Courvoisier Ready for Withers

Courvoisier | Coglianese

Courvoisier (Tapit), last-out winner of the Jan. 1 Jerome S., tuned up for Saturday's GIII Withers S. with a five-furlong work in 1:02.41 (2/15) over the Belmont training track Friday.

“He's doing well,” trainer Kelly Breen said. “He breezed Friday by himself. It was a maintenance workout and he's good to go.”

Owned by Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings and James Spry, Courvoisier is a son of 2014 champion 2-year-old filly Take Charge Brandi (Giant's Causeway).

Jerome fourth-place finisher Unbridled Bomber (Upstart) was declared ready for the Withers following a five-furlong breeze in 1:00.60 (1/16) over Belmont's training track Jan. 25.

“We're headed to the Withers next and we're happy with how he's doing. We're happy with how he ran last time and with his last couple races,” said trainer Jim Ryerson. “We'll see if he can stretch out and handle the ground.”

Unbridled Bomber, owned by Ryerson and Edward Potash and Brad Yankanich, broke his maiden going one mile at Belmont Nov. 7. He raced off the pace after breaking a step slowly in the Jerome and rallied three wide into the stretch, but was unable to make up ground.

“As the way the day went, speed was so dominant over that track,” said Ryerson of the Jerome result. “We really couldn't have put him into the pace and so we just had to see how it would go [from off the pace]. I thought he ran very well.”

Trainer Michael Trombetta said the Withers is under consideration for R Larry Johnson's Mr Jefferson (Constitution). The chestnut colt was fourth in last year's GII Remsen S. and sixth in the Jerome.

“More than likely, I'll send Mr Jefferson up. The two turns definitely helps him,” Trombetta said. “The first time I brought him up, I thought he ran well. The last time I don't think he liked the track very much. That might have had something to do with the sub-par performance.”

Mr Jefferson worked four furlongs over the main track at Laurel in :50.80 (4/12) Sunday.

“The track was deep because of the cold weather, but he worked well,” Trombetta said.

The nine-furlong Withers offers 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-four finishers.

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