Say Florida Sandy worked six furlongs between races at Aqueduct Thursday ahead of a potential start in the April 13 Carter Handicap (gr. I). The 8-year-old completed the work in 1:12 2/5 under jockey Aaron Gryder between the track's fourth and fifth races.
"At age eight, he doesn't show his age," Gryder said. "He galloped out nice and was tough coming back."
Trainer Juan Serey was pleased with the work, which went in splits of :12 4/5, :24 4/5, :36 1/5, and :48 2/5, with a seven-furlong gallop out time of 1:25 1/5.
"He's doing so good. I wasn't expecting him to go that fast," Serey said. We were looking for maybe :50 and 1:26, but he went faster. He would rather run in the afternoons. John (Rotella, owner) and I will have to talk about the Carter, but we will probably run there. I'm very happy."
The 18-time stakes winner has yet to win a grade I event but did have a career year last year, winning three graded events, including the True North Handicap (gr. II). That True North win came on the heels of a runner-up performance in last year's renewal of the Carter, in which he finished 1 1/2 lengths behind Peeping Tom.
Say Florida Sandy's 2002 campaign will mark his seventh racing season. The New York-bred son of Personal Flag has won 28 of 80 career races while setting a record for career earnings (over $1.7 million so far) by a New York-bred.
"He's run 80 times, so I am hoping he comes out of this work OK," Rotella said. "If things go OK over the next week, we'll probably wind up in the Carter."