James Tafel’s Street Sense, winner of this year's Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), turned in a solid five-furlong work at Churchill Downs on Tuesday in his first major training move since a victory in the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 25.
The 3-year-old homebred son of Street Cry breezed five furlongs in 1:02.80 under exercise rider Tracey Wilkes. Street Sense covered the distance over a “fast” track in fractions of :27.20, :39.60 and :51.20. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:16.20.
The work ranked 13th out of 20 at the distance.
"It was just to get him started back, that’s all,” said trainer Carl Nafzger. “That was perfect. All we wanted him to do was stretch his legs. Then he did it – we never asked him, he just did that on his own. But that’s what we wanted. It was a perfect work – Tracey worked him perfect.”
In the 1 1/4-mile Travers, Street Sense pulled away in the final yards to defeat Grasshopper by a half-length. Nafzger said he has not decided on the next start for Street Sense, but said it would come in one of three races scheduled for the final weekend in September: the $350,000 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park Sept. 29, the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) Sept. 29 at Hawthorne Race Course, or the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (gr. I) at Belmont Park Sept. 30.
The race that is ultimately chosen would be the Kentucky Derby winner’s final prep before his major objective of the year, the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Monmouth Park Nov. 27. Nafzger said he would not make his final choice of that prep race until the “24th or 25th.”
“That gives me time to get anywhere I want to go,” he said. “It has to be one of those races, or either train up to it (the Classic).”
The victory in the Travers lifted the career record for Street Sense to 6-3-2 from 11 starts and boosted his earnings to $4,058,200.