Racing News

Pure Fun, Taken By the Storm work in company for McPeek

  • Pure Fun could take an unconventional path toward the Kentucky Oaks through the Lexington Stakes (Benoit Photo)

Grade 1 winner Pure Fun and Taken By the Storm worked five furlongs together at Keeneland Saturday morning for trainer Kenny McPeek, completing five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 on the Polytrack.

Rosie Napravnik was up on Pure Fun, who could face males in next Saturday's Lexington Stakes at Keeneland. Taken By the Storm was ridden by Alan Garcia and could be cross-entered to the Lexington and Illinois Derby, which will be run the same day at Hawthorne.

"It was a good work," McPeek said. "Both of them work well together. It was a good match. Leaning toward Illinois with him and the Lexington with her, although there's a good chance I may enter him (in the Lexington) as well."

Pure Fun, a daughter of Pure Prize who won the Hollywood Starlet Stakes in December, finished third in the Bourbonette Oaks on March 23 in her most recent race. She has 20 points toward the Kentucky Oaks. Points earned against males would count toward the Oaks and the Lexington awards 20 points to the winner and eight points to the runner-up. Presently, the estimated number of points to determine the 14 starters in the Oaks is 40 points.

Taken By the Storm, who broke his maiden on Keeneland's turf last October and captured a March 9 turf allowance at Gulfstream, exits a fourth in the March 23 Spiral on Turfway Park's Polytrack. McPeek has yet to rule out the Stormy Atlantic colt's future on dirt.

"His two dirt races -- one of them was first time out at a mile and an eighth (a fourth at Saratoga last August)," he said. "Second one (a sixth at Gulfstream Park in his 2013 debut) was coming off a long layoff in the mud. I think he deserves another chance on dirt, and he's as good as he's ever been right now."

Also working Saturday toward a possible start in the Lexington was Examen, a Giant's Causeway gelding who covered five furlongs in company in 1:01 2/5 for trainer Tom Proctor. Examen has won both starts this year at Santa Anita, breaking his maiden in a 1 1/8-mile turf race prior to a convincing 3 1/4-length score in a one-mile optional claimer on dirt March 7.