Fountain of Youth S. (G2) hero SOLDAT (War Front) continued preparations for the Kentucky Derby (G1) in two weeks by drilling five furlongs in :59 over the fast dirt at Palm Meadows Training Center on Thursday.
"He went very well, looked great," said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who watched his pupil gallop out six furlongs in 1:12 3/5. "He's always worked well down here and that's why we went back to the dirt (after finishing second in the November 6 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf [G2]). He's been working well since December and January."
McLaughlin said Soldat, who finished fifth in the April 3 Florida Derby (G1), will likely work again next Friday before he ships to Churchill Downs for the Derby.
"We will probably work him next week," he said. "Originally, we were going to work him three times (leading up to the Kentucky Derby), but we realized, 'How much do you have to do?' He's fit and he hasn't missed a day of training since December."
Asked if Thursday's work bolstered his confidence in Soldat after his performance in the Florida Derby, McLaughlin said, "I still have confidence. He just had a tough trip (in the Florida Derby). I didn't like his trip. It was unfortunate, but (Churchill) is a totally different track so it won't happen again."
Florida Derby winner and Kentucky Derby favorite DIALED IN (Mineshaft) galloped over the track Thursday at Palm Meadows as well as Louisiana Derby (G2) winner PANTS ON FIRE (Jump Start). Dialed In has suffered just one loss from four career starts, running second to older stablemate Equestrio (Elusive Quality) in an optional claimer prior to the Florida Derby. Pants on Fire just held NEHRO (Mineshaft) by a neck in the Louisiana Derby last out.