Grade 3 Illinois Derby winner Done Talking breezed four furlongs in :49 3/5 at Laurel Park Saturday morning in his penultimate work before the $2 million Kentucky Derby. Regular rider Sheldon Russell was up on the Hamilton Smith trainee, who galloped out five furlongs in 1:02 3/5 over the fast track.
"I wanted him to go in :49 so it worked out almost perfectly," Smith said. "He did it easy and came back to the barn bouncing. It was exactly what I was looking for. I am not worried too much about the time. We are going to do more with him next week."
Done Talking has won three of seven starts and punched his ticket to the Derby when driving to an off-the-pace score in the Illinois Derby at Hawthorne two weeks ago. Russell is now two-for-two aboard the colt. He was also the pilot in an allowance victory at Parx Racing in November.
"I was very happy with the breeze," Russell added. "He is very smart. He doesn't do too much in the morning, saving it all for the afternoon. It looks like he came back out of that race feeling good. Hammy has him peaking at the right time."
Smith indicated the son of Broken Vow would work five furlongs next Saturday and then ship to Louisville, Kentucky, the following day.
Done Talking will be the first Triple Crown starter for Smith, a Maryland mainstay for more than 30 years. The 67-year-old has 1,644 career winners, conditioning runners such as Gin Talking, Case of the Blues and Blind Date, all multiple stakes winners.
"I am getting really excited," Smith said. "I am very pleased with how the horse is doing. We have got him this far and this close. Everything looks good."
This will be the second Triple Crown mount for Russell, Maryland's leading rider, who rode Concealed Identity to a 10th-placed finish in the 2011 Preakness Stakes.
"Like last year's Preakness, I am riding a horse I am familiar with," the 24-year-old rider said. "I love his (late) running style. He should be in a good spot in the race which makes my job easier."
Done Talking is owned by Skedattle Stable, a group that includes longtime friends Willie White, Lou Rehak and Bob Orndorff. The trio owned Mr O'Brien, a multiple graded winner on the turf, and Gin Talking, the 2000 Maryland-bred Horse of the Year.