INTERACTIF (Broken Vow) and AIKENITE (Yes It's True), top contenders for next Saturday's $750,000 Blue Grass S. (G1) at Keeneland, put in their final preparations for Todd Pletcher on Saturday morning.
"They both went well," Pletcher said from New York, where he was on hand to see Eskendereya (Giant's Causeway) run in the Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct. "Interactif worked five-eighths at Churchill Downs in a minute and four-fifths. He was on his 'A' game and worked in company with (maiden) Marenzio (Giant's Causeway)."
A multiple Grade 3 winner, Interactif opened 2010 with a nose second in the grassy Hallandale Beach S. and exits a close runner-up effort in the San Felipe S. (G2) at Santa Anita. The Churchill Downs' clockers credited him with a five-furlong breeze in 1:01 over the fast track. Rafael Bejarano will retain the mount in the Blue Grass.
Multiple Grade 1-placed Aikenite, third in the Fountain of Youth S. (G2) most recently, breezed five furlongs in 1:02 1/5, according to the clockers at Palm Meadows. He's scheduled to ship to Keeneland on Sunday and will pick up the services of Garrett Gomez in the Blue Grass..
"Aikenite worked five-eighths in company with (Grade 3-placed) Denver (Fusaichi Pegasus) in 1:02 at Palm Meadows and did it very well," Pletcher commented.
Pletcher, who will be at Keeneland next Saturday, has saddled two previous winners of the Blue Grass, Monba (2008) and Bandini (2005).
PADDY O'PRADO (El Prado [Ire]), who broke his maiden when registering a 2 1/2-length score in the March 6 Palm Beach S. (G3) on the turf at Gulfstream Park, breezed five furlongs in :59 3/5 at Keeneland under Kent Desormeaux, who will pick up the mount in the Blue Grass.
"It looked like he did it very easily and galloped out strong," trainer Dale Romans said. "I got him in :59 and 3, and out in 1:12 and 1."
Romans' time was spot on with what Keeneland clockers recorded. Early splits on the work were :12 2/5, :24 2/5 and :35 4/5.
Paddy O'Prado has never raced on Polytrack.
"He had only galloped over it a couple of times before he worked last weekend," Romans said in reference to a five-eighths work last Saturday in :59 4/5, which was the best of 26 timed moves at the distance. "I am not really surprised he handles it so well."
Neal McLaughlin, assistant to brother Kiaran McLaughlin, worked two colts Saturday morning at Keeneland that could enter the Blue Grass picture.
Colin S. winner and Grade 2-placed FEARLESS COWBOY (El Corredor) drilled five furlongs in 1:00 1/5.
"Fearless Cowboy won a stakes on Polytrack at Woodbine last summer and was sixth in the (March 20) Swale (G2) in his first race back," McLaughlin said.
SAINT ELIGIUS (Saint Liam), who exits a March 20 allowance tally at Gulfstream Park and will be making his stakes debut if he starts in the Blue Grass, breezed a half-mile in :48.
"Saint Eligius won two of three races on the grass at Gulfstream, and we may try him on the Polytrack," McLaughlin explained.
Canadian stakes runner-up GIANT'S TOMB (Awesome Again), who exits a two-length win in a March 22 allowance/optional claiming event at Fair Grounds, tuned up for a possible engagement in the Blue Grass by working five furlongs in 1:02 3/5 in company with unraced Dark Cloud Dancer (Storm Cat) for Mark Frostad
Frostad has not committed to running Giant's Tomb.
"We are still on the fence," Frostad said. "We want to see who shows up."
Others expected for the Blue Grass include Tampa Bay Derby (G3) victor ODYSSEUS (Malibu Moon), multiple Grade 1-placed stakes winner MAKE MUSIC FOR ME (Bernstein) and John Battaglia runner-up CODOY (Bernstein). Florida Derby (G1) runner-up PLEASANT PRINCE (Indy King) and Louisiana Derby (G2) third-placer DROSSELMEYER (Distorted Humor) are both considered possible.