With the trainer observing from the track’s press box, Liquidity had the better work of the two, stopping O’Neill’s watch in :59.07 for five furlongs. Cobalt Blue breezed the same distance in “1:01 and change.” Regular exercise rider Tony Romero was aboard for both works.
Liquidity, a son of Tiznow owned by Paul Reddam, had fractional times of :12 2/5, :24, and :46 for the half-mile. “He always trains a little lazy, but he got into it and breezed great,” O’Neill said of the colt who finished fourth in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). The winner of one of seven career starts, Liquidity finished second in both the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) and Sham Stakes (gr. III).
Although Cobalt Blue’s effort was slightly slower than that of his stablemate, O’Neill was pleased. “That was good, very good,” he said. “The biggest thing was getting them back into the workout routine. Both of today’s workouts were just maintenance. I was not looking for much.”
A son of Golden Missile owned by entertainment mogul Merv Griffin, Cobalt Blue won an allowance and the San Felipe (gr. II) before finishing seventh in the Illinois Derby (gr. II).
O’Neill said he plans to work both Cobalt Blue and Liquidity, as well as stablemate Great Hunter, at Keeneland on Friday, April 27, before shipping them to Churchill Downs for their final Derby preparations.
Also owned by Reddam, Great Hunter has won or placed in eight of nine career starts. The son of Aptitude won the Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) and finished third in the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) as a 2-year-old. From two outings this year, the colt won the Robert Lewis Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita before finishing a close-up fifth, beaten only 1 ¾ lengths, in Keeneland’s Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I).