(from Belmont Park report)
Belmont Stakes and Shadwell Travers (both gr. I) winner Summer Bird left his connections with wide smiles the morning of Sept. 19 after a solid workout for the 3-year-old's next engagement, the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) Oct. 3 at Belmont Park.
With Hall of Fame rider Kent Desormeaux aboard, the chestnut son of 2004 Belmont/Travers winner Birdstone went onto the main track shortly after the renovation break and breezed five furlongs in 1:00.05, the second-fastest of 15 at the distance.
“Kent was very excited about his work, and I’d have to say it has to be one of his best works since he’s been in training,” said Tim Ice, who trains Summer Bird for Kalarikkal and Vilasini Jayaraman. “He looked great, he galloped out strong … all in all, I’d have to give it an A-plus.”
Added Desormeaux: “I’m very pleased. He appears to be a happy horse, and a happy horse is a fast horse.”
Ice said Summer Bird would have his final tune-up for the 1 1/4-mile Gold Cup on Sept. 26.
With his victory in the Shadwell Travers on Aug. 29, Summer Bird became the 30th horse and first since his sire to win both the Belmont and the Travers. The last horse to win the Belmont, Travers and Jockey Club Gold Cup was Easy Goer in 1989.
One of five Grade 1 stakes on Super Saturday, the Jockey Club Gold Cup could also attract Alcomo, Asiatic Boy, Dry Martini, Macho Again, Quality Road and Tizway .
Asiatic Boy, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, worked Sept. 19 as well, going a half-mile in :49.18.