Albert Fried Jr.'s Affirmed Success, who figures to be a major player in Saturday's $350,000 Carter (gr. I) at seven furlongs, breezed five furlongs over Belmont's training track this morning in :59 4/5.
"He worked great and was in hand," trainer Richard Schosberg said. "We're ready."
Three starts into his nine-year-old season, Affirmed Success is ringing up speed figures comparable to his performances in the late 1990s. That's a good thing because he's going to have to run fast to win his second consecutive Carter.
The 103rd Carter will feature an outstanding field including
Aldebaran, a consistent Grade I performer, and Congaree, arguably the top older horse in the U.S.
"We were thrilled with his Toboggan win, but we're going to have to run a little faster than that to beat Congaree," Schosberg said. "He's improved his training and coat since the Toboggan which is highly unusual because he only had 16 days between that allowance race (Affirmed Success finished third behind Captain Red, who shattered the inner track's six-furlong track record) and the Toboggan. Right now, his coat looks like polished mahogany. It's amazing."
Affirmed Success was up in the final strides to win the second of back-to-back runnings of the six-furlong Toboggan on March 15. On Saturday, the gelding returns to seven furlongs, a distance that Schosberg believes may be his best.
"It takes an awfully big effort to beat us going seven," said
Schosberg, pointing out Left Bank's track record performance in last July's Tom Fool at Belmont in which Affirmed Success finished second. "He never runs a poor race."