Street Sense, Curlin Work at Churchill Downs

Street Sense, Curlin Work at Churchill Downs
Photo: CDI/Reed Palmer
Derby winner Street Sense works out at Churchill Downs.
The winners of this spring’s memorable first two Triple Crown races were in action at Churchill Downs July 1 as Street Sense, winner of the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), and Curlin, who edged the Derby winner to take a memorable renewal of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), each worked five furlongs under the historic Twin Spires.

Street Sense covered the distance in 1:02.40 over a fast track under jockey Calvin Borel shortly after the morning break for track maintenance. Curlin, who had regular exercise rider Carmen Rosas in the saddle, worked the same distance in 1:03.20 around 6:20 a.m.  It was the first major training move for Curlin since he was narrowly beaten by Kentucky Oaks (gr. I)-winning filly Rags to Riches in the June 9 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

The Carl Nafzger-trained Street Sense started slowly, but finished quickly in his work. James Tafel’s homebred son of Street Cry was timed by Churchill Downs clockers in fractions of :14, :27, :39.40, and :51. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.60.

“He relaxed early and finished well,” said Nafzger.  “He listened to Calvin real well this morning.”

It was the second work for the Kentucky Derby winner since his narrow loss to Curlin in the May 19 Preakness. Street Sense is expected to return to competition in either the July 29 Jim Dandy (gr. II) at Saratoga or the Aug. 5 Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park.

The Steve Asmussen-trained Curlin, owned by a partnership that includes Stonestreet Stable, Padua Stable, George Bolton, and Midnight Cry Stable, was clocked in fractions of :13.80, :27, :38.80, and :51 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:17.40.

“I asked for 1:03 and I got 1:03,” said Asmussen.  “He’s an awesome horse.”

Although Monday’s move was Curlin’s first work since the Belmont Stakes, the colt had turned in a series of strong gallops and Asmussen was happy with his classic winner as the colt prepared to launch a summer/fall campaign that is expected to culminate with a run in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic powered by Dodge (gr. I) at New Jersey’s Monmouth Park Oct. 27.

“I don’t think that he’s lost any sharpness,” said Asmussen.  “He’s just happy and healthy.”

Asmussen has set the Haskell Invitational as the target for Curlin’s return to racing after his post-Triple Crown break. He plans to work Curlin once more at Churchill Downs before the colt flies to Albany, NY and then travels by van to join Asmussen’s stable at Saratoga on July 12. 

“We’ll keep our routine where it’s at,” said Asmussen.  “We’ll have plenty in us before we leave here, so we’re not obligated (to that schedule) when you get up there, because you never know what will happen in New York, weather-wise.”

Asmussen’s other major 3-year-old, Stonestreet Stable’s Tiz Wonderful, is scheduled to work at Churchill Downs July 3. The unbeaten winner of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) and Iroquois (gr. II) is being pointed toward a return to competition in the Jim Dandy after being sidelined with a tendon injury.

Several other Asmussen-trained horses turned in important works July 2. Spinaway (gr. I) winner Appealing Zophie breezed four furlongs in :52.20 in preparation for a run in the July 7 Prioress Breeders’ Cup (gr. I) at Belmont Park.  Rated Fiesty, a 2-year-old filly who defeated males in the Kentucky Breeders’ Cup (gr. III), breezed four furlongs in :50 in preparation for Saturday’s $100,000 Debutante (gr. III) at Churchill.  Hargill, a recent maiden winner who is scheduled to run in Saturday’s $150,000-added Bashford Manor (gr. III) at Churchill, breezed a half-mile in :50.80. Jefferson Cup (gr. II) winner Inca King breezed four furlongs in :50.20. Zanjero, runner-up in the Northern Dancer Breeders’ Cup (gr. III) and 12th in the Kentucky Derby, breezed five furlongs in 1:04 in preparation for his next start in the Aug. 4 West Virginia Derby (GIII) at Mountaineer Park.

Also working at Churchill Downs July 2 was Silverton Hill’s Dominican, the winner of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) and the 11th place finisher in the Kentucky Derby. The Darrin Miller-trained son of El Corredor worked in company with stablemate Bacetto and covered five furlongs in :59.80. Dominican’s move was the fastest of 23 at the distance and galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.40. Bacetto completed his work in 1:00.20, the fourth-fastest work at the distance.

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