McPeek Takes a Peak

Travers runner-up Repent was on the track for a routine gallop this morning, according to trainer Ken McPeek.

Repent, a major player in Saturday's 84th running of the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) at 1 1/4 miles, was credited with a three-furlong workout of :38 by NYRA clockers. He worked a half-mile in :47 3/5 Sunday morning.

Missing several months of racing over the summer, Repent enters his fall campaign fresh.

"There's a good side to everything," McPeek said. "He didn't time the Triple Crown well, but maybe he'll time the fall campaign perfectly."

Repent was forced to miss time after an ankle chip was removed following his second-place finish to eventual Kentucky Derby and Preakness (both gr. I) winner War Emblem in the Illinois Derby (gr. II).

With ankle problems behind him, Repent was ready to go off a four-month layoff, almost catching Medaglia d'Oro in the Travers (gr. I).

McPeek will take another shot at a Grade 1 with Team Lucky Seven Stable's Minister's Baby in the $750,000 Beldame at 1 1/8 mile on Oct. 5.

With four quicker horses in front of her in the Ruffian (gr. I), Minister's Baby figured to have an edge if the pace was quick. The pace was fast as the half-mile went in :45 1/5, but Minister's Baby was right up near the lead.

She tired to fourth, beaten 6 1/2 lengths by Mandy's Gold.

"She shouldn't have been close to a :45 1/5 half-mile," McPeek said. "It's hard to say why she was, but she was a little rank. It was the first time Edgar Prado had ridden her and we're hoping to get Craig Perret back up here to ride her."

Still looking ahead to next weekend, McPeek will saddle Fabulous Brush in the $500,000 Frizette (gr. I) at 1 1/16 mile Oct. 5. The daughter of Cobra King has won two in a row, including the $100,000 Bassinet at River Downs by five lengths Aug. 31.

In the $500,000 Champagne (gr. I), McPeek will go with Risky Cat, a Tale of the Cat colt who has started five times and won twice.

Going the Champagne distance in the Cradle at River Downs, the colt had a troubled trip and was beaten 25 ½ lengths. He rebounded nicely to take the Kimberlite Pipe, a $45,000 turf race going six furlongs at Kentucky Downs Sunday.

McPeek is looking into purchasing a house in New York. He plans to boost his local outfit and maintain a NYRA string throughout the year.

Right now McPeek said he has 20 horses at Belmont, but would like to see that number swell to 30.

"I've kept a second string at Turfway during the winter for a while and that's been good," McPeek said "We've always won races there. I don't know that I want to have three strings in the winter. My best horses will go to Florida and we'll have our second string (in New York)."