03/19/2010 11:00PM

Tempted to Tapit works, ready to ship out

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Tempted to Tapit worked five furlongs at Gulfstream Park on Saturday in preparation for Sunday?s Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Park Derby.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - While Tempted to Tapit, one of the leading 3-year-olds stabled in south Florida this winter, did not run in Saturday's Florida Derby, the Risen Star Stakes runner-up did make his presence felt during training hours earlier in the day.

Prepping for a start in the Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Park Derby on Sunday, March 28, Tempted to Tapit worked five furlongs in 1:01.51 over Gulfstream Park's main track. Breaking off from the half-mile pole under exercise rider Eric Messiah, Tempted to Tapit went his first quarter in 23.89 seconds and the half-mile in 48.08, while galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.74 and pulling up seven-eighths in 1:30.67.

Noting that Tempted to Tapit worked five furlongs in 59.90 last Sunday, trainer Steve Klesaris said he wasn't looking for anything serious Saturday.

"He's a very fit horse, I just wanted him to stretch his legs today with the rider sitting still," Klesaris said. "He's a very happy, very confident horse."

Klesaris said that Tempted to Tapit would ship to New Mexico on Tuesday and could blow out three furlongs over the track Thursday. Tempted to Tapit won a two-turn maiden race by 11 1/2 lengths over Aqueduct's inner track on Jan. 18. He then stepped up into the Grade 2 Risen Star and chased Discreetly Mine around the track while finishing second.

"From his maiden race to the Louisiana race he's really stepped up," Klesaris said. "Sometimes you go from a maiden race to a Grade 2 race you can rock their clock, he hasn't shown any of that. Quite the contrary, he's a very relaxed horse, very professional."