Crackup Works Toward Possible El Camino Real Start

On Saturday, Great State Challenge winner Crackup worked for the first time since bleeding badly while finishing fourth in the Jan. 18 Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II), logging a half-mile in :48 1/5, handily, over a fast main track at Santa Anita.

"I think he may run next up north in the (Mar. 8) El Camino Real Derby (gr. III)," trainer Rafael Becerra said. "I gave him some time after his last race and he's doing very well now, so I think he'll be ready. I'll breeze him again in a few days and continue on like that and hopefully, we'll be able to do our thing and get everything right."

Crackup, a son of leading freshman sire Distorted Humor, also won the Cal Cup Juvenile and finished third in the Cavonnier Stakes as a 2-year-old.

Becerra also reported that last weekend's San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) runner-up Sum Trick came out of that race in good order and will begin serious training for his next start with a workout in the next few days. The son of 1997 Horse of the Year Favorite Trick has yet to stretch out beyond seven furlongs, something he'll likely do in his next race, Becerra said. The colt also won the Riley Allison Futurity at Sunland Park last year.

"I think he'll run next in the (March 1) San Rafael (gr. II). I don't know, but he seems like the type of horse who will get better stretching out. I'm looking forward to that for him."

Hollywood Prevue (gr. III) hero Roll Hennessy Roll may make his next start on turf in the Feb. 23 Baldwin Stakes, according to Becerra. The colt, who also won two listed stakes at Ruidoso Downs and finished third in the Sunny Slope Stakes at Santa Anita, has worked four straight times on the turf, including his last on Feb. 5 where he posted a time of 1:15 1/5, handily, for six furlongs.

"I may also run (Roll Hennessy Roll) in another race out of state," Becerra said. "I'm going to nominate him to the Best Turn (six furlongs on Feb. 22) at Aqueduct, just to have other options. But right now he's training for the Baldwin."

Becerra said all three could be considered for any of the Triple Crown races with good efforts in their next races, but he holds out the most hope for Crackup, followed closely by Sum Trick.

"They all could go in that direction, but I think Crackup has the best chance," the conditioner explained. "Sum Trick may -- and he's so fast -- but I really can't say until he stretches out. So I guess we'll all know that answer in a couple of weeks."