In his final major training move for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park, Whitney Handicap (gr. I) winner Fort Larned breezed a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 on the fast main track at Churchill Downs Oct. 28.
Working under exercise rider Kate Merritt, Fort Larned recorded fractions of :24 3/5, 36 2/5, :48 2/5, and galloped out six furlongs in 1:13 4/5.
"He went really well and I was very pleased with him," trainer Ian Wilkes said as he looks forward to the Nov. 3 Breeders' Cup date.
Fort Larned has won of four of his eight starts this year, including the Skip Away (gr. III), the Cornhusker Handicap (gr. III) and the aforementioned Whitney, but Wilkes is hopeful the best is still yet to come.
"I hope we haven't seen the best of him yet," Wilkes said. "The hope is that he'll be at his peak next week."
A 4-year old colt by E Dubai bred in Kentucky by owner Janis Whitham, Fort Larned is out of the Broad Brush mare Arlucea.