Bruce Lunsford's Madcap Escapade, winner of the Ashland (gr. I) and third in her only career loss in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), returned to serious training on Friday with a sharp three-furlong breeze over a "sloppy" track at Churchill Downs.
The brilliant daughter of Hennessy, trained by Frank Brothers, covered the distance in:36 3/5 under apprentice jockey Jordan Charkoudian, the second fastest of four works at the distance.
"I thought that was about as slow as you could get her," Brothers said. "The most important thing is that she did it well within herself and she seemed to cool out fine. She's been training great and, at this point, I'm very happy with her."
Madcap Escapade has not competed since her effort in the Kentucky Oaks in which she shot to a large lead and held well for third after being passed by the victorious Ashado and runner-up Island Sand. The filly was preparing for a run in the Acorn (gr. I) at Belmont Park when she was found to have suffered a non-displaced hairline fracture of the hip.
Brothers said Madcap Escapade was given two months of stall rest and then was turned out for another two months to let the injury heal naturally. He said she has been back in training for about two months and, if all goes well, should return to racing early next year.
"We're going to take our time," said Brothers. "We'll go to Miami and probably start down there. There's no rush on her. I don't even know where we would start her. We just want to get her back in the game."
Madcap Escapade opened her career with a dazzling 10-length romp in a Gulfstream Park maiden race and followed that effort with easy stakes wins in the Old Hat and Forward Gal (gr. II). She defeated Ashado in a front-running effort in the Ashland before losing to her in the Oaks.