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Breeders' Cup 2017

Fort Larned Breezes Solid Five Furlongs for Woodward

Fort Larned BC 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Spotswire
Fort Larned, fifth as the favorite after a slow start in the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational Handicap last time out, breezed a solid five furlongs Monday morning in preparation for Saturday’s Grade 1 Woodward.

With jockey Brian Hernandez flying in from Kentucky for the move, Fort Larned went out shortly after 6:30 a.m. and was clocked in 1:00.86 on the main track. Trainer Ian Wilkes caught the 5-year-old son of E Dubai galloping out six furlongs in 1:12 3/5.

“It was a nice work, and I’m very pleased with it,” said Wilkes. “The only thing I can control is my horse, and I’m happy with him.”

Wilkes is taking a slightly different path than last year to Santa Anita for the defending Breeders’ Cup Classic star. In 2012, Fort Larned won the Whitney and then used the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup on September 29 at Belmont Park – his eighth start of the year – as his final prep for the 1 ¼-mile Classic.

This year, Fort Larned has run four times, with his lone victory coming in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap on June 15 at Churchill Downs.

“Last year he was running all year,” said Wilkes. “I feel this year he needs more racing. After this, we’re definitely going to look at the Jockey Club Gold Cup [September 28].”

 


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