Mr Sword tuned up for Saturday's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland with a five-furlong breeze Tuesday morning over the Central Kentucky oval. The Jennifer Pedersen-trainee got the distance in :57 4/5.
The bay son of Rizzi, owned by Paraneck Stables, broke off quickly from the pole and skipped through opening fractions of :22 3/5 and :34 2/5, reaching the eighth pole in :45 2/5 and hitting the wire in :57 4/5. Mr. Sword galloped out three-quarters in 1:10 2/5 and seven eighths in 1:25 2/5.
"He worked super," said Pedersen. "The way it looks now, there will be a lot of pace in the race. That's what he needs. He's such a terrific horse. We'll just keep our fingers crossed."
The 1 1/8 mile Toyota Blue Grass is expected to include Bandini, Closing Argument, Consolidator, High Limit and Sun King.