The Nick Zito-trained pair of High Fly and Noble Causeway, the one-two finishers in the Florida Derby (gr. I), breezed five furlongs at Churchill Downs Friday, although Zito said both colts actually worked six furlongs after breaking off between poles. Also on the work tab Friday was Illinois Derby (gr. II) winner Greeley's Galaxy.
Churchill clockers caught High Fly in 1:06 3/5 and Noble Causeway in 1:04 3/5. Zito, however, said High Fly breezed six furlongs in about 1:18, while Noble Causeway went the same distance in about 1:17.
"What I've been doing is working the horses past the wire," Zito said. "It's a monsoon over there now, so we got lucky even getting the work in. And it's supposed to be bad weather through Sunday. The truth is, they both worked three-quarters, and I was happy with both of them; they went beautifully. Right now, the track is very heavy, and I doubt you'll be seeing anything work fast. Greeley's Galaxy worked from the three-quarter pole to the wire, and the clockers got him 1:16 4/5, so mine are right on line with that, and they were finishing up around the turn.
"I know it's going to look bad on paper, but I don't really care. I remember Strike the Gold had the slowest work in history, and it was the same thing with Go For Gin. Next weekend, for their final tuneup, each one will work in company. We'll be tightening up all the horses before the race. All I'm interested in right now is how they do it. I'm in good shape, believe me. If you want to remember anything about these works, just ask yourself, how much is 12 and 12? That's what High Fly did the last quarter in. For sure, in stone, that's what he went. And Noble Causeway did the same thing. I don't know what the clockers got. I respect them; they're good clockers. I know both my horses did a Willie Mays. That was his number, 24. Just remember Willie Mays' number and you'll know how my horses worked."
Zito said Sun King will work next Thursday or Friday, depending on the weather, while Bellamy Road will join High Fly and Noble Causeway on the work tab next weekend. Andromeda's Hero is stabled at Keeneland and should also work at the end of next week.
Greeley's Galaxy went in fractions :13 3/5, :26 2/5, :38 4/5, :51 2/5, and 1:04 1/5, then came home his final eighth in :12 3/5 to complete the six furlongs in 1:16 4/5. The son of Mr. Greeley galloped out seven furlongs in 1:32 2/5.