04/07/2011 2:03PM

Sway Away works, may add blinkers for Arkansas Derby

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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Trainer Jeff Bonde said Sway Away will most likely add blinkers for the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 16 after he breezed six furlongs in the equipment Thursday morning at Oaklawn Park.

Sway Away covered the distance in 1:12.60, under jockey Luis Quinonez. Patrick Valenzuela has the mount in the Arkansas Derby.

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Sway Away is one of at least three Arkansas Derby candidates expected to add blinkers for the 1 1/8-mile race. Elite Alex worked in the equipment Wednesday and will race in them for the first time, while J P’s Gusto will also add blinkers for the Arkansas Derby.

“We’re considering putting blinkers on,” Jeff Bonde, who trains Sway Away, said on Thursday. “He’s worked in them a few times. More than likely he will [race in them].”

Sway Away was second to The Factor in the Grade 2 San Vicente in February, then finished a troubled sixth in the Grade 2, $300,000 Rebel at Oaklawn in March. He breezed first after the renovation break Thursday, with clockers carrying him through fractions of 12.80 seconds for the opening eighth of a mile, 24.60 for the first quarter, 36.80 for three furlongs, 49.40 for the half-mile and 1:01 for five furlongs. He galloped out seven furlongs in 1:25.