A pair of contenders put in their final works for the Grade 1, $1 million Twinspires.com Wood Memorial on Sunday in advance of the April 4 race at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Daredevil, working over the Belmont Park training track, went four furlongs in 48.85 seconds, powering away from a stablemate in the stretch for trainer Todd Pletcher.
"I thought he did it very well," said Byron Hughes, assistant to Pletcher. "He looked good doing it, went very easily, and galloped out strong; we're definitely happy with the work. It didn't start out as planned [with Daredevil breaking a few lengths in front of his mate], but the rider adapted and had a good hold of him."
A son of More Than Ready, Daredevil has made only one start as a 3-year-old, a second-place finish in the Grade 2, seven-furlong Swale on March 7 at Gulfstream Park. As a juvenile, the chestnut colt captured the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont before finishing 11th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, his only start around two turns.
"He's very similar to what I saw last year," said Hughes, who oversees Pletcher's New York string during the winter. "Whenever I watch him, I think he can do just about anything."
Also on the worktab was Frosted, for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and Godolphin Racing, who logged a snappy five-eighths drill at Palm Meadows in Florida. Breezing in company with a pair of horses, Frosted commenced the work behind by a few lengths, but finished ten in front, according to McLaughlin.
"He worked great this morning, going five furlongs in a minute and two-fifths," said McLaughlin. "We're excited."
Frosted, a son of Tapit, who sired 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb, is hoping to rebound off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth. Wearing blinkers for the first time in the Fountain of Youth, Frosted pressed a fast pace over a taxing Gulfstream main track and appeared poised to have an impact on the finish, but tired badly in the stretch.
"We feel like we've accounted for every issue, and he has no excuse not to run his best race," said McLaughlin. "We know he has talent; he has to show it on Saturday. The track was very tiring for the Fountain of Youth and was again yesterday [for the Florida Derby], so we're happy with our decision."
Ocean Knight, a McLaughlin trainee still under consideration for the Wood, will breeze on Monday, after which a decision will be made, according to McLaughlin. The Curlin colt has not run since a head-scratching seventh-place finis in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 7.
Withers and Gotham winner El Kabeir put in his final work before the Wood on Monday.
Source: NYRA Communications