Cairo Prince, the probable favorite for the upcoming $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park, breezed an easy half-mile in :50.90 the morning of March 22 at Palm Meadows.
"He went great. We were looking for a :49ish, but it doesn't matter. It was just a maintenance work, his last work. He did it great," trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said of Cairo Prince. "We're all set for next weekend."
Wildcat Red, Honor Code, Social Inclusion, Matador, Constitution, and Spot were other Triple Crown contenders out for workouts Saturday. Honor Code and Social Inclusion are to run next in the Wood Memorial (gr. I) April 5 at Aqueduct Racetrack. The 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby is March 29.
Exercise Rider Rob Massey was aboard for Cairo Prince's sixth workout at Gulfstream's satellite training facility in Palm Beach County since capturing the Miller Lite Holy Bull (gr. II) at Gulfstream Jan. 25.
"He went by himself. We didn't want a :47," McLaughlin said. "He was perfect. It could have been a tiny bit faster, but we know he can go faster. We were just looking for a maintenance work."
The son of Pioneerof the Nile has won three of four starts, including a 5 3/4-length triumph in the Holy Bull.
Sheikh Mohammed's Darley purchased a majority interest in Cairo Prince since his last start, while Harvey Clarke, W. Craig Robertson III, Paul Braverman, and J. Terrence Murray retained an interest in the Kentucky-bred colt. Richard and Katherine Elam bred the gray/roan out of the Holy Bull mare Holy Bubbette.
Matador sharpened up with a five-furlong breeze in 1:01 at Palm Meadows.
"He worked well. We put a little sharper breeze into him leading up to the race. We're hoping to keep him a little closer to the pace," said trainer Mark Casse, whose son and assistant Norman supervised the breeze.
John Oxley's son of Malibu Moon worked in blinkers while posting the third fastest of 20 recorded at the distance. He will race in blinkers for the first time in the Florida Derby.
Matador, who began his career last year at Woodbine, broke his maiden in the Cup and Saucer Stakes on turf last November before beginning his 3-year-old campaign with a close fourth in the Sam F. Davis (gr. III) on the main track at Tampa Bay Downs. In the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) March 8, he lagged far behind the field before closing to fifth.
"He loves the dirt. He's really trained well at Palm Meadows," Casse said. "Julien said he couldn't get him motivated last time, so we're going to give blinkers a try."
Constitution also had a half-mile tune-up at Palm Meadows Saturday morning, which was timed in in :49.30. The Todd Pletcher-trained colt is undefeated in two starts, both coming this season at Gulfstream. The son of Tapit , owned by WinStar Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stables, broke his maiden Jan. 11 before turning in a dazzling 3 1/2-length victory in an allowance race Feb. 22.
"I think we're in pretty good shape," Pletcher said. "He went a half in 49 and galloped out great. He seemed to do it well and was very relaxed."
Meanwhile, a trio of Triple Crown contenders hit the main track together on a busy Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park.
Wildcat Red, Social Inclusion, and Honor Code each put in timed works through a light rain shortly after 7:30 a.m. Gulfstream Park Derby winner General a Rod was also out for a routine gallop, and will breeze for trainer Mike Maker Sunday.
After galloping once around the track, Hutcheson (gr. III) and Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (gr. II) winner Wildcat Red breezed three furlongs in :35.49, galloping out through the wire in :48.81 for a half-mile.
"He did his job. He did what he usually does," said trainer Jose Garoffalo, who oversees the D'wildcat colt for Honors Stable. "We were happy with the workout and he came back full of himself. It's one more step. Everything seems good, so the plan is still on. We hope to enter the horse on Wednesday and run next Saturday."
The Florida Derby will be the seventh lifetime start for Wildcat Red, all at Gulfstream Park. He has won four of six races and was second by a head to General a Rod in the Gulfstream Park Derby Jan. 1.
"The closer we get to the race, the more excited you are," Garoffalo said, "but we're okay, we're handling it with no rush. We're just waiting for the race, and that's it. We're still on the way."
Unbeaten Social Inclusion, working for the first time since his track record-setting allowance victory over Honor Code at Gulfstream March 12, breezed a half-mile in :49.34 with jockey Luis Contreras up.
"He looked perfect, wonderful," trainer Manny Azpurua said. "He was spectacular. He went so easily and he came back like he didn't even want a drink of water. The rider was so pleased about the way he went. The main thing is he's a very sound horse and he feels good. He's just doing everything right."
Owner Ron Sanchez of Rontos Racing Stable said Social Inclusion will stay at Gulfstream and work three-eighths before leaving March 30 for his next start in the Wood Memorial.
"It was our original plan and we won't change the plan. We have to give him some time. We think he can win anywhere," Sanchez said. "He had a very easy workout, very relaxed. He doesn't need much. The jockey doesn't even ask him to run. He came back with no sign of being tired at all and full of energy."
Sanchez received several offers to purchase the horse after his 10-length victory in 1:40.97 for 8 1/2 furlongs, but no decision has been made.
Also working for the first time since that race was Honor Code, who was clocked in :48.12 for a half-mile, galloping out five furlongs in 1:01.60.
"I thought he went good," Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey said. "I watched from the backside so I don't know what he went in, but I thought he went fine. He's doing very good."
McGaughey plans to work Honor Code again at Gulfstream March 29 and then ship to New York for the Wood Memorial.
"We just wanted to see what his energy level is and see how he comes out of it and whether he moves forward or not," the Hall of Fame conditioner said. "I think he's come out of his race good and is going in the right direction. I just want to make sure he keeps going in the right direction."