The final work for probable Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) contender Ever So Lucky came April 10 at Keeneland when he breezed five furlongs in a speedy :57. Julien Leparoux, who will ride Ever So Lucky in the race, was aboard.
“I told (Leparoux) to set him down a little bit because he’s going to run the longest distance of his life and he needs to get a little bit tired,” trainer Jonathan Sheppard said about Ever So Lucky, a colt by Indian Charlie. “The track’s lightning (fast), and the time doesn’t really mean anything. But I was very pleased with the way he did it. Julien did a good job.”
Clockers caught Ever So Lucky in fractions of :11 4/5, :22 4/5, :34 1/5, and :45, out six furlongs in 1:09 and out seven furlongs in 1.23 1/5.
The move was the second at Keeneland for Ever So Lucky, who breezed five furlongs in :59 2/5 a week ago. He worked in company that time.
Ever So Lucky has had several setbacks in his training and racing schedule, including grabbing a quarter in his right front foot. He recently has been training in a bar shoe, but will wear a regular shoe for the Toyota Blue Grass.
Sheppard said all appears to be well now for Ever So Lucky.
“Knock on wood,” he said. “Ever since he arrived here, his training has been uninterrupted for the first time really since he ran at Churchill Downs last year because he always seems to have some little bump in the road that’s interrupted his training. I kind of feel sorry for the horse because you bring him up to a point, then you back off him again and it’s kind of confusing.”
Ever So Lucky will be the first Blue Grass starter for Sheppard and owner George Strawbridge Jr.
In other Blue Grass news:
* Jockey Miguel Mena will have the mount on Olympia Star Inc.’s Russian Greek, according to trainer Gennadi Dorochenko.
Trained by Mike Maker, Gung Ho finished second in the Rushaway at Turfway Park on March 24 in his 2012 debut. In his lone Keeneland start, Gung Ho was seventh in last fall’s Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) behind Blue Grass rival Dullahan.