Invasor began preparation for the $400,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. I) at 1 1/4 miles on June 30, a race he won during his championship season last year.
The 2006 Horse of the Year, with exercise rider Barry Downes aboard, breezed a half mile over Belmont Park’s main track Wednesday in :50 4/5. It was his first timed workout since winning the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) on March 31.
“We’re very happy to get him back on the work tab,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. “He doesn’t require a lot of work, but we do need to get him going again. Everything’s going great, and he’s good to go. He’ll have several more works but not every week because he doesn’t need it.
“He travels really well, but he did lose a little weight coming back from Dubai," the conditioner added. "He was just a little dehydrated. He quickly came back around and put the weight back on.”
Invasor, who was bred in Argentina, spent the first half of his career in Uruguay and became a full fledged star there. After winning the Uruguay Triple Crown in 2005, he was purchased by Sheikh Hamden’s Shadwell Stable. Although Invasor finished fourth in his debut for Shadwell in the 2006 UAE Derby (UAE-II), the colt hit the United States with a vengeance and quickly reeled off a trio of grade I victories in the Pimlico Special, Suburban, and Whitney handicaps. Then in early November, Invasor clinched his Horse of the Year campaign with a comfortable victory over Bernardini – who was later named 3-year-old champion – in the Breeders’ Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
This season, the 5-year-old Invasor won the Donn Handicap (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park in February and the World Cup. Invasor has won 11 of 12 starts, while banking more than $7.8 million.
“He’s just such a great horse to train,” said McLaughlin, a former assistant to D. Wayne Lukas. “I worked with some great horses when I was with Wayne, but I’ve always believed (Invasor) is as good if not better than all of them.”