Bullet Move for Fort Larned in Whitney Prep
by Blood-Horse Staff
Date Posted: 7/29/2013 4:39:16 PM
Last Updated: 7/31/2013 1:16:00 PM
Trying to become the second horse to win the $750,000 Whitney Handicap Invitational (gr. I) in back-to-back years, Fort Larned showed his readiness with a bullet five-furlong breeze July 29 at Saratoga Race Course.
NYRA clockers caught the 5-year-old bay son of E Dubai going five-eighths in 1:00.71 on the main track under regular rider Brian Hernandez Jr., the fastest of 31 works at the distance.
"Everything went good; we're very happy," said Ian Wilkes, who trains Fort Larned for owner Janis Whitham. "It was just how he did it. It was a little crisp work, just the right way. I put a horse out there in front for him. I didn't want to hurt the other horse...but I wanted something for him to look at."
Discovery, who won three consecutive Whitneys from 1934-36 when it was contested at 1 1/4 miles, is the only horse to win the race in successive years. Hall of Famer Kelso (1961, 1963, 1965) and New York-bred Commentator (2005, 2008) are the only other horses to win the Whitney more than once. Fort Larned won the 2012 Whitney, run at 1 1/8 miles since 1955, in 1:47.76, beating Ron the Greek by 1 1/4 lengths.
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