Include, who is the leading candidate for favorite in Saturday's Massachusetts Handicap (gr. II), breezed a half-mile in :47 flat on Tuesday. The workout, the fastest that day at the distance, was at Include's home track of Laurel Park. He was to leave the track for Boston Tuesday evening.
In his last start Include won the grade I Pimlico Special (gr. I) by a neck over Albert the Great. That left him with a lifetime record of eight wins in 11 outings. On Saturday he and jockey Jerry Bailey are expected to face three-time grade I winner Sir Bear
and his new rider, Jorge Chavez. Include was weighted at 118 for the race.
"He did it so easy," said trainer Bud Delp. "It was a fantastic breeze. The boy was slowing down at the end, but not the horse. I'm looking forward to the race." Robert Meyerhoff bred Include in Kentucky. He is a full sibling to another Meyerhoff stakes winner, Magic Broad.
Sir Bear is scheduled to fly from Florida to Massachusetts sometime Wednesday. He had his final workout Monday at Calder Race Course and breezed five furlongs in 1:01 3/5. Sir Bear has been given 117 pounds for Saturday's race. Broken Vow
, another MassCap hopeful, worked at Laurel Park Sunday under jockey Ramon Dominguez. He covered six furlongs in 1:13. Edgar Prado will ride the colt on race day. Personal Moon
, the local MassCap hope, also worked Tuesday. He breezed five furlongs at Suffolk Downs in 1:03 1/5 over a fast track. His trainer, Michael Collins, said "he worked great; he never works like he did today. I know he's racing against the iron, but he loves this racetrack and some horses don't like the surface. They'll know we're in there."