December 4, 2021

Bird Song breezes bullet half-mile for A.G. Vanderbilt

Bird Song wins a six-furlong allowance at Saratoga on Sunday, July 24, 2016, under jockey Jose Ortiz (c) NYRA/Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography

Grade 2 winner Bird Song breezed a bullet half-mile in :47.33 over Saratoga’s fast main track on Saturday for trainer Ian Wilkes. The gray son of Unbridled’s Song is the targeting $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) going six furlongs on July 29 at the Spa.

“I was very pleased with the work,” Wilkes said. “He worked really good this morning. He did it on his own and he did it very easily. He’s just naturally a fast horse.”

Bird Song recorded splits of :12.20 and :23.80 before galloping out five furlongs in 1:00, according to the NYRA clockers. His work was the fastest of 99 others at the distance on the day.

The Kentucky homebred boasts a pair of wins on the year in Churchill Downs’ Alysheba Stakes (G2) and the Fred W. Hooper Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park, as well as placings in the Hal’s Hope Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream and Keeneland’s Ben Ali Stakes (G3).

Bird Song was last seen finishing last of eight in the Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) under the Twin Spires on June 17. All those races came at a mile or longer.

“I think he’s going to be a one-turn horse,” said Wilkes. “This may be a little too short for him but I’ll try it. He’s won going two but I think his strength is going to be around one turn.”

Bird Song’s last foray at six furlongs also came at Saratoga when he captured an allowance last July 24.