Gr. I Winner Southern Image Back in Training

Multiple grade I winner Southern Image, sidelined for nearly a year battling foot problems, was put through his first workout since last June, posting an unofficial two-furlong blowout easily down Santa Anita's stretch on Wednesday morning.

Trainer Mike Machowsky caught the 5-year-old horse getting the quarter-mile in ":26 and change" and galloping out three furlongs in :38 1/5.

"Everything's good now," Machowsky said following the work. "I put a lot of miles on him just by galloping, to make the transition (to workouts) easy. I didn't want him to go to fast. I wouldn't have been a happy camper."

Southern Image last raced on June 12, 2004, finishing second by a nose to Colonial Colony after a troubled trip in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. The dark brown Florida-bred son of Halo's Image had a career year in 2004 before foot problems cut it short, winning two million-dollar races – the Sunshine Millions Classic and Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) – as well as the Pimlico Special (gr. I). He also owns a victory in the 2003 renewal of the Malibu Stakes (gr. I).

From eight starts overall, Southern Image owns six wins, one second and a third for earnings of $1,843,750 for owners Kagele Brothers and Blahut Stables LLC.

According to Machowsky, Southern Image's will be pointed toward the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar on Aug. 21 with a possible prep in the July 24 San Diego Handicap (gr. II). The ultimate goal, Machowsky said, is the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Belmont Park on Oct. 29.

"The tentative plan is the San Diego, but he has to cooperate," Machowsky said. "The Triple Bend (at Hollywood Park on July 3) is in the back of our minds, but he has to cooperate for him to make it. We'll let him tell us when he's ready."

Southern Image will be back for his first official work on Sunday and is expected to go three furlongs.

"He's not getting a break. He'll go to the track tomorrow," Machowsky said. "And then he'll go another easy three-eighths on Sunday."

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