It was a busy Monday morning for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who sent out Grade 1 Sword Dancer probables Al Khali and Newsdad to work a half-mile in 50 1/5 and five furlongs in 1:02, respectively. Champion Royal Delta worked five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 for the Grade 1 Personal Ensign on August 26, and To Honor and Serve breezed in 1:01 3/5 for a possible start in the Grade 1 Woodward on September 1.
"Royal Delta had a very good work," said Mott of the four-year-old filly, who heads into the 1 1/8-mile Personal Ensign off victories in the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap and the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs. "I think 1:01 and change would have been fine, but she went along pretty well. She went off the right way and finished up nice, too. We're two weeks away, so a decent work was in order."
To Honor and Serve, the 2011 Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap winner, has made three starts this year, taking the Grade 3 Westchester, then finishing third in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap and fourth in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap, all at Belmont Park.
"There is a very good possibility To Honor and Serve could run in the Woodward," Mott said. "He's starting to act better; more like himself. With the weather being cooler, he's eating better and acting better."
While multiple Grade 1 winner Ron the Greek, runner-up in the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap, will await the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park, Mott said Whitney third-place finisher Flat Out could start in the Woodward.
"He's not definite, but he's a definite maybe," he said.