Mayakovsky Returns, Woodford Reserve Next

Grade III winner Mayakovsky had his first official workout of 2003 Wednesday, logging five furlongs in :59 4/5 handily at Santa Anita under Tony Farina.

The 4-year-old son of Matty G hasn't raced since finishing 11th in the Jan. 25 Sunshine Millions Turf, when he suffered some serious cuts to his back legs during the running of the race.

Though he has raced twice this year, Mayakovsky did not have an official work recorded in 2003. He won a grass allowance race in early January by a length, using that as a springboard to the Sunshine Millions. Back in good shape, trainer Patrick Biancone is preparing the nearly black colt for his next start, which will be on the grass.

"If all goes well, Mayakovsky will make his next start in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on Derby Day (May 3)," Biancone said.

"He worked nicely. He was (a little rank in the early going) but it was his first work in a while. He finished well and I am happy with it."

Mayakovsky made a name for himself in his very first start in July of 2001 when he lowered Saratoga's 55-year-old track record for five furlongs to 1:03 1/5. He finished second in the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) in his next start before being shelved until March of 2002, where he won the Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, his 2002 debut.

The Michael Tabor color bearer didn't reach the winner's circle in three subsequent starts as a sophomore and underwent surgery to repair an entrapped epiglottis that inhibited his breathing last fall. Overall, Florida-bred Mayakovsky has three wins and a second in eight starts with earnings of $275,200.