Several horses posted important works at Santa Anita Park the weekend of Feb. 18-19.
J. Paul Reddam’s Boxeur des Rues, who worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Feb. 18 in a bullet :58 1/5 for trainer Doug O’Neill, is being pointed to the March 3 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) according to Doug’s brother, Dennis.
“He worked crazy,” said Dennis O’Neill of the winning son of Smart Strike , who is looking for his first stakes victory in the Big ‘Cap. “He went out in :10 and change (for six furlongs) and was in behind two horses because we wanted to see how he handled dirt getting kicked back at him. He handled it very well.”
Jockey Mario Gutierrez, who rode Reddam’s I'll Have Another to an upset win in the Feb. 4 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II), was aboard for the drill.
From the barn of Mike Pender, Strub Stakes (gr. II) winner Ultimate Eagle (by Mizzen Mast ) worked six furlongs for the Big ‘Cap on Hollywood’s Cushion Track Feb. 19 in 1:11 2/5, while Jeranimo , a multiple graded stakes-winning son of Congaree ticketed for the March 3 Kilroe Mile Handicap (gr. IT), went five furlongs in 59 2/5.
Midnight Transfer, winner of the Jan. 22 San Pedro Stakes at Santa Anita, worked seven furlongs in company with Irish Art at the Southern California track Feb. 19 in preparation for the March 10 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II).
Midnight Transfer covered the distance in 1:25 1/5 under Joel Rosario, while Irish Art was clocked in 1:26.
“He went fantastic,” trainer Carla Gaines said of Midnight Transfer, a 3-year-old son of Hard Spun . “We worked in company to give him a target and because it was a two-turn work.”
In other work news, 2011 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) and Foxwood’s Kings Bishop Stakes (gr. I) winner Caleb's Posse covered a half mile in :48 flat under exercise rider David Contreras at Oaklawn Park Feb. 19.
Trained by Donnie Von Hemel for McNeil Stables and Cheyenne Stables, the 4-year-old son of Posse is preparing for his 4-year-old debut in the March 3 Tom Fool (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
On the shelf since winning the Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs in November, Caleb’s Posse has posted several strong breezes at Oaklawn while Von Hemel has plotted a course toward the Metropolitan Mile (gr. I) in May.
“I was very pleased with him today,” said Von Hemel. “I had him out in about a minute and he came down the lane very nicely.”
Shipping plans hadn’t been finalized, but Von Hemel expects to van Caleb’s Posse to Memphis, where he would catch a FedEx cargo flight to the New York area.