Songster, Henny Hughes Drill for King's Bishop Clash

(from Saratoga notes)
Trainer Tom Albertrani sent out Songster for a brisk half-mile breeze Friday morning at Saratoga as the colt prepares for the $250,000 King's Bishop (gr. I) at seven furlongs to be run Aug. 26.

Another colt prepping for the King's Bishop, Henny Hughes, breezed five furlongs in :59 2/5 over the main track, galloping out six furlongs in 1:12 2/5. After the work, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin was all smiles.

The Darley-owned Songster went four furlongs in :47 1/5 over Saratoga Race Course's main track. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:00.

"It was a very nice work," Albertrani said. "He came out of the work in great shape. We won't work him again (before the King's Bishop). He's ready to go."

Songster finished second at 1-9 in the local prep for the King's Bishop, the Amsterdam (gr. II) run on July 31. That day he was close up to a hot pace, and was passed late by Court Folly. Albertrani is hoping he can settle a little better in the King's Bishop.

"Hopefully, going seven furlongs will allow him to settle a little better and not be chasing hot fractions," Albertrani said. "One of his best races was at seven furlongs, so the distance shouldn't be a concern. He came off the pace and had something left in the end that day."

Songster won the Woody Stephens Breeder's Cup (gr. II) on the Belmont Stakes undercard, the race Albertrani was referring to.

"I'm hoping he draws outside," Albertrani said. "He's done his best running when he is able to break outside of horses. It won't force our hand as much and it will allow him to gauge what the others are doing."

"He came out great," McLaughlin said after Henny Hughes workout. "I like everything I see with this horse. It was a great work. We won't work him again. He's ready (for the King's Bishop)."

Henny Hughes often works fast in the morning, and Friday's work was no different.

"This was a pretty fast work," McLaughlin said. "There's no settling this horse down. He runs fast and he trains fast."

Henny Hughes will be looking to win his first grade I race in the King's Bishop, and McLaughlin is eagerly awaiting the opportunity.

"There just aren't many grade one races for sprinters, so we need to win this race," he said. "Since we got him back in April, this has been our goal."