Reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, preparing for her expected 2012 bow in the New Orleans Ladies Stakes March 17 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, breezed a bullet five furlongs in 59 seconds flat over the track Feb. 26.
The drill was the fastest of 50 at the distance. It followed a bullet five-furlong move of :59 4/5 that Havre de Grace turned in Feb. 20 as she progresses toward her first start of the year for trainer Larry Jones. She has had four posted workouts at Fair Grounds since returning to training in early February.
With regular exercise rider Jen Brasser in the irons, Havre de Grace once again stepped on the track as the first work horse of the morning, She was clocked in furlong splits of :11 4/5, :23 4/5, :35 3/5, and :47 2/5, then galloped out the three-quarter mile distance in 1:13 3/5.
“She’s a little faster and faster every time she works now,” said Jones, shaking his head and only semi-successfully keeping a smile from his face. “I don’t understand why that keeps happening.
“Seriously, she looked like she was galloping pretty easy out there,” Jones added. “It was a good work for her. I think we’ll probably start working her in company now.”
Jones and owner Rick Porter had originally targeted the Azeri Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park to get Havre de Grace started but announced a change in plans Feb. 24. The daughter of Saint Liam is to carry a light impost of 117 pounds in the New Orleans Ladies. Fair Grounds also agreed to add $50,000 to the original $100,000 purse if she or any other multiple grade I winner starts.
The 5-year-old bay mare has not raced since finishing fourth in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs. Havre de Grace, with a record of 8-4-2 in 15 lifetime starts, has lifetime earning of $2,496,175.