Summer Bird, who arrived at Monmouth July 3 following a van ride from Louisiana Downs, with a stopover at Churchill Downs, breezed five furlongs in 1:04 2/5 under exercise rider Leo Atempo, as trainer Tim Ice watched from the clocker’s stand. The son of Birdstone was timed galloping out six furlongs in 1:17 2/5.
Summer Bird’s first work at
“He doesn’t normally work fast anyway, but he did gallop out strong,” Ice said. “And Leo could hardly get him pulled up. We weren’t looking for anything spectacular, especially since he just got here. We just wanted to give him something to let him blow out a little bit.”
As Summer Bird walked off the track blowing noticeably, Ice said. “He got something out of it,” Ice said. “We still have three more works planned before the Haskell, and we’ll let him do a little bit more.”
Back at the barn, Ice said, “Leo was blowing more than he was. He went all the way around to the three-eighths pole before he was able to get him pulled up.”
About an hour and a half earlier, Gary Stute sent Papa Clem out for a five-furlong breeze with jockey Elvis Trujillo aboard. Although Stute was looking for about 1:00, Papa Clem, who has a history of doing what he feels like in the morning, had other ideas, going in 1:03 2/5 after an opening quarter in :26.
But Stute, like Ice, was not dismayed in the slightest. Several days earlier, Papa Clem did not want to train at all.
“I got a real good seven-furlong work in him before he left, so he really didn’t have to do too much today,” Stute said. “Other than the Preakness, he always fires, so I never worry too much about his works. I could tell he was going off real slow the first quarter. That main thing was to just get a feel of the track.”
Papa Clem is scheduled to run in Saturday’s Long Branch Stakes (gr. III) as a prep for the Haskell.