughter of Montbrook who rebounded from a third-place finish at Monmouth on June 5 to win by seven lengths here, running 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.73 and earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 93. Pletcher is pointing her to the Schuylerville or Adirondack at Saratoga.
Driven by Success has won two straight allowance races and is being pointed to Morrissey Stakes for New York-breds at Saratoga on Aug. 5.
Repole will try to keep his hot streak going on Wednesday with Gambling Geraldine, a 2-year-old half-sister to Driven by Success who Repole named after his grandmother, Geraldine, who died when Repole was 14 months old.
Repole told a story that his grandmother gambled away $3,000 his parents had entrusted to her to pay for their wedding.
“When it was time to pay for the wedding my dad had to borrow money from friends, cousins, whoever,” Repole said.
Pletcher said that Gambling Geraldine has shown good speed in the mornings typical of her half-brother and the colt’s sire, Wildcat Heir.