Dawn and Ike Thrash’s Dawn After Dawn signaled her readiness for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) by working five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 at Churchill Downs after the renovation break Sunday morning with jockey Robby Albarado up. The move was the third-fastest of 26 at the distance over a track labeled “fast.”
“Robby’s happy and I’m happy,” trainer Wesley Hawley said after the work. “She went off with her neck bowed down the backside and when Robby asked her, she had her ears pricked. She did it easy.”
Sunday was only the second day that Dawn After Dawn had been on the track at Churchill Downs after spending her first days in Kentucky at the Trackside Training Center. She ran third most recently in the Ashland Stakes (gr. I)
“She galloped real good here yesterday and it looks like she handles this track well,” Hawley said.
Hawley said he may take Dawn After Dawn to the paddock Wednesday afternoon and would do some gate schooling.
“I will probably go to the gate a couple of times just in case we get the one or three hole,” Hawley said. “It looks like there are going to be 13 or 14 of them. Nobody is afraid of Rags to Riches or Octave and certainly not us, but they should be. I think she is going to run big.”
Trainer Bob Baffert sent his Kentucky Oaks candidate Tough Tiz’s Sis through a solid pre-race drill Sunday morning at Santa Anita, one the local clockers timed in 1:11 2/5.
“I really only worked her five (eighths),” the white-haired trainer said. “But she galloped out so strong they gave her the six time. I had her going the five-eighths in :59 and 2.”
Tough Tiz's Sis won the WinStar Oaks at Sunland Park by 3 3/4 lengths March 18.
Baffert had jockey Martin Garcia aboard for the move, but will give the filly’s regular rider, Victor Espinoza, a leg up next Friday.
“I liked her work,” the trainer said. “Good horses work good, so that’s no surprise. We’ll be shipping Wednesday – both me and the horse – and then Friday we’ll find out whether she’s good enough.”