Eclipse winner War Pass continues to train towards his 2008 debut.

Eclipse winner War Pass continues to train towards his 2008 debut.

Eliot Schechter

War Pass Works, Pyro Doing Well

The two early Kentucky Derby favorites are on schedule for their respective trainers.

Pyro, who has the racing world buzzing with his last-to-first, two-length score in the Feb. 9 Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds, came out of the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) prep in good order and was doing well Feb. 10 according to Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen.

“I would think there’s a good chance we would run Pyro back in the Louisiana Derby,” said Blasi, while deferring the final decision to Asmussen. “We know he likes this racetrack."

Pyro’s win attracted immediate attention in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which closed Feb. 10. Pyro, who was 12-1 on the morning line, hovered near those opening odds until winning the Risen Star, when his odds plummeted to 5-1.

As for Risen Star runner-up Z Fortune, also trained by Asmussen, Blasi said, “He’s doing well this morning, and we thought he ran an excellent race as well. I would think there’s a good chance now that Steve will separate them (Pyro and Z Fortune) for their next races.”

Meanwhile, in Florida, a pair of 3-year-old Nick Zito trainees, War Pass and Anak Nakal, posted workouts Feb. 9 at Palm Meadows Training Center.

Robert LaPenta’s undefeated War Pass, who has beaten Pyro three times, breezed for the fourth time this winter. His last start was a 4 3/4-length victory in the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. 1) at Monmouth Park Oct. 27. The son of Cherokee Run registered a ‘bullet’ :47 3/5 half-mile workout.

War Pass is expected to start his 2008 campaign in allowance competition at Gulfstream Park later this month.

Anak Nakal has been in steady training since his win in the Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 24. The son of Victory Gallopworked six furlongs in 1:14 2/5 with his first start of the year expected in the $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 24 at Gulfstream.

“Everything is good. They worked good,” Zito said. “Both are on schedule and, knock wood, we can keep it going. We’re happy about everything at this point.”