"I got him going out five furlongs in 1:02 and six furlongs in 1:15," trainer John T. Ward Jr. said. "He went along nice and easy and I'm very happy with the work. Now I'll ship him to Keeneland tomorrow and he'll run in the Blue Grass Stakes."Booklet entered the Florida Derby following wins in the Holy Bull (gr. III) and Fountain of Youth Stakes, but tired after dueling with Smooth Jazz through the early stages of the 1 1/8-mile."There's nothing we can do about the Florida Derby but live and learn," Ward said. "I'm keeping Booklet here a little longer than I kept Monarchos (2001 Kentucky Derby winner) last year because I shipped Monarchos up there early and there was a cold spell and I lost a couple of days training."Ward said he's waiting to see how Booklet performs in the Blue Grass Stakes before making a decision on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I)."Mr. Oxley (Booklet and Monarchos' owner) and I agree that we would like to run him in the Derby but the horse has to have a chance to win," the conditioner explained. "After winning it last year, we don't want to run a horse just to say we have a horse in the race."
Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) winner Equality and Fountain of Youth (gr. I) winner Booklet put in morning works at Gulfstream Park Saturday. Equality worked five furlongs ahead of Gulfstream Park's $250,000 Aventura Stakes, while Booklet is being prepared for the April 13 Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.Equality completed his work in :59 4/5, the fastest of 16 works at the distance Saturday. "It was an excellent work," trainer Graham Motion said. "I got him going out six furlongs in 1:12 4/5. He started a little quicker than I wanted but he finished equally strong and came back in great shape. He's become a much more aggressive horse now and that's what you want to see. He's on track for the Aventura next Saturday."Ramon Dominguez, who traveled from Maryland to ride Equality in the Tampa Bay Derby, will guide the son of Mt. Livermore in the 1 1/16-mile Aventura.Another Motion-trained 3-year-old is sidelined has been sidelined with an injury in his right foreleg. Grey Beard is currently at owner George Brunacini's Bona Terra Farm in Georgetown, Kentucky. Motion said the son of Unbridled's Song was to undergo an ultrasound Friday or Saturday to determine the nature of the injury."We should have the results soon and I hope it isn't something serious," the conditioner said.Grey Beard finished seventh in the Fountain of Youth after defeating Monthir and Peekskill in a January allowance race at Gulfstream.Booklet, working for the first time since finishing fourth in the Florida Derby (gr. I), breezed four furlongs in :49 1/5 under exercise rider Allen Rennie.