Social Inclusion returned to the Gulfstream Park worktab Wednesday morning, breezing three furlongs in :35 in preparation for a Triple Crown campaign. The workout, the second fastest of nine recorded at the distance, was his first since finishing third in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 4.
"He went easy, but he worked very well," said Ron Sanchez of Rontos Racing Stable. "He galloped out in (:47 3/5) and came back really well. He's doing great. He's improving every day."
While Sanchez and trainer Manny Azpurua have been targeting the Preakness, they are prepared to send the son of Pioneerof the Nile to Churchill Downs should he make it into the 20-horse Kentucky Derby field. After Constitution, the undefeated winner of the Florida Derby, was declared from the first leg of the Triple Crown due to a shin injury Wednesday morning, Social Inclusion stood at No. 26 in the points standings.
"We're going to breeze him again Saturday and by that time, we might know if we're in the Derby or not," said Sanchez, noting that Social Inclusion would run on the first leg of the Triple Crown if eligible. "But we're trying to find a prep for the Preakness."
In any event, the first Saturday in May could still be on Social Inclusion's calendar. The $75,000 Sir Bear, a one-mile stakes for three-year-olds at Gulfstream on May 3, would be one option for a Preakness prep.
Social Inclusion debuted at Gulfstream on February 22, scoring a 7 1/2-length victory in 1:09 1/5 for six furlongs. He followed up with a 10-length triumph on March 12 while setting a track record for 1 1/16 miles (1:40.97). Favored at 9-5 in the Wood Memorial, the Kentucky-bred colt raced wide on the first turn before getting the lead and tiring in deep stretch to finish third, beaten by a nose for second and an automatic spot in the Derby field.
"The horse got a lot of experience. We had a lot of bad luck losing the Derby spot by a nose," Sanchez said. "He's improving. What I saw this morning was surprising. What we learned is the horse is improving every day with experience."
Sanchez said Luis Contreras would retain the mount aboard Social Inclusion.