May 19, 2024

Multiplier, Senior Investment post Preakness works at Keeneland

Illinois Derby (G3) winner Multiplier will sport new silks in the Preakness (Four Footed Fotos)

Illinois Derby (G3) winner Multiplier and Lexington (G3) victor Senior Investment polished off their major Preakness (G1) preparations at Keeneland Sunday, each drilling five furlongs in company.

With trainer Brendan Walsh in the saddle, Multiplier clocked 1:00.80, the same time as stablemate War Union, a twice-placed maiden from four starts. Multiplier, who hugged the inside path, was caught in fractions of :12.40, :24.00, :36.20, and :48.40, and the son of The Factor galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.60.

Older stablemate Conquest Windycity, ticketed for Friday’s Pimlico Special (G3), turned his five-eighths solo in 1:00.60 with a gallop-out in 1:14.20.

“I’m very, very happy with both of them,” Walsh said. “Both worked really well, so both should be spot on for the weekend.

“That was very good for Multiplier. He doesn’t do anything that he’s not asked. That was as good a work as he can do. He’s never going to be spectacular in the morning. You’re never going to think, ‘Wow!’ But he showed good energy. I didn’t have to be super hard on him, which sometimes you have to really get after him.

“Everybody says on his numbers (speed figures) that he fits (in the Preakness),” Walsh added. “I think he’s entitled to take a chance. If he had broken his maiden two or three weeks earlier, we probably would have run him in some of the Derby trials. This morning when he worked, he kind of showed me he’s a fresh horse and ready to go again.

“I don’t think we’re going to see the best of him for maybe another two or three runs, because he’s so laid back. I think that’s why he made such a gradual climb on his numbers every race he’s run. Because he’s coming along, coming along. It’s not something you can force with him. You have to let him do it himself.”

Previously owned by American Equistock, Multiplier was the subject of a private sale in the aftermath of the Illinois Derby. His new owners are Gary Barber (whose silks he will sport), Adam Wachtel, and George Kerr.

“They just came after him and got a deal together,” Walsh said. “Thankfully I got to keep him, so it was great.”

The Walsh duo are scheduled to van to Pimlico Tuesday night.

For trainer Ken McPeek, Senior Investment covered his five panels in 1:02 in company with older Brazilian Group 1 hero Some in Tieme. Under jockey Channing Hill, the Lexington winner fit his closing profile by recording splits of :13.00, in :25.40, and :49.80, then picking up steam in his fifth furlong and continuing his momentum while galloping out in 1:14.

“He was waiting on the other horse, I think, and they dawdled a little bit the first three-eighths, but they came home well,” McPeek said. “That’s all he needed. He’s plenty fit….Some in Tieme is no bad horse, and he pretty much dusted him.

“Look, our horse is ready to go. Is he good enough? Is the pace going to set up for him? I mean, how do they all draw? But he deserves a chance, and I think he’ll relish the mile and three-sixteenths, and he’s improving. It just seems like he’s better and better every day. He’s like a copper penny (with his gleaming chestnut coat) right now.”

Set for Monday half-mile works at Churchill Downs are Steve Asmussen’s pair of Lookin at Lee and Hence, who will jet to Pimlico Tuesday.

Lookin at Lee was given a ‘Mine That Bird’ trip by Corey Lanerie in the Kentucky Derby (Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Jockey Corey Lanerie, who’d never been aboard Lookin at Lee until the Derby, described his game plan that produced a runner-up performance at Churchill Downs.

“The ‘Mine That Bird trip’ was my plan, even before I had a mount,” Lanerie said. “If I got a mount, I would try to ride like Calvin, save all the ground. Just try to pick up the pieces, unless I was on a speed horse and would be close or something like that.

“When I found out I was riding Lookin at Lee, I thought, ‘Well, he’s going to be back. I’m going to try to save all the ground I can and see what happens.’ You have to get lucky to win the Derby anyhow.”

Lanerie thought he had that luck when able to stay on the fence as Fast and Accurate veered out when checking in traffic instead of diving in.

“I thought I was going to run into a wreck,” Lanerie said. “I thought he was going to come inside. Instead, I got lucky and they bounced right instead of left. It left the rail just wide open for me. Right here I said, ‘I’m going to win the Derby.’ I was coming so fast and so easy. I thought they all had to stop.

“And Always Dreaming just wouldn’t come back. You come so close and you don’t get it done, but to run second on only my third Kentucky Derby mount, it was pretty special – just everybody calling you and congratulating you like you’d won.”

Borel recognized his signature style played to perfection by Lanerie.

“I thought it was me on the horse,” Borel said.

Lanerie was already a fan of Lookin at Lee after his zig-zag third with Luis Contreras in the Arkansas Derby (G1).

“I thought he could have beaten Classic Empire in the Arkansas Derby,” Lanerie said. “He would have beat him if it had been a mile and a quarter, it looked like, watching the replay. So he was going off the (morning-line) favorite, and I felt like my horse was better at the distance. So in my eyes, I thought I was on the favorite.”

Two Preakness contenders who worked Saturday, Belmont-based Cloud Computing and Santa Anita-based Term of Art, both exited their moves in good order and remain on course to ship from their opposite compass points Tuesday.

Trainer Chad Brown reported that Cloud Computing “came out of it really well and he’s going to head to Pimlico on Tuesday and just gallop a little and do some paddock schooling heading into the race.”

Term of Art, who walked the shedrow Sunday, was described as being in “excellent shape” by trainer Doug O’Neill.

His trainer noted that Saturday’s six-furlong time of 1:13.80 was better than it looks on paper. Since Santa Anita’s main track was “pretty slow,” O’Neill found Term of Art’s drill “sensational.”

“He’s doing well,” O’Neill said. “We know he’s an outsider, but I really, truly believe with the blinkers back on he’s got the talent to do it. We’re pretty convinced he needs them to get the best out of him.”