AWESOME ACT (Awesome Again) breezed six furlongs in 1:14 over the fast Belmont Park training track Thursday morning in his first serious move since posting a 1 1/4-length score in the Gotham S. (G3) on March 6. The move was likely his final serious timed work before an expected start in the $750,000 Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct on April 3.
The chestnut colt made the short trip from his temporary home in Steve Asmussen's barn to the training track just after 9:20 a.m. (EDT) with exercise rider Wayne Tanner in the irons. The pair was joined by stakes winner PEACE TOWN (Peace Rules), who recorded three-quarters in 1:14 2/5 while working in company with Awesome Act, and a pony.
"We decided to give him an easy week (after the Gotham) and then the weather wasn't so good," said trainer Jeremy Noseda, who arrived in town Tuesday evening and will return to his base in England on Thursday night. "We didn't have tack on him for about eight or nine days. This was his first proper piece of work in two and a half weeks."
Awesome Act breezed an easy half-mile in :50 2/5 on March 20.
"I'm happy," Noseda said of Thursday's effort. "The work was there to help put us back on schedule and he went as we wanted. It will do him good and get him sharp. He had a good blow, which will do his wind good. I hope that work put him right."
Noseda said that the colt would most likely blow out three-eighths of a mile on Wednesday morning, but the trainer does not plan to return to New York until April 2 for the next day's Wood Memorial.
The Gotham was the first start on dirt for Awesome Act and his first start since finishing fourth by 1 1/4 lengths in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G2) last November.
In addition to Awesome Act, NYRA Stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes said Thursday that likely candidates for the Wood include Fountain of Youth (G2) winner ESKENDEREYA (Giant's Causeway) and runner-up JACKSON BEND (Hear No Evil), as well as recent seven-length maiden winner CARNIVORE (Giant's Causeway). Tampa Bay Derby (G3) third-placer SUPER SAVER (Maria's Mon), Florida Derby (G1) fifth-placer FIRST DUDE (Stephen Got Even) and Gotham fourth-placer TURF MELODY (Maria's Mon) are considered questionable.
The Wood Memorial will be televised live on NBC from 5-6 p.m. (EDT).