Grade 2 Jim Dandy winner Alpha and Curlin victor Street Life both came out of their Thursday works in good order as they continue preparations for the Grade 1 Travers on August 25.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Alpha was doing
“great” the morning after he breezed four furlongs over the main track
in 48.47, while trainer Chad Brown said everything continues to look
good after Street Life went the same distance in 50.93 in company with
“Street Life will work two more times before the race,”
said Brown. “I thought he handled himself very well in the Curlin. He
adapted and got himself involved a little earlier in the race, which we
had been trying to get him to do, and I think it worked out pretty
well. He’s maturing. I think Jose [Lezcano] rides him very well, and
they’re getting to know each other. He has confidence in the horse. I’m
excited about his chances.”
Next Saturday, Brown plans to send Grade 1 Man o’ War runner-up Center Divider
in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational at 1 ½ miles on the turf. The
5-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway has made one start at the Spa,
finishing second in last year’s 1 5/8-mile John’s Call.
“His race in the John’s Call over the same course was
good,” said Brown. “He’s a horse with speed, and he totally missed the
break. I don’t remember exactly what happened, he was eliminated at the
start, and I was impressed he earned second. He wants to be up or on
the lead. We’ll give it a shot.”
Brown added that Stronach Stable’s undefeated Awesome Feather,
unraced since winning the Sunshine Millions Distaff in January at
Gulfstream Park, continues to flourish at Saratoga. Wednesday, the
4-year-old Awesome of Course filly put in her fourth timed work over the
Oklahoma training track, covering four furlongs in 50.65.
“Awesome Feather is doing really well; she couldn’t
possibly be doing any better,” said Brown. “I think we’ll probably get
one race in before the Breeders’ Cup, but I don’t know where.
“She’s in a unique situation,” he added. “You have a
horse that’s undefeated, and you hate to put her in a situation where’s
she would be vulnerable and put a blemish on her record. Off a layoff
could prove to be a challenge for her. We try to manage her the right
way. We’re brave enough to run her – we’ve done it three times already –
and she can overcome a lot. I want to make sure I make the right move.
I really think that if I can get her to Santa Anita sound and doing as
well as she’s doing right now, she’s the horse to beat. The most
important piece of the puzzle is she’s doing well right now; the rest
will fall into place.”