Travers candidate J W Blue worked
four furlongs in company Saturday morning on the main track as a final serious
prep for the “Mid-Summer Derby” on Saturday at the Spa.
Under exercise rider Ricky Legall, J W Blue ran on the inside of
workmate Tech Fall, and the two
went around virtually on even terms with J W Blue slightly ahead the entire
time. They were close behind another horse working in front of them, and J W
Blue reached that horse during his strong gallop-out.
Trainer Tony Dutrow said the Sky Mesa colt, second last out in the
Barbaro Stakes on July 9, was working 4 ½ furlongs, although the NYRA clockers
timed the effort as five furlongs in 1:00.20, eighth best of 40 at the
distance. Tech Fall, fourth last out in the Grade 2 Dwyer at Belmont Park,
received the same clocking.
“J W Blue has never been an impressive work horse,” Dutrow
said afterward. “His workouts are workmanlike, and I saw a workmanlike
workout today with a very good gallop out. I feel like our horse is well
prepared to run Saturday.”
J W Blue, a powerfully built, almost blocky dark bay, has tantalized
with his talent. He was on the Triple Crown trail in Arkansas
this past winter, and then moved to Delaware
where he finished second in the Floor Show as well as the Barbaro stakes, his
most recent start.
“His last race was good,” Dutrow said. “He got a 4 on
the Ragozin sheets. We always hoped he was capable. He’s always been an
immature horse. These last six weeks he is not immature anymore. He just grew
Dutrow was glowing about the performance of his 3-year-old filly Pinch Pie, who finished third in the Grade
1 Alabama at a shade under 19-1, the longest shot on the board.
The daughter of Victory Gallop, owned by Michael Dubb, had won two
straight races going into the Alabama
but was not considered in the same class as the rest of the field.
“I was so happy,” Dutrow said. “I can’t express
it any better than that. We knew we were putting our necks out there. We were
believing our filly would run good. She seems to have come back from the race
excellent. She showed energy in the round pen today. Now that I’ve seen
her take on better competition, I can look at around at other