Greater Good Shifts to Turf in Commonwealth

(from Churchill Downs notes)
Lewis Lakin's Greater Good turned in a sharp three-furlong work on Thursday in preparation for his scheduled grass debut in Sunday's second running of the $150,000-added Commonwealth Turf at Churchill Downs.

The Robert Holthus-trained son of Intidab covered the distance over "fast" footing in :36, which was the fastest move of 10 at the distance.

Greater Good emerged as one of the most promising members of his generation last fall with a win in the Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. He launched his 3-year-old season with a victory in the Southwest at Oaklawn Park and then defeated the highly regarded Rockport Harbor and eventual Preakness (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Afleet Alex in the Rebel (gr. III) over the same track.

The Rebel proved to be the season's high point for Greater Good as it was followed by a dull fifth-place run behind Afleet Alex in the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and a 13th place finish behind Giacomo in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

Holthus had planned to give Greater Good a break after the Derby disappointment, but an X-ray examination before that break revealed a problem that extended his summer vacation.

"We X-rayed his knees and ankles and everything, and we found about a pinhead-sized chip in his left knee," said Holthus. "So, we took it out and got that taken care of while he was getting a rest. He developed a lot – probably put on about 75 or 80 pounds. He seems to be happy horse, so we'll try this and if it doesn't work we'll take him home for the winter."

Holthus admitted that he hasn't thought of Greater Good as being a turf horse before, but he would certainly welcome success on the surface as he searches for future options for his colt.

"Mainly it's just an opportunity to run against 3-year-olds," said Holthus. "When you take a 3-year-old and you have to hook old horses, it's tough, even at this time of the year. We thought we'd try this and, if it doesn't work, we'll take him to (Oaklawn Park in) Hot Springs and start over again in the spring."

Greater Good has raced only once since the Kentucky Derby. That was a seventh place finish behind Don't Get Mad in the Indiana Derby (gr. II) at Hoosier Park.

He has had four good works since that race, including a five-furlong move around the dogs on yielding turf in 1:01 on Oct. 27.

Greater Good brings a career record of 5-0-1 in 10 races and earnings of $466,275 into the Commonwealth Turf.