Augustin Stable’s Ever So Lucky, third in the Swale Stakes (gr. III) in March, worked five furlongs in :59 2/5 at Keeneland April 3 in preparation for an expected start in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at the Lexington racetrack.
Ever So Lucky, a 3-year-old Indian Charlie colt, worked in company with stablemate Piquant, a maiden who broke away at least five lengths ahead of him. Ever So Lucky reeled in the leader on the far turn and gradually pulled away on the Polytrack surface.
Trainer Jonathan Sheppard said Ever So Lucky galloped out in 1:12 for six furlongs.
“I’m happy with it,” Sheppard said. “We gave him a target. He made up ground a little too quickly, but they all do that. He gobbled him up at the eighth-pole. Once he got to the front he didn’t have to do too much.”
Last year Ever So Lucky broke his maiden impressively in his debut at Churchill Downs, then finished second behind Gemologist in the 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill. The March 10 Swale, a seven-furlong event, was his first and only start of the year.
Sheppard said Ever So Lucky didn’t have the best of trips in the quickly run Swale, in which the colt finished seven lengths behind the victorious Trinniberg. He entered the Swale off a solid work tab at Gulfstream.
“He has been ever so unlucky,” Sheppard said. “It’s hard to judge what goes through a horse’s mind. It’s very confusing for him. We had him pretty much prepped but then he doesn’t get to run and says, ‘What’s going on here?’ But his last race was good; we weren’t going to try to chase the speed.”
Ever So Lucky has now galloped five times at Keeneland since his arrival and is scheduled to work the Tuesday before the April 14 Blue Grass, a 1 1/8-mile event that could attract a full field. Sheppard said Julien Leparoux, who rode Ever So Lucky in his first two starts, will have the mount.
Sheppard has 18 stalls at Keeneland, which begins its spring meet April 6. Sheppard, based in the mid-Atlantic region, said he will again have some horses stabled at Presque Isle Downs & Casino near Erie, Pa., when that meet begins in May.
Presque Isle has a Tapeta racing surface and milder summers.
“It’s a nice, quiet track with a good surface,” Sheppard said. “It’s also cooler up there (for the horses).”