08/28/2010 3:24PM

Vineyard Haven ready for Forego


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Vineyard Haven likely solidified his role as the favorite for Saturday’s Grade 1 Forego after working an impressive six furlongs in 1:12.39 under the cover of darkness here early Saturday morning.

Working shortly after the track opened at 5:30 a.m., Vineyard Haven broke off at the six-furlong pole and after covering his opening quarter-mile and three furlongs in 25.29 and 37.10, really picked up the pace upon entering the stretch. The 4-year-old son of Lido Palace was put to pressure leaving the furlong pole, completing his final three-eighths in 35.29 before galloping out seven furlongs in 1:25.27 and pulling up a mile in 1:40.28.

The work was the third for Vineyard Haven since he posted an easy 1 3/4-length victory in the James Marvin overnight stakes when making his 2010 debut here on July 23.

“We’ve been catching a lot of sloppy tracks since his last race and he had a pretty good blow after working in 1:14 last week so we wanted to do a little more this morning and he didn’t have quite the blow coming off of this work,” said Rick Mettee, assistant to trainer Saeed bin Suroor. “He should be spot on in terms of fitness for this race.”

Vineyard Haven won the Grade 1 Hopeful here at 2 and finished first in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop over a sloppy track last summer only to be disqualified and placed second for impeding Capt. Candyman Can through the stretch. Both of those victories, and the James Marvin, came at the seven-furlong distance of the Forego.

Mettee said Vineyard Haven will likely be one of two horses Godolphin starts in the Forego along with Girolamo, who has not started since finishing 12th in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.

“We entered him in an allowance race but it didn’t go,” said Mettee. “We’re also looking at a stakes at Monmouth Park next week [the Icecapade] but that’s at six furlongs and I have the feeling I don’t want to be putting him on the road.”

Mettee also said Gayego, fourth in the Grade 1 Vanderbilt on Aug. 8, could make his next start in the Presque Isle Mile.

“He hasn’t run two turns since the Preakness and this would give us a chance to see how he’ll handle two turns at this point in his career,” he said.

A field of seven or eight is shaping up for the Forego and could also include Bribon, Here Comes Ben, Starforaday, Warrior’s Reward, and You and I Forever. Charitable Man and Wall Street Wonder are listed as possible starters.

Bribon also worked on Saturday, going five furlongs in 59.99.