A graded stakes winner on turf and synthetics, Mr Speaker tuned up for a possible start in the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers with a five-furlong work over the main track on Sunday.
in company, the 3-year-old Pulpit colt was clocked in 1:01.99 for five
furlongs, galloping out an extra furlong in 1:14.66 under regular
exercise rider Lena Lorieul.
was very impressed with the way he worked today," Hall of Fame trainer
Shug McGaughey said of the Phipps Stable homebred. "I'm feeling more
confident all the time. I thought his work today was exceptionally good.
He's progressing along very well up here."
Sunday's work ranked 13th
of 20 horses at the distance and was the fourth for Mr Speaker at
Saratoga, all on dirt. It followed a five-furlong move in 59.76 seconds
on August 2. Each of the last two have come in company.
went fast the last time," said McGaughey. "Today I wanted him to go in
1:01, and he went in 1:01 and a couple. I thought it was good. He
finished up good and galloped out really strong. I was pleased with what
Speaker won the Grade 1, $1.25 million Belmont Derby Invitational on
July 5, run over the Belmont Park turf at the Travers' 1 ¼-mile
distance. This year, Mr Speaker also captured the Grade 3 Dania Beach on
grass at Gulfstream Park and the Grade 3 Lexington on Keeneland's
his lone dirt start, Mr Speaker ran seventh in the Grade 2 Holy Bull on
January 25. He will have one more breeze for McGaughey.
see how he comes out of his work, see how he works next weekend, and
then I'll make up my mind," he said. "I'm not ready to commit myself one
way or the other, but I'm kind of getting excited."