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Adirondack King prepares for Blue Grass
MarchFore Thoroughbreds' Adirondack King, seventh in the Grade 2 Rebel on March 17 at Oaklawn Park in his most recent start, tuned up for a probable start in the 88th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Blue Grass on April 14 by working five furlongs in 1:02 3/5 on Sunday morning at Keeneland.
With jockey Gabriel Saez aboard, Adirondack King recorded fractions of :26 and :50 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:17.
"That was pretty uneventful," trainer John Servis said of the colt's first work on Polytrack. "If he comes out of this work good, he'll come back next weekend with another breeze."
A three-time winner as a two-year-old at Parx, Adirondack King opened his 2012 campaign with a third-place finish in the Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs before going to Arkansas and finishing third in the second division of the Grade 3 Southwest prior to his run in the Rebel.
"He was wide both turns in the Rebel, but the thing that bothered me was he was not running through the lane. He flattened out," Servis said. "I was disappointed. He came into the race good. Even if he was wide but was running through the lane, it was (Grade 1) Arkansas Derby here we come."
Instead of staying in Hot Springs, Servis shipped north and brought Adirondack King to Keeneland, arriving last Sunday.
"I was thinking about the Illinois Derby (Grade 3 on Saturday) or the Blue Grass and that one of the two might be a good spot," Servis said. "Maybe even the Transylvania (a Grade 3 at 1 1/16 miles on the Keeneland turf Friday).
"I had always wanted to try Jostle (dam of Adirondack King) on the grass, but she was so good on the dirt. He has Roberto on the bottom and Danzig on the top in his breeding and I wanted to see how he would handle the Polytrack."
The Blue Grass will give Servis a line on whether he has a colt that could give him his first Kentucky Derby starter since winning the 2004 Run for the Roses with Smarty Jones.
"He might be suited for different spots," Servis said. "I am not going to grind up a horse to get to the Derby. He still has a lot of maturing to do."
Two other Blue Grass candidates turned in works.
Dogwood Stable's Raconteur, winner of the Private Terms Stakes at Laurel on March 17 in his most recent start, worked a half-mile in :50 under exercise rider Melvin Hernandez for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Assistant trainer Whit Beckman said that the A.P. Indy colt arrived at Keeneland on Wednesday with the Blue Grass as the prime objective.
Seventh in the Grade 3 Gotham in his lone graded-stakes start, Raconteur covered the first quarter-mile in :26 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:03 in his first work since the Private Terms victory.
Dogwood won the 1990 Blue Grass with Summer Squall.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Politicallycorrect worked five furlongs in company with Let Th Kitten Purr, each finishing in 1:02 2/5. The Wesley Ward pupil was a two-time winner this winter at Gulfstream Park, and Sunday's work was his third of the spring at Keeneland.