At Del Mar, Early Pioneer worked a mile in 1:39 2/5, handily. The Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner, trained by Vladimir Cerin, is being pointed toward a start in the $500,000 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park, where he will likely face Pimlico Special (gr. I) and Stephen Foster (gr. II) winner Golden Missile.
Lemon Drop Kid continued preparing for the $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I), completing a six-furlong drill over the main track in 1:13 1/5, handily, at Saratoga on Thursday. Under exercise rider George Martens, Lemon Drop Kid reeled off opening fractions of :24 4/5 and :49 before coming home the final 1/4 mile in :24 2/5.The work was the third since the 4-year-old son of Kingmambo won the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) on Aug. 6. He will ship back to Belmont Park on Monday morning to continue preparing for the 1 1/8-mile Woodward.Lemon Drop Kid has won three consecutive graded races since being equipped with blinkers, including a 2 1/2-length win over Behrens in the Suburban Handicap (gr. II). The Woodward will be run on Sept. 16.