Benoit Photo ©
As is typical of Saturday morning, the work tabs at racetracks across the country were filled with the names of prominent stakes winners and Derby contenders gearing up for future races.
First and foremost was 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome, who is prepping for a start in the January 9th San Pasqual Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita, where he will likely face 2015 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Dortmund. Working at Los Alamitos, California Chrome went six furlongs in a quick 1:13 4/5 seconds, the fastest workout of the morning at that distance. He galloped out seven furlongs in 1:28 3/5.
Other notable workouts on a busy morning at Santa Anita were posted by El Kabeir, who went five furlongs in :59 4/5 in preparation for the December 26th Malibu Stakes (gr. I); I Will Score, the promising Jerry Hollendorfer-trained maiden winner who worked six furlongs in 1:13 4/5; and Cozmic One, the first foal out of 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta who went five furlongs in 1:04 2/5.
Across the country in New York, Remsen Stakes (gr. II) runner-up Flexibility went five furlongs in 1:03.03 at Belmont as he gears up for a start in the January 2nd Jerome Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct. He was joined on the work tab by the once-beaten three-time stakes winner Sudden Surprise, who went four furlongs in :48.75 seconds.
At Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida, Summer Stakes (gr. II) winner Conquest Daddyo worked five furlongs in 1:01.45 seconds, slightly slower than the time of 1:01.40 posted by International Star, winner of the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) this year. A short distance away at Gulfstream Park, Smooth Air Stakes runner-up Fellowship, who was among the pre-entries in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, went five furlongs in a rapid :59.96 seconds over a track that has been yielding fast times as of late.
Lastly–and perhaps most notably of all!–2014 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) winner Moreno, who was retired from racing in August, breezed a half-mile in a solid :47 4/5 at Los Alamitos this morning. According to a story on Bloodhorse.com, Moreno responded well to time off this fall and is being given a chance to make a comeback, and while it’s not certain that he will run again, I wish Moreno and his connections the very best!
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