Sunday Break's Turf Debut Set in Arcadia

Sunday Break's Turf Debut Set in Arcadia
Photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese
Sunday Break, winning the 2002 Peter Pan.
Koji Maeda's Japanese-bred Sunday Break worked a bullet seven furlongs in 1:26 2/5 handily around the dogs over Santa Anita's firm turf course Wednesday morning. Hall of Fame conditioner Neil Drysdale was on hand to supervise the son of Forty Niner, who went fastest of seven on the lawn for the distance on the day with jockey Corey Nakatani in the irons.

"Sunday Break has been training very, very well and he'll run in the Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT)," Drysdale revealed. The grassy nine-furlong Arcadia is for 4-year-olds and up and will be contested for a purse of $150,000 on April 6.

Sunday Break last finished 10th of 11 in the March 2 New Orleans Handicap (gr. III) where he was fractious in the gate, resulting in a poor break. The colt, who finished third in last year's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), will be making his turf debut in the Arcadia and has worked four times on the grass over the past two months.

Sunday Break has won four of 10 career starts, with a second and three thirds, for earnings of $415,220. He hasn't reached the winner's circle in three starts since winning last May's Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park.

Drysdale's Grade/Group II winner Touch of the Blues, who hasn't started since finishing 10th in the Breeders' Cup Mile on Oct. 26, also worked Wednesday over Santa Anita's turf course, logging six furlongs in 1:14 4/5. The 6-year-old French-bred son of Cadeaux Genereux has been training forwardly for his 2003 debut.

"Touch of the Blues may run in the Arcadia or the Maker's Mark Mile (gr. IIT April 11at Keeneland) again and defend his title there," Drysdale said.

Touch of the Blues hasn't won since the Maker's Mark nearly a year ago, but did finish second in the Shadwell Keeneland Turf Mile (gr. IT) before his disappointing Breeders' Cup finish. He won the group II Criterum de Maisons Laffite in 1999 and Prix Saint-Yorre-Criterium de l'Ouest, as well as the 2000 Prix du Pan before being imported to America in 2000. Other black-type stakes performances during his career include the 2001 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), 2001 San Simeon Handicap (gr. IIIT), 1999 Prix Herod, and two runnings (2001-2002) of the Wickerr Handicap. Overall, he has earned $574,473 from a career record of 29-6-5-2.

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