Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming recorded his first official move on Saturday since capturing the May 6 Kentucky Derby (G1), breezing a half-mile over Belmont Park’s fast training track in :49.96 under exercise rider Hector Ramos.
“I thought he went great,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “We’re really happy with it. It seemed like he did it very easily, very relaxed, in hand, and galloped out nicely.
“The main thing we wanted was an easy breeze. We just wanted to get a feel for where he is fitness-wise and based on the way he breezed and the way he finished, I’d say he’s maintained his fitness very well.”
Always Dreaming is targeting the $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) at Saratoga on July 29. Pletcher said the Bodemeister sophomore will have three more breezes before that 1 1/8-mile contest.
The conditioner also sent out fan favorite Patch to breeze a half-mile in :49.72 in company with unbeaten Coal Front.
“(Patch) went well,” Pletcher said. “I’m happy with him. I’d say he’s a candidate for the Jim Dandy, Haskell ([G1] on July 30 at Monmouth Park), West Virginia Derby ([G3] at Mountaineer Park on August 5), Curlin (Stakes on July 28 at Saratoga)…he has lots of options.
“With Coal Front, we’re kind of weighing our options between the ($400,000) Dwyer ([G3] at Belmont Park on July 8) and the ($200,000) Amsterdam ([G2] on July 29 at Saratoga). The timing is good (for the 6 1/2-furlong Amsterdam). He’s coming off a very fast allowance race and he’s only got two races. We’re trying to analyze it from all options.”
Pletcher has Tapwrit scheduled to put in his first work next week since taking the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 10.
“We felt like coming off a mile and a half race, three works would do it, whether we decide to run in the Jim Dandy or the Haskell,” the conditioner explained.
Tapwrit could end up facing Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Cloud Computing if he goes in the Jim Dandy.
Cloud Computing readied for the Jim Dancy with a five-furlong breeze in 1:01.84 over Belmont’s fast main track on Saturday for trainer Chad Brown.
“He looked very good,” Brown said. “He galloped out well and is still on target for the Jim Dandy. I love where we’re at with him.”
Multiple Grade 1 hero Practical Joke, who finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby for Brown, clocked four furlongs in :48.84 over Belmont’s main track on Saturday for an expected return in Dwyer. The Into Mischief colt worked in company with undefeated multiple Grade 3 scorer Timeline, who recorded the same time.
“Both of them worked perfect,” Brown said. “It was Practical Joke’s final work before the Dwyer and Timeline’s first work since winning the (June 18) Pegasus ([G3] at Monmouth) and it went really well.”