Ken and Sarah Ramsey's homebred Bobby's Kitten, the possible favorite for the Grade 1, $750,000 Blue Grass on April 12 at Keeneland, worked five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 over that venue's Polytrack Saturday morning with Marino Garcia aboard for trainer Chad Brown.
Bobby's Kitten worked after the break, and clockers caught him in fractions of :11 4/5, :23 4/5, :35 2/5 and 1:00 1/5. The colt galloped out in 1:14 4/5.
Click here to watch a video of the work.
"I thought he did it nice and easy," Brown said. "We've been trying to get that horse to relax, and he's doing real well. We've been working him by himself and looked like he was real comfortable with the rider the whole way. Hopefully, he is ready to go for next Saturday."
By Kitten's Joy, Bobby's Kitten has won three races from five starts -- all on turf and all with front-running performances. At two, he captured the grassy Pilgrim at Belmont and was third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. The Kentucky-bred bay opened his 2014 campaign on March 8 with an allowance win going a mile at Tampa Bay Downs.
Brown said the Blue Grass has been a target for Bobby's Kitten "pretty much since the Breeders' Cup last year. We wanted to give him one prep and get him in there."
Over the winter, Brown trained Bobby's Kitten's to be a more versatile runner.
"I don't think the horse needs to be on the lead in the Blue Grass," Brown declared. "It depends who's in there and what the pace is; I'll leave it up to (jockey) Javier (Castellano). We worked that horse behind horses at Palm Meadows this winter and he switched off nicely, so we're doing everything we can and hopefully it all comes together for him."
Also working Saturday after the break at Keeneland for the Blue Grass was Pablo del Monte for trainer and part-owner Wesley Ward.
With Leandro Goncalves up and working in company with possible Blue Grass runner Chief Barker, Pablo del Monte clocked six furlongs in 1:13. Starting and finishing three lengths in front of his workmate, Pablo del Monte posted fractions of :12 1/5, :24 2/5, :36 1/5 and :48 2/5 before galloping out seven furlongs in 1:27 4/5.
"If the weather is like this next week, he'll win the Blue Grass," Ward said of the cool temperatures before adding with a laugh, "...and if he breaks well, gets an uncontested lead and gets away with a half in :49 and 4."
Two other Blue Grass hopefuls breezed elsewhere Saturday morning.
At the Trackside Training Center in Louisville, Harry's Holiday traveled five-eighths in 1:01 3/5 on the fast track for trainer Mike Maker. The bay colt has been successful on both dirt and Turfway Park's all-weather Polytrack, capturing the 96ROCK Stakes by eight lengths before filling the third spot in the John Battaglia and just missing by a nose in the Spiral last out on March 22.
At Santa Anita, Dance With Fate turned five furlongs over the fast dirt in 1:01 2/5 for trainer Peter Eurton. The dark bay son of Two Step Salsa was runner-up in the Del Mar Futurity and FrontRunner, both Grade 1s, as a juvenile, and is exiting a half-length second in the February 15 El Camino Real Derby. He's scheduled to ship to Keeneland on Wednesday.
In other Blue Grass news:
Patricia Schuler's So Lonesome has been added to the list of probable entrants for next Saturday's Blue Grass, according to Keeneland Stakes Coordinator Scott Jones.
Trained by Tom Bush, So Lonesome finished ninth in the Palm Beach in his lone start of 2014. The Awesome Again gelding won the grassy Virgo Libra for New York-breds at Aqueduct to close his 2013 campaign.
Listed in order of earnings, horses under consideration for the Blue Grass are Bobby's Kitten, Casiguapo, Asserting Bear, Dance With Fate, Vinceremos, Harry's Holiday, Extrasexyhippzster, Coastline, Mr Speaker, So Lonesome, Gala Award, Big Bazinga, Scotland (possible), Pablo del Monte, Danza, Coltimus Prime, Quotient (possible), Divine Oath and Chief Barker (possible).
The Blue Grass is limited to 14 starters with preference given to graded stakes winners and then highest earnings.