Grade III winner Majestic Harbor, nearing a start in the $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita (gr. I), worked five furlongs the morning of June 22 in a bullet :58 4/5 under regular rider Tyler Baze.
Majestic Harbor's time was the fastest of 67 at the distance on the morning as he prepares for the June 28 Gold Cup. The 6-year-old son of Rockport Harbor galloped out six furlongs in 1:11 3/5. Fractional times were :23 for the first quarter mile and :47 2/5 for the half.
"I was very pleased and so was Tyler," trainer Sean McCarthy said of his mutlipe graded stakes-placed performer. "It was just what we were looking for. He worked great."
Majestic Harbor won the Tokyo City at 1 1/2 miles by three lengths, and came back to finish third in the 1 1/8-mile Californian Stakes (gr. II) May 31 when he got rolling late to finish behind expected Gold Cup rivals Clubhouse Ride and Fury Kapcori.
McCarthy is hoping the 1 1/4-mile distance of the Gold Cup, the former Hollywood Park centerpiece being contested at Santa Anita Park for the first time, will be sufficient.
"The distance will certainly be more beneficial to him," McCarthy said. "He's been running with these horses all winter and been right there with them, and this is the first time he gets to a go a mile and a quarter with them."
Owned by Gallant Stable, Majestic Harbor has a 5-6-4 career mark from 22 starts with earnings of $355,764.
Elsewhere, Chilean invader Salto Del Indio worked five furlongs for trainer Mike Puype in 1:00 2/5 under Brice Blanc, who rides the 4-year-old ridgling in the Gold Cup in his U.S. debut.
"He's been training well and he's got good dirt form," Puype pointed out. "He's a wild card for the race, obviously, but we've got to take a shot and see what can happen. He's been one-two-three in 13 of 15 starts on dirt. I've watched replays of his races, and he comes from off the pace."
Probable for the Gold Cup are Clubhouse Ride, Joe Talamo; Fury Kapcori, Corey Nakatani; Game On Dude, Mike Smith; Imperative, Kent Desormeaux; Lideris, no rider; Majestic Harbor, Tyler Baze; and Salto Del Indio, Brice Blanc.
Imperative comes into the Gold Cup at Santa Anita with a gap of more than two months since his last race, a 26-1 upset of Game On Dude in the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic (gr. II) April 19.
"We just gave him some time off and got him ready for the Gold Cup," explained trainer George Papaprodromou. "Hopefully there will be pace in the race with Game On Dude and Fury Kapcori to make things easier for us. But he's already exceeded our expectations, winning a million dollar race after we claimed him for $50,000."