Three-time GI Belmont S.-winning conditioner Todd Pletcher sent out a trio of colts to breeze Friday morning at Big Sandy in preparation for this year's running of the final leg of the Triple Crown June 5.
GI Curlin Florida Derby winner and GI Kentucky Derby ninth-place finisher Known Agenda (Curlin) breezed in company with GI Hill 'n' Dale Metropolitan H. contender Dr Post (Quality Road). The duo went in 1:02.54 (8/18). Irad Ortiz, Jr. was aboard Known Agenda, with Hall of Famer John Velazquez on last year's Belmont S. runner-up and recent GIII Westchester S. hero.
“I thought it was a good progressive breeze that should bring them both forward. In particular, I liked the way they galloped out,” said Pletcher. “I had them out in 1:14.4, 1:27.1 and 1:41 for the mile. I thought we accomplished what we were hoping to.”
Known Agenda worked without the blinkers he has sported in his last three races.
“Sometimes he breezes with them, but we're saving them for the race,” Pletcher explained. “Sometimes, you get a little more bang for your buck if you don't overuse them.”
Pletcher's other “Test of the Champion”-bound runners–GII Wood Memorial S. upsetter and Derby 13th Bourbonic (Bernardini); and GIII Peter Pan S. third and million-dollar yearling Overtook (Curlin)–worked in company. They went in :48.82 (3/32).
“They went off a touch quick but finished steadily,” said Pletcher. “I particularly liked the way they galloped out. I had them out seven-eighths in 1:27 4/5. I was pleased.”
Pletcher will mostly likely send Peter Pan winner Promise Keeper (Constitution) to the GIII Ohio Derby June 26, but hasn't completely ruled out the Belmont. The chestnut also breezed Friday, in company with MGISW older grass horse Colonel Liam (Liam's Map), on the Belmont training track (:48.62, 3/36).
“He was in company for a half-mile with Colonel Liam in :48 and change. I thought it was a good work,” said Pletcher. “It seems like he's maintained form since the Peter Pan. Right now we're leaning towards the Ohio Derby but we wanted to keep him in position to keep an eye on the Belmont. He worked well enough this morning that we'll continue to keep an eye on it… It would be interesting to try him a little further. But right now the Ohio Derby seems to make sense.”
Colonel Liam is pointing for the GI Resorts World Casino Manhattan on the Belmont undercard. He is seeking his fifth straight, having most recently dead heated for the win in the GI Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic on Derby Day.