Ipi Tombe completed her serious training for her American racing debut in Saturday's $150,000 Locust Grove Handicap (gr. IIIT) by breezing a half-mile Tuesday at Churchill Downs. The 5-year-old Zimbabwe-bred daughter of Manshood covered four furlongs around the dogs on firm turf in :51 for trainer Elliott Walden.
Entries for the Locust Grove will be taken Thursday and Walden said his mare's training for the race has been, for the most part, flawless. A couple of works over the turf course had to b e rescheduled because of wet weather, but Walden said those scheduling problems did not interfere with her preperation.
"We got the works in her that we wanted to get in," said Walden. "It was just a question of when we were able to get them in. Since she's been here we haven't had any setbacks."
Ipi Tombe, who made a name for herself by defeating the males in the $2-million Dubai Duty Free, is owned by Team Valor, WinStar Farm and Sunmark Partners who privately purchased her. The mare has 11 wins from 13 starts and has earned $1,427,871.
In other Locust Grove news, the Neil Howard-trained Quick Tip breezed five furlongs Tuesday on the turf in the company of stablemate Rock Slide, winner of the June 15 Sea O' Erin at Arlington Park.
The two finished together in :50. Robby Albarado rode Quick Tip and will be in the saddle on Saturday. Annie Finney was aboard Rock Slide, who is scheduled to run next in the Firecracker Breeders' Cup (gr. II) on July 5.