Grade I winner Lion Heart was put through his first workout of the new year on Friday, breezing a half-mile in :48 3/5 over Santa Anita's fast main track.

Regular exercise rider Jean Claude was in the saddle for Friday's move, which was the 16th fastest of the 46 who went four furlongs on the day. The chestnut colt hasn't raced or worked since winning the Dec. 20 Hollywood Futurity (gr. I).

"Perfect," trainer Patrick Biancone said. "I wasn't looking for anything special, just a nice easy breeze."

The Michael Tabor color bearer is preparing for his sophomore debut in the March 6 San Rafael Stakes (gr. II), a one-mile main track event that carries a $200,000 purse. If all goes well, the Kentucky-bred son of Tale of the Cat -- Satin Sunrise, by Mr. Leader will use the Apr. 3 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) as a springboard to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on May 1.

"He'll work every six days or so until the San Rafael," Biancone explained. "If we take good care of him hopefully he'll take good care of us."

Noted bloodstock agent Demi O'Byrne, who selected the $1.4 million juvenile at Fasig-Tipton's February 2-year-olds in training sale 11 months ago on behalf of Tabor, was on hand for the colt's first 3-year-old drill and was impressed with what he saw.

"I haven't seen him since he broke his maiden (Oct. 24)," O'Byrne said. "He looks very well; I'm very pleased. The important thing during this time is that he keeps improving."

Lion Heart has won all three of his career starts. Besides the Hollywood Futurity, he captured the Hollywood Prevue Stakes (gr. III) in stakes-record time. He's earned $310,800.

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