Survivalist's Derby Chances Lessen After Slow Work

Ogden Mills Phipps' Survivalist, winner of the Gotham (gr. III) and runner-up in the Wood Memorial (gr. I), breezed a half-mile in :51 3/5 at Belmont Park Wednesday, after which trainer Shug McGaughey said the colt wasn't likely to run in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

McGaughey, however, did not rule out the Derby completely. "After that work, I really can't go ahead with him," McGaughey said. "He just went too slow. I'll work him again Sunday or Monday and figure it out from there."

Survivalist won the Gotham, with the first five finishers within 1 1/2 lengths of each other at the wire. He then separated himself from those horses by finishing well ahead of them in the Wood Memorial, although he was beaten 17 1/2 lengths by Bellamy Road.

After last weekend's preps, won by big margins by Bandini and Afleet Alex, McGaughey began to have second thoughts about the Derby, as long as the colt worked well enough this morning. McGaughey said he has not thought of any alternatives for the son of Danzig--Miner's Game, by Mr. Prospector should he not run in the Derby.