08/06/2011 1:46PM

Wear the Crown preps for Presque Isle Mile


Wear the Crown will be using the seventh race at Presque Isle Downs on Tuesday as a prep for the $250,000 Presque Isle Mile on Sept. 9, trainer Tim Hamm said. Tuesday’s race is a no-conditions allowance at a mile over Tapeta with a purse of $53,000.

“The timing isn’t perfect, but we wanted to get another two-turn race over the surface before the Mile September 9.” Hamm said. “There is a three-other-than in four days, but I wanted to make sure we could get him in, so we went here.”

Wear the Crown has won two of his last three, all locally. He is 3 for 7 in his career. On May 20, the 4-year-old colt won a six-furlong allowance. He then finished second in a third-level allowance event going 6 1/2 furlongs June 23. In his last out July 28, Wear the Crown won a one-mile optional claiming race while going two turns for the first time. Hamm thinks his charge got a lot out of that effort.

“We wanted him to rate, and he did a great job of it,” Hamm said. “He drew off by a couple of lengths in the stretch and sort of waited for the second horse to catch up. When he did, he took off again.”

Hamm thinks another start will set Wear the Crown up perfectly for the Mile.

“He is a late-maturing horse, and I think one more race before the big one will get him where he needs to be,” he said.

Hamm has been known to have precocious 2- and 3-year-olds, so it is a surprise that Wear the Crown didn’t start until his 4-year-old season.

“I always liked him, and we took him to the sale at Keeneland and he didn’t meet the reserve,” Hamm said. “We put him in training, and he had a little shin problem so we stopped on him. It was just little things that kept popping up, so we gave him time, and he couldn’t be better now.”

Although Wear the Crown has won on the lead, Hamm expects he will be back early in the field of nine older horses.

“He will relax when you want, but he also has a lot of early speed if you need it,” Hamm said. “He will do whatever you want. With a lot of early speed in this race, I think he will be back off of it and make one run in the stretch.”

Pablo Morales retains the mount.