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Fort Larned Breezes for Whitney

Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned had his penultimate tune-up Saturday morning for his title defense in the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational Handicap, breezing five furlongs in 1:03.81 over the main track.

 

“It was a little slower than what I wanted, but the track was a little dead this morning, and it was a work to set up a work,” said Ian Wilkes, who trains Fort Larned for owner Janis Whitham. “We’ll come back [next week] and get a major work with him off this.”

 

Fort Larned, who earned his first Grade 1 in last year’s 1 1/8-mile Whitney, enters this year’s edition off a eye-catching 6 ¼-length victory in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap on June 15 at Churchill Downs. It was the 5-year-old’s first win since the 2012 Classic, having lost his rider two strides out of the gate in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap on March 9 and then finishing a non-threatening fifth in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap a month later.

 

“The first one, the stumble, that was a thing which took more out of him than you think,” said Wilkes. “If I’d stuck with my original plan [and not run at Oaklawn] that would be fine, but I could second-guess myself all day long.

 

“He got a lot out of his last race,” he added. “He ran fast [1:47.45] and the track wasn’t a fast track that night.”

 

Wilkes is also supervising Grade 2 Jim Dandy hopeful Looking Cool, trained by his former boss, the semi-retired Hall of Famer Carl Nafzger, who won the 2007 Jim Dandy and Travers with Street Sense.

 

“He worked yesterday [4 furlongs, 49.77] and will work again either Monday or Tuesday,” said Wilkes of Looking Cool, winner of the Grade 3 Iowa Derby last time out. “Carl is enjoying this one. It’s always fun to have a 3-year-old.”

 

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Older Comments about Fort Larned Breezes for Whitney...

may depend upon weather, if it has more rain or not...I would hold onto any speculation until the surfaces are known
Cross Traffic.
Fort Larned, Successful Dan, Csaba, Mucho Macho Man 3, 1, 7, 2 with 1 and 7 being interchangeable.
Fort Larned, Cross Traffic, Ron The Greek, Alpha. 3,4,5,6

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