With Andy Durnin up and trainer Beau Greely looking on from the grandstand, third-place Arkansas Derby (gr. II) finisher Tres Borrachos worked five furlongs in :59.60 at Churchill Downs May 7 in preparation for a start in the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
The work, second-fastest of 30 at the distance over a fast track, was accomplished after the morning renovation break. Fractions for the work from Churchill Downs clockers were :12, :23.40, :35.20, :47.20 and out six furlongs in 1:14.
Greely, who owns the gelded son of Ecton Park in partnership with his brother John Greely IV and Phil Houchens, was happy with the work.
“It looked like he didn’t get out of a gallop,” Greely said. “I had him in :59 and two and out in 1:13. He went beautiful. I will breeze him next Tuesday, probably an easy half, and then ship to Pimlico on Wednesday.”
Tyler Baze, who rode Tres Borrachos in the Arkansas Derby, will retain the mount in the Preakness.
The May 7 work was the third at Churchill Downs for Tres Borrachos. His first work after arriving in Louisville on April 14 was a three-eighths move on April 22.
“I worked him three-eighths just in case he got in the (Kentucky) Derby,” Greely said. “Then it did not look like he would run which, after watching it, it turned out better that he didn’t.
“I watched the (Derby) in California. It was a tough-run race. Other horses look like they kind of got bundled up and I was kind of glad I wasn’t in there. Then you had Big Brown, who was absolutely amazing. That horse looks like a superstar.”
Greely is eagerly looking forward to the Preakness challenge.
“I think the Preakness will probably suit this horse better than the Derby would have,” Greely said. “The turns are a little tighter and it looks like it carries speed, or it has in the past. Hopefully, it will suit him well and it gives him five weeks in between the Arkansas Derby and Preakness.”
Tres Borrachos would be Greely’s second Preakness starter. He saddled Borrego in the 2004 Preakness to a seventh-place finish after running 10th in the Kentucky Derby two weeks earlier.
“That was a hard race, the Derby that Borrego ran in,” Greely said. “Smarty Jones obviously turned into a phenomenal horse. When we ran that day, the track was washed out and it seemed to kind of suit a speedy type horse like him. We had run against him in the Arkansas Derby and run second, so we were just trying to throw the track out at that point and try the Preakness.
“At the end of the day, Borrego developed into a nice horse and won some major races for older horses, but it feels better going into the Preakness with a fresh horse.”