Trainer John Ward said Tuesday he's ready to "ambush" Saturday's Preakness field after Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I) winner Booklet worked a half-mile in :48 and galloped out in five furlongs "1:02 and change" at Churchill Downs under Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day.
Ward said the work was mostly designed so "Pat could get a feel for this horse. He found out a couple of the gears he's got." Ward said he timed the son of Notebook going in "36 and a couple" for the final three furlongs of the work.
"I'm in the Preakness kind of like someone who's planning an ambush," Ward said of the Notebook colt who did not contest the May 4 Kentucky Derby. "We can pick our spots, which is why we passed on the Derby. We will be doing the ambushing on Saturday."
Ward predicted that Booklet, who races for John Oxley, would be on the lead going into the first turn in the Preakness, but that he would give no instructions to Day after the call for "riders up."
"I can't imagine anyone would want to hook up with this horse as they go down the stretch the first time," Ward said of the colt who has been ridden by Jorge Chavez in his last three efforts. "The Preakness is a rider's race, and that's one of the reasons I like Pat. Not just because of the Preaknesses he's won but because he rides (at) Pimlico so well."