Summer Bird, winner of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in his last effort, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 the morning of July 12 at Monmouth Park. The son of Birdstone is being pointed toward the Jersey shore track’s signature event, the Aug. 2 Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I).
With Eddie Castro aboard, the 3-year-old colt hit the track just after 9 a.m. Clockers caught his last quarter in :24 2/5. After overnight rains, the track surface was sealed and wet.
“It was exactly what we wanted,” said trainer Tim Ice, who shipped his classic winner to Monmouth July 3. “His last two works here pretty easy, so I wanted to get a little something more into him today. This was what I was looking for.”
Summer Bird breezed five furlongs at Louisiana Downs June 27, going in 1:04 2/5. He had an identical work at Monmouth July 6.
A winner of $723,040 with two wins from five career starts for breeder/owner Drs. K.K. “Jay” and Devi Jayaraman, Summer Bird is out of the Summer Squall mare Hong Kong Squall. Summer Bird broke his maiden at second asking March 19 at Oaklawn Park. He was then third in the Arkansas Derby (gr. II), beaten 1 ¼ lengths by Papa Clem , who is also being pointed for the $1-million Haskell. After running on to be sixth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Summer Bird went from next to last to first in the Belmont, winning by 2 ¾ lengths over Dunkirk .
Summer Bird is slated to have two more works before the Haskell.
“He’ll continue to work on Sundays,” Ice said. “Desormeaux (jockey Kent, who was aboard for the Belmont win) will be here for his last work on July 26.
Another Haskell hopeful, Big Drama, skipped a workout July 12 and instead is scheduled to go out just after the break July 13.
“I didn’t like the track condition this morning, so we’ll wait for tomorrow,” said trainer David Fawkes, who conditions the son of Montbrook for Harold L. Queen.