Lion Heart Posts 'Unbelievable' Haskell Drill

(from Saratoga track notes)
Lion Heart put in an impressive five-furlong workout Friday morning over the Saratoga main track in :58 2/5 handily in preparation for the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park on Aug. 8.

"It was an unbelievable work," trainer Patrick Biancone said in amazement. "He came back good and scoped well. I'm really excited about this horse."

Even though he has won just a race this season, Lion Heart remains one of the top 3-year-olds in the nation – behind Smarty Jones and Birdstone – because of his performances this spring.

Lion Heart was a determined second to The Cliff's Edge in the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland and second to Smarty Jones in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). But the intense spring campaign did catch up to Lion Heart as he finished fourth in the Preakness (gr. I). That was when Biancone decided to give the colt a break.

"We've been lucky so far with this horse," Biancone said. "We have given the time off when it is needed. You cannot force horses to run, especially with this one."

Lion Heart finally won his first race this year with a head victory against a persistent My Snookies Boy in the Long Branch Breeders' Cup (gr. III) at Monmouth Park nearly two weeks ago. Biancone expects his horse to move forth off that race.

"He has matured so much," Biancone said. "He's like a teenager who has developed into a man. He has blossomed that much. He has put on weight and developed more muscles."

Biancone said he plans to ship Lion Heart to Monmouth Park on the day of the race.