Photo: Adam Mooshian, NYRA
trainer Jimmy Jerkens and Centennial Farms owner Donald Little, Jr.
expressed satisfaction Saturday morning after their Grade 2 Jim Dandy
winner Wicked Strong breezed six furlongs over the main track in
preparation for Saturday's Grade 1 Travers.
Wicked Strong, who is expected to vie for
favoritism in the Travers with Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist, went out
shortly after 9 a.m. and covered the distance in 1:13.15 under regular
exercise rider Kelvin Pahal.
"I thought he worked like he usually
does," said Jerkens. "It looked like the track was very, very fast, so I
knew he would skip right along. Kelvin looked up at me at the quarter
pole. I didn't wave him on any. I didn't want him to go too fast because
he's already a little more on the bridle with the blinkers on."
Little said he was impressed not only with the move, but with how the Hard Spun colt has blossomed at Saratoga.
"Looking at him now, I think he's even
put on 15, 20 pounds," said Little. "He's handled it really well. This
morning's breeze, it just looked like he was galloping along nice and
easy. That's what good horses do: they make it look easy."
Wicked Strong, who won the Grade 1
TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial in April at Aqueduct Racetrack prior to
fourth-place finishes in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes, likely
will have a short blowout on Thursday before the race, said Little.