Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Cloud Computing posted his first move on Saturday at Saratoga since finishing fifth in the July 29 Jim Dandy Stakes (G2).
The Chad Brown-trained son of Maclean’s Music breezed a half-mile in :49.09 over the Spa’s fast main track with Javier Castellano aboard.
“The horse went great,” Brown said. “It was an easy half-mile, but he was moving very well. I’m very pleased with it.
“I just wanted to see how the horse was moving over this track because clearly he didn’t run his race in the Jim Dandy, but it’s a much different track today than it was that day; a lot tighter, in better condition.
“I thought the horse was moving extremely well, galloped out strong, it was just what I was looking for.”
Castellano has been aboard for Cloud Computing’s last pair of starts, taking the mount just in time for the dark bay colt to score an upset head victory in the Preakness Stakes on May 20 at Pimlico.
“(Brown) wasn’t looking for something, timing-wise,” Castellano said. “He wanted a nice, comfortable work.
“(Cloud Computing) felt great, I think he worked in :49. He worked really good, nice and comfortable. I just let him breeze in a nice comfortable rhythm, he worked pretty good. I’m happy the way he felt galloping out.
“I liked what I saw today, happy and satisfied with the way he did it,” he added. “He did it easy…that is what we look for; just want to see how the horse feels.”
Cloud Computing is currently under consideration for the $1.25 million Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on August 26.
“I haven’t made my mind up yet. Initially, I would have said after his Jim Dandy race (that) I probably would not go on after a poor effort like that,” Brown said.
“But now, evaluating it in hindsight; how deep the track was that day, and how he wasn’t the only horse that struggled that day and how he’s come back and trained well since, we have to at least consider it.”
Trainer Joe Sharp left no doubt that Haskell Invitational (G1) hero Girvin is targeting the 1 1/4-mile Travers as his next start.
Girvin readied for that contest with a half-mile breeze in :50.45 over Saratoga’s fast Oklahoma training track soon after it opened at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday. Sharp was aboard for the move, which saw Girvin record his first quarter-mile in :24.80 and gallop out five furlongs in 1:04.20.
“He worked excellent,” Sharp praised. “He just went a maintenance half and he appears to come out of it super so far. We’re all systems go.
“He’ll come back and work next weekend, probably next Saturday, depending on the weather. He’ll probably work in company for his last work before the Travers. We’re still on the fence whether we’re going to work over the main track or Oklahoma. He did gallop over the main track this week and will again this week. We’ll make a decision as the week goes on.”
Girvin captured both the Risen Star Stakes (G2) and Louisiana Derby (G2) before trying the Kentucky Derby (G1), but was still recovering from a quarter crack and ended up 13th under the wire of the Run for the Roses on May 6. He returned in the June 24 Ohio Derby (G3) and just missed by a nose, but got back to his winning ways in the Haskell last out on July 30 with a nose score of his own over McCraken.
“It’s like he knows he’s getting good and he’s getting more confident in himself physically and mentally,” Sharp said. “I think having a full shoe on and being able to go out on a daily basis on a normal regimen, he’s just getting more confident in the routine and it’s shown in his performance.”
Both Irap and McCraken are eyeing the Travers for their next starts. Irap worked six furlongs over Del Mar’s fast main track on Friday in 1:13.40 while McCraken breezed a bullet half-mile in :49.03 on Thursday over Saratoga’s fast Oklahoma training track.
Former turf runner Good Samaritan breezed four furlongs for the Travers over the fast Oklahoma dirt training track on Friday in his first move since upsetting the Jim Dandy by 4 3/4 lengths for trainer Bill Mott. The Harlan’s Holiday colt clocked a time of:48.84 as he prepares to make just his second start on dirt in the Travers.
“It was very good,” Mott said. “His first work back, it was what it was supposed to be. He’s feeling pretty good. He’s high energy.”