Keepmeinmind (Laoban) worked five furlongs in a bullet :59 at Oaklawn Tuesday morning in preparation for a start in the GIII Southwest S. Feb. 15. The fastest of 17 works published at the distance, the 3-year-old completed the final quarter-mile in a sharp :22.80, galloping out six furlongs in 1:11.80, seven furlongs in 1:25.40 and a mile in 1:40.40, according to local clockers.
Accompanied by David Cohen, the winner of the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. last November worked over a fast track following the second break to renovate the racing surface.
It marked Keepmeinmind's fifth published workout this season at Oaklawn and the second bullet, following a five-furlong move in 1:00 Jan. 19.
“Did it the right way again,” said Robertino Diodoro, Oaklawn's leading trainer in 2020. “I love that his works have been very consistent. Again, I always say take each day at a time, but his works have been very consistent–consistently good–since he's been here.”
Diodoro indicated he plans to come back with an easy half-mile work and a “couple of stiff gallops” next week leading up to the Southwest, Oaklawn's second of four GI Kentucky Derby points races.
“I'd like it to be Tuesday [Feb. 9],” Diodoro said of the maintenance breeze. “But it could be adjusted by a day or two because it looks like a little bit of [weather].”
GI Kentucky Oaks heroine Shedaresthedevil (Daredevil) returned to the work tab Monday morning at Oaklawn, covering three furlongs in :36.60 in preparation for her 2021 debut, possibly the Mar. 13 GII Azeri S. Under exercise rider Fernando Espinoza, she breezed following the first renovation break for newly minted Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox. Clockers had the 4-year-old galloping out a half-mile in :49.80 over the fast track.
“Really, really good,” Cox said after the work. “We were just looking for like :38, and she honestly looked like she was going :38. Just well within herself. Just nice and easy. We're not going to get in a big hurry with her, just kind of pick it up a little bit each week. Couldn't have asked for a better first work back.”
Shedaresthedevil was a finalist for an Eclipse Award as the country's champion 3-year-old filly of 2020 after winning four races, including the Kentucky Oaks and Oaklawn's GIII Honeybee S. She hasn't started since finishing third in the GI Spinster S. Oct. 4 at Keeneland, her first start against older horses.
Following the Spinster, Shedaresthedevil received a 60-day break before resuming light training in mid-December in Kentucky. She arrived at Oaklawn Jan. 9. Cox said the 1 1/16-mile Azeri, Oaklawn's final major prep for the GI Apple Blossom H. Apr. 17, is possible for her 2021 debut.
“It's going to get close there,” Cox said. “We're just going to have to kind of really watch her and let her tell us if she's ready for that, but that would be the first logical target.”