Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem and Harlan's Holiday, who was unplaced as the Derby favorite, both worked at Churchill Downs on Tuesday in preparation for Saturday's Preakness Stakes. Meanwhile at Pimlico, final works were turned in by Crimson Hero and U S S Tinosa.
War Emblem worked five furlongs, getting the distance in 1:03 on the stop watch of Bob Baffert. Baffert caught the son of Our Emblem in splits of :12, :24, :37, and :50 2/5 en route to the final clocking as the colt galloped out six furlongs in 1:16 under exercise rider Dana Barnes.
"I just wanted to take a little edge off him," Baffert said. "He is going to ship Wednesday and we are trying to teach him how to go easy. You can make up for a slow work but you can never make up for a fast work."
Barnes, speaking to Baffert via two-way radio, said she had a hard time pulling War Emblem up following the work. "He is a fit dude," Baffert said.
War Emblem will be seeking his fourth consecutive victory and sixth overall win in the Preakness, which will be his ninth career start.
Meanwhile, Harlan's Holiday, who ran seventh as the Derby favorite, worked a half mile in :48 1/5 under Tony D'Amico. Owner Jack Wolf said the Florida Derby and Toyota Blue Grass Stakes winner is definite for Saturday's Preakness.
On the track just after the renovation break at 8:15 and moments before War Emblem's work, Harlan's Holiday worked to the satisfaction of trainer Ken McPeek
"It was a good solid breeze," McPeek said. "He is as consistent as the day is long. He lost his Derby in the first half mile because we all relaxed a little too much, thinking things were going to set up for us."
McPeek said he would instruct jockey Edgar Prado to put Harlan's Holiday into the race much sooner in the Preakness. "We have to take advantage of his speed," McPeek said. "He's got tactical speed. Physically, the horse has not missed a beat. He deserves a chance."
The winner of six of 11 career starts, with the Derby his only unplaced effort, Harlan's Holiday has earned $1,466,564 to date.
Meanwhile at Pimlico, Tracy Farmer's Crimson Hero, runner-up to Proud Citizen in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II), worked five furlongs in 1:02 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:18 under Jamie Sanders. He is trained by Nick Zito.
With exercise rider Craig McGurn at Pimlico for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, multiple stakes winner U S S Tinosa worked a half-mile in :46 2/5 and galloped out five furlongs in :59 4/6.