First Mission Completes Pegasus Preparations in Big Easy

First Mission | Coady

'TDN Rising Star' First Mission (Street Sense) breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 (2/52) Saturday morning at the Fair Grounds in preparation for next Saturday's $3-million GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. at Gulfstream Park. The 4-year-old colt, who was put through his paces by exercise rider Kevin Perez, was clocked in 1:13.60 for six furlongs, according to trainer Brad Cox.

“He's been doing very well week after week,” Cox said of the Godolphin homebred, a latest second to the re-opposing Trademark (Upstart) in the GII Clark S. at Churchill Downs Nov. 24. “We're excited about giving him a shot at a Grade I. We weren't looking for anything really different than he'd done the last few weeks. We were just giving him an opportunity to go out there and stretch his legs, see how he's doing. And he's telling us he's doing as well as he ever has.”

First Mission is due to arrive at Gulfstream Monday afternoon. Luis Saez retains the mount.

The Saffie Joseph, Jr.-trained duo of GIII Harlan's Holiday S. hero O'Connor (Chi) (Boboman) and Skippylongstocking (Exaggerator) got their final tune-ups during half-mile breezes up at Palm Meadows Saturday morning. Working on his own, O'Connor was timed in :48.55, while GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile runner-up Skippylongstocking went in the company of the stakes-winning Swirvin (Girvin) and was clocked in :47.55.

Dynamic One (Union Rags), Crupi (Curlin) and Harlan's Holiday runner-up Grand Aspen (Dialed In) each turned in drills at Palm Beach Downs for trainer Todd Pletcher Saturday morning. Dynamic One and Crupi went in company, with Crupi going in :48.29 and Dynamic One :48.39. Dynamic One, who was equipped with blinkers for the first time, started two lengths ahead of Crupi, who finished the breeze 1 1/2 lengths behind his stablemate, who was ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr. Grand Aspen went the same distance in :49.13.

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