Joseph Shield's Puzzlement breezed three furlongs in :36 1/5 on the main track at Saratoga Racecourse Friday morning in preparation for Saturday's $1-million, grade I Travers Stakes. Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens wanted to have Puzzlement put in a workout this past Tuesday morning, but there was an accident on the track that forced Jerkens to bring the horse back to the stable.With jockey aboard, Puzzlement.
"We had him going four furlongs in :49," Jerkens said. "But I wanted him to pick up the last three furlongs and he finished in :36 1/5. Everything seemed to go well. It's not unusual for me to work out a horse a day before the race. I've been doing it a long time. There's really nothing more I can do with him now other than to hope for the best."
Puzzlement has not raced since opening day at Saratoga where he rallied from a 14-length early deficit to catch Wild Years in the final strides in an allowance. Jean-Luc Samyn, who had ridden Puzzlement in his last three races and has the mount Saturday, was aboard for the workout.
"I feel very good about our chances tomorrow," Samyn said. "I just hope the track is going to be honest and that we have a pace to run at. There's not much we can change with his running style because that is the way he likes to run. He has improved so much since the first time I rode him. We would have like to see him run in the Belmont, but he bruised his foot a couple of days before the race and he was unable to run. That's all in the past and we're looking ahead to tomorrow."