Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker.

Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Empire Maker Slows Down; Breezes Easy Half

Following two fast 5-furlong works – in :58 3/5 and :59 – Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker had a nice easy half-mile breeze in :51 Wednesday morning.

Empire Maker, who hasn't run since his victory in the Belmont Stakes, is being pointed for the grade II Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 3.

In Empire Maker's first two works, he had jockey Jerry Bailey and exercise rider Jose Cuevas aboard. This time, Frankel switched to Aaron Gryder, who has worked the son of Unbridled several times.

"Putting Gryder on him was the difference," Frankel said. "I just told him to make sure he went nice and slow, and he went fine."

Frankel's other top middle-distance 3-year-old, Peace Rules, is scheduled to work tomorrow, in preparation for the $1 million Haskell Invitaitonal Handicap at Monmouth Aug. 3. "He won't go that slow," Frankel said. Peace Rules is coming off two blazing half-mile breezes in :45 and change.