Empire Maker, Sky Mesa Tear Up Track in Belmont Drills

Empire Maker, Sky Mesa Tear Up Track in Belmont Drills
Photo: Skip Dickstein
Empire Maker, here working prior to Belmont Stakes win.
Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker worked 5 furlongs in a quick :58 3/5 at Belmont Tuesday, while Sky Mesa, who is pointing for the July 6 Dwyer Stakes, went the same distance in :59 flat.

"He was only supposed to work a half-mile," trainer Bobby Frankel said of Empire Maker. "They got him going the half in :46 3/5, but he went out so strong they gave him a 5-furlong work. I wasn't looking for him to go that fast, but the track was very quick this morning and there were a lot of workers out there with him."

Empire Maker will make his return in the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes on Aug. 3. Frankel also sent out Midas Eyes, who breezed 5 furlongs in 1:02 2/5 for a possible start in the Dwyer Stakes. Frankel said he'll decide whether to run the son of Touch Gold in the Dwyer or go with Peace Rules, who is scheduled to work on Wednesday. Peace Rules' main objective is the $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap on Aug. 3, where he is expected to square off again with Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide.

Sky Mesa, who is undefeated in three starts, will be making his first start since his victory in last fall's Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. The son of Pulpit has grown into a magnificent-looking 3-year-old, and trainer John Ward feels he finally has the colt back in top form.

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