Darley Stable’s swift 3-year-old colt Fort
Hughes is progressing well in
preparation for a start in the Grade 3, $200,000 Bay Shore
going seven furlongs at Aqueduct Racetrack on Wood Memorial Day, Saturday,
A son of Henny Hughes, who won two Grade 1 sprints in New
York as a 3-year-old, Fort Hughes breezed four furlongs in 48.01 Saturday
morning at Belmont Park, the fourth fastest of 99 at the distance.
His most recent start came winning the Jimmy Winkfield on
January 17 at Aqueduct, a six-furlong stakes in which he registered a 104 Beyer
Speed Figure, third best among all 3-year-olds this year.
“He is doing very, very well right now,” said Artie
Magnuson, assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. “He is a young horse, and we
are trying to let him grow up between starts, especially since he ran so big in
his last race. We felt he needed a bit of time before his next race.”
Magnuson also said that In Step, a 3-year-old Darley
filly who broke her maiden at first asking going six furlongs at Gulfstream Park on February 20, will likely make
her next start in the Grade 3, $150,000 Comely, a mile race for 3-year-old
fillies on Wood Memorial Day.
“She is a nice filly,” said Magnuson about the daughter of
Unbridled’s Song. “At some point we will probably stretch her out around two
turns, but for now, the plan is to keep her around one turn.”
Part of the reason for that plan is to keep her schedule
separate from It’s Tricky, Darley’s 3-year-old Mineshaft filly who is
undefeated in three starts, including an impressive eight-length triumph in the
Busher at Aqueduct on February 20.
According to Magnuson, the talented filly shipped to Florida
two days ago in preparation for a start in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Oaks on
Saturday, April 2 to be run over 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream.