Schoolyard Dreams, who finished ahead of winner Super Saver in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III), fired a bullet five-furlong work in :59 3/5 at Monmouth Park with jockey Eibar Coa in the irons. It was fastest of 12 works at the distance the morning of May 6 and left trainer Derek Ryan brimming with confidence heading into Preakness Stakes (gr. I) May 15.
“The work went perfect,” said Ryan, who finished third in the 2009 Preakness with Musket Man. “Finally got something to go right; if we could only get a race to go like this. I’m coming there to win it. I don’t want to be second or third again.
“That horse should have won last year. If he didn’t get kicked at the three-eighths pole, the most important part of the race, I would have been two or three behind Rachel Alexandra turning for home. (Instead) we were 12 behind. He did his trademark run, but we were beaten a length and a half.”
Ryan will ship into Pimlico the day before the Preakness with Schoolyard Dreams, Ponzi Scheme, who will run in the James Murphy Stakes on the Preakness undercard, and Black-Eyed Susan (gr. II) starter C C’s Pal.
Owned by Eric Fein and Triple Diamond Stable, Schoolyard Dreams will enter the Preakness off a fourth-place effort in the Wood Memorial (gr. I). The son of Stephen Got Even was a hard-luck runner-up to Odysseus in the March 13 Tampa Bay Derby. He is 2-2-1 from six starts with earnings of $179,060.