Although the May 14 work byBodemeister didn’t happen, as the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) runner-up just galloped at Churchill Downs, there still was plenty of action over the sloppy track with Preakness (gr. I) works by Cozzetti, Hierro, and Optimizer, as well as Isn't He Clever and Bodemeister’s stablemate Paynter.
The highlight of the morning was the five-furlong work in :58 4/5 by Cozzetti, with the son of Cozzene rattling off fractions of :11 3/5, :23 1/5, :34 4/5, and :46 4/5, and then galloping out three-quarters in 1:12 2/5.
“He’s ready to go,” trainer Dale Romans said. “We wanted a good work and he likes a track with a little water on it. I think he’s going to run huge.”
Cozzetti, owned by Albaugh Family Stables, finished a fast-closing third in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) and fourth in the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) in his last two starts.
Stronestreet Stables’ Hierro, winner of the Derby Trial (gr. III) in his last start, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 1/5, with splits of :12 4/5, :25 2/5, :37 1/5, and :49, coming home his final quarter in :24 flat. The son of Hard Spun galloped out three-quarters in 1:14 4/5.
Optimizer, owned by Bluegrass Hall and trained by D. Wayne Lukas, breezed a half in :49 4/5. The son of
Despite poor performances in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Arkansas Derby, Lukas has decided to try again in the Preakness. In his only good effort this year, Optimizer finished a fast-closing second in the Rebel Stakes (gr. II).
In other works of note, Borderland Derby winner and Sunland Derby runner-up Isn’t He Clever, who like Hierro is trained by Steve Asmussen, breezed a half in :51 3/5, with splits of :13 3/5, :26 2/5, and :38 4/5.
Derby Trial runner-up Paynter, whose next start is undecided at this point, breezed his half in :50 2/5, with an opening quarter in :25.