Donald A Adam’s Prime Cut, third in the Peter Pan (GII) and runner-up in the Coolmore Lexington (GII), will head to New York on Tuesday for a run in Saturday’s $1 million Belmont Stakes (GI) following a strong five-furlong work on Monday at Churchill Downs.
The 3-year-old son of Bernstein, working in company with 4-year-old stablemate Mine Train, covered the distance over a fast track in 1:01. Exercise rider Dane Noel was in the irons as Prime Cut started two lengths behind his workmate and finished on even terms after fractional splits of :25 and :37. Prime Cut galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.20.
Trainer Neil Howard described the work as “excellent,” and said it earned the colt a trip to Belmont Park for Saturday’s final jewel of the Triple Crown.
“We made the decision the other day that we’d go ahead and run, pending everything going good through this week,” Howard said “He’s doing good. We don’t feel like we’ve pushed or reached to much with him, and he’s got a nice prep over Belmont. So we kind of left it that we’d go ahead if everything went well this morning, and it did.”
The Belmont Stakes will be the sixth start of 2011 for Prime Cut, who has a record of 1-2-2 in his previous five races this year. The lone win was an allowance victory at Fair Grounds over Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm’s highly regarded Bind, but he was strong in stakes efforts over synthetic Polytrack in Keeneland’s Coolmore Lexington, where he finished second to Derby Kitten, and over traditional dirt at Belmont Park in the 1 1/8-mile Peter Pan, where he finished 3 ¼ lengths behind the victorious Alternation in third.
Edgar Prado will ride Prime Cut, whose career record stands at 2-2-2 in seven races with earnings of $123,685.
Prime Cut is scheduled to travel to Louisville International Airport on Tuesday to board a flight to New York for the Belmont. Also scheduled for that flight is Tom Walters’ Belmont Stakes contender Santiva, who finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) and won last fall’s Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (GII).
Other workouts on Monday at Churchill Downs included a sharp three-furlong breeze by the Howard-trained Machen. Courtlandt Farm’s winner of the $200,000-added The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII) at Churchill Downs covered the distance in :36.
George Bolton and Stonestreet Stable’s Astrology, third in the Preakness (GI) for trainer Steve Asmussen, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.60. Stonestreet’s Wilburn, an impressive winner of a May 15 allowance race at Churchill Downs, worked six furlongs in 1:13.40.
Ravi’s Song, winner of the New Orleans Ladies and Pelleteri Stakes at Fair Grounds, breezed three furlongs in :36 for trainer Carl Bowman.