Summer Bird, winner of the grade I Belmont Stakes, Travers, and Jockey Club Gold Cup, had his first work over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface, breezing five furlongs in 1:02 Oct. 17 in preparation for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I).
Summer Bird, who likely will be one of the favorites for the Classic, was timed in 1:01.96 by trainer Tim Ice, who said the son of Birdstone handled the surface in fine order. Excerice rider Alonzo Quinonez was aboard.
“He went to the pole a little slow and I got him going the first eighth in :13 1/5 and a half in :38 and change,” Ice said. “But then he picked it up. He went the half in :50 3/5 and came home his final eighth in :11 1/5.
“He looked good going over the ground and had a nice long stride. He was on cruise control the whole way. If he had gone to the pole a little quicker, it would have been a faster work, but he got a good feel for the track. I’ll work him between races next Sunday, so he can get used to the crowd and running over the surface in the afternoon. This horse is so smart and handles everything. I feel he’s peaking.”
Summer Bird became the first horse since Easy Goer in 1989 to sweep the Belmont, Travers, and Jockey Club Gold Cup.