Perform (Good Magic) tuned up for Saturday's GI Preakness S. with a half-mile drill in :48.09 (2/42) over the main track at Belmont Park Sunday.
Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, Perform worked just after the renovation break under partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid-60s, completing his exercise to the outside of his maiden workmate Weyhill Road (Quality Road).
McGaughey said the work was just what he hoped to see ahead of the colt's graded stakes debut.
“I was very pleased with the way he worked and they did exactly what I wanted,” said McGaughey. “I said to let them go in :25 and change [for the first quarter-mile] and let them finish up, and that's what they did. They galloped out good and I thought they were going along very easy.”
Perform, a maiden winner while making his two-turn debut at Tampa Bay Downs Mar. 11 in his sixth start, earned a spot in the Preakness with a late-running victory in the Federico Tesio S. at Laurel Apr. 15. Ridden by Feargal Lynch, who will return to ride in the Preakness, Perform stumbled at the break of the Tesio and rallied from as far as 10 lengths off the pace to roll home late and nail Ninetyprcentmaddie (Weigelia) at the wire by a head in a final time of 1:52.18. The effort was awarded a career-best 85 Beyer Speed Figure.
“I think he grew up in that race,” said McGaughey. “I'm very pleased with the way he's doing and I'm excited about going down there to see what happens.”
McGaughey said maturity and stretching out to two turns has made the difference for the improving Perform.
“As a 2-year-old, he didn't really train that way,” said McGaughey. “I thought he was a sprinter and I ran him on the Fourth of July weekend where he ran second. I was a little bit disappointed in his races after that. But I think the sprint races helped get him to the long races.”
McGaughey said the extra half-furlong will benefit Perform, who was supplemented to the Preakness for a fee of $150,000.
“I don't think it will hurt him,” McGaughey said of the 1 3/16-mile distance.
Perform is scheduled to ship to Pimlico Tuesday.
Also working for the Preakness Sunday, Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred Red Route One (Gun Runner) went a half-mile in :49.20 (19/39) at Churchill Downs for trainer Steve Asmussen.
Red Route One earned his first stakes victory in his last start, taking Oaklawn Park's Bath House Row to earn a fees-paid berth in the Preakness.
Stablemate Disarm (Gun Runner), coming off a fourth-place effort in the GI Kentucky Derby, galloped at Churchill Downs Sunday and is expected to work Monday.
Both colts are scheduled to ship to Maryland Tuesday.
Kentucky Derby hero Mage (Good Magic) arrived at Pimlico Sunday morning following an overnight van ride from Churchill Downs.
“We stopped for gas and we stopped to check [Mage's] water,” Gustavo Delgado, Jr., assistant trainer to his father, said. “We left when we did because we wanted to beat traffic. It was a good, smooth trip. He is a good traveler.”
After arriving at Pimlico at 6 a.m., Mage walked after exiting the van and laid down in his new stall for a bit. By 8:30, he was up and alert, checking out his new surroundings. The plan is for Mage to make his first appearance on the track early Monday morning.