With Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez in the irons, Declan's Warrior
fired a bullet five-furlong work in 59.52 seconds on the main track
Thursday morning in preparation for the Grade 1, $500,000 Foxwoods
King's Bishop on August 24.
was very happy, very excited," said Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito, who
trains the Majestic Warrior 3-year-old for his wife Kim's Lucky
Shamrock Stable. "Johnny worked him, which is also a plus. We've won a
lot of big races together. It's like a golden rule in our barn; if Todd
[Pletcher] doesn't have anything in the race, we try to get him. He fit
him perfectly and the horse worked terrific for him. It was a delight to
watch today. He was gliding out there."
recently a closing fifth in the Grade 2 Amsterdam, beaten 3 ¾ lengths
by winner Forty Tales, Declan's Warrior is 4-2-0 from seven career
starts. The Foxwoods King's Bishop will be his fourth start at seven
furlongs; he won the Grade 3 Bay Shore and the Gygistar overnight stakes
on May 22 at Belmont Park at the distance, as well as finishing second
to Forty Tales in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens presented by NYRA Rewards
on June 8 at Belmont.
is his distance; hopefully it works for him," said Zito. "I'm sure the
race will have plenty of speed, it usually does."
* * *
Mentor Cane remains on course for the Grade 1 Foxwoods King's Bishop, trainer John Shirreffs said on Thursday.
3-year-old Mizzen Mast colt returned to the work tab this week for the
first time since finishing fourth in his stakes debut, the Grade 2
Amsterdam at Saratoga on July 28. On Sunday, he went a half-mile in
49.77 seconds over the Oklahoma training track with Hall of Fame jockey
Edgar Prado aboard.
worked very well," Shirreffs said of the colt, owned by Jerry and Ann
Moss. "[Prado] put him behind a horse and he went by on the inside, so
he was very happy with him."
the Amsterdam, Mentor Cane raced on the lead early before bearing out
around the turn and coming well wide into the stretch. Running down the
middle of the track, he wound up beaten only 2 ½ lengths by closer Forty
was very unusual because he has lugged in before, but he's never gone
out," Shirreffs said. "Edgar said he was coming into the turn and he
said, 'I'll just take him out a little bit in case he tries to get in.' I
think when he took him out, the horse grabbed the outside of the bit
and just decided he was going to Union Avenue.
the King's Bishop], I hope there will be somebody in front of him," he
added. "I think with somebody in front of him, his focus will be on
something other than what he's going to do with the bit."
Shirreffs is still looking for a spot for Eblouissante,
a half-sister to Zenyatta who lost for the first time in three lifetime
starts when sixth in the Grade 3 Shuvee Handicap at Saratoga on July 20
after acting up in the starting gate.
good. She's been galloping and going to the gate, and she's doing
fine," Shirreffs said. "It took about 10 days [to recover] because she
was banged up a little and sore, but everything has smoothed out. The
timing of the condition book will determine what we do. Obviously, I'd
like to run her up here before we leave."