Outwork in First Post-Wood Breeze
By Dick Downey
Updated 3:56 p.m. ET
Today at Belmont Park, Wood Memorial winner Outwork worked four furlongs, his first timed move since winning the Wood Memorial on April 9.
The move was recorded by NYRA clockers in 48:87 (12/45), breezing, on the training track. Regular rider John Velazquez was up. Trainer Todd Pletcher caught Outwork in splits of 12.60 and 24.20.
"In his races, he's been no worse than second, and we wanted to teach him something, so we might as well let him take some dirt and put him behind horses," said Velazquez. "He actually relaxed really well."
"You certainly don't want to experiment in the Wood Memorial," said Pletcher. "We felt it would have some benefits and it was a very well-executed breeze. We learned he doesn't mind some kickback, and he settled behind horses nicely. So check that off for things you don't have to worry about."
DRF's David Grening, who was standing by, got Outwork a bit faster on his watch and reported on the move at Twitter.
Outwork is considered by some pundits to be a potential pace factor in the Kentucky Derby; he contested the early lead in the Wood and set the pace in the Tampa Bay Derby. Today's strategy indicates Pletcher wants him to rate behind horses.
Wood Memorial chart
Tampa Bay Derby chart
Pletcher plans to have Outwork shipped to Churchill Downs by van leaving New York on Sunday, so that will leave one more pre-Kentucky Derby workout in Louisville.