Pico Central on Mend, Could Make Triple Bend

(from Hollywood Park notes)
Trainer Paulo Lobo said Wednesday that a cut Pico Central suffered on a foreleg while winning the Metropolitan Mile Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park on May 31 is healing well, and the 4-year-old Brazilian-bred colt is nearing a return to the track.

"Pico Central should be on the track by the middle of next week," said Lobo Wednesday. "It will be difficult to make the Triple Bend (Breeders' Cup Invitational Handicap), but we are still trying."

The $300,000 Triple Bend (gr. I) is at seven furlongs on July 3. Pico Central has emerged as the nation's leading sprinter following consecutive victories in the San Carlos Handicap at Santa Anita (gr. II) and the Carter Handicap (gr. I) and Met Mile in New York.

Lobo already has a busy schedule on July 3. He plans to run Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) winner Lovely Rafaela in the $750,000 American Oaks (gr. IT) that afternoon. He also may run Quero Quero in the $100,000-added Royal Heroine Stakes (gr. IIIT) on that program if the recent third-place finisher in the Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) does not run in the $200,000 Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIT) on June 27 instead.