Robert and Beverly Lewis' Scrimshaw, winner of the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) and third-place finisher in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), completed his major training for Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) with a strong five furlong work on Monday at Churchill Downs. Exercise rider Stacy Maker was in the irons as the son of Gulch breezed five furlongs in 1:00.20 over a "fast" track for trainer D. Wayne Lukas. The work ranked fourth among 23 moves at the distance."I never try to put too much stock into a work, but I thought it was good," said Lukas. "I was extremely pleased with the energy he showed and the way he finished up. He came home in :23 flat. He looked awfully good."Lukas said after the Preakness that he thought Scrimshaw had come out of that race much better than his previous outing in the Kentucky Derby, in which he finished 11th. He said he has seen nothing over the past few days to make him change his opinion of the colt's condition. "I think even his weight has picked up a little bit," he said. "I thought the Derby was a little bit tougher on him and understandably so, because he probably wasn't as tight as I would have liked for him to have been. We're moving forward and that's all we can ask. Whether we're good enough, we'll see. But I sure liked what I saw today. That was excellent."The four-time Belmont Stakes-winning trainer has spoken highly of Visa Triple Crown hopeful Funny Cide since his victory in the Kentucky Derby and Lukas believes the New York-bred gelding will be formidable in Saturday's 1 1/2-mile classic.
"The thing about him is that he doesn't have to move forward," Lukas said. "He just has to stay status quo. If he can put together the Derby run and the Preakness run in the Belmont and carry it another quarter of a mile, I think it's his race to lose. The rest of us, including some of the horses that are being touted strongly, have to improve, I think -- mine included."