Brisnet Churchill Downs Handicappers Edge notes 5/6/10

Super Saver, Derby runners return to the track

Kentucky Derby (G1) winner SUPER SAVER (Maria's Mon) returned to the track Wednesday morning for a leisurely jog once around the mile oval under exercise rider Kevin Willey.

"He jogged like a Derby winner," said Mike McCarthy, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, adding with a laugh, "and I've seen plenty of those horses here. I have been here. His energy, attitude and appetite are all good. He might gallop tomorrow. It depends on what Todd wants to do."

Pletcher is slated to return to Louisville, Kentucky, toward the end of the week and McCarthy said the trainer "would be here Saturday for sure." Super Saver will go for the second jewel of the Triple Crown on May 15 in the Preakness S. (G1) at Pimlico.

Pletcher's other Preakness probable, dual Grade 1-placed AIKENITE (Yes It's True), galloped 1 3/8 miles after the morning renovation break under Willey. Also returning to the track for the first time since the Kentucky Derby for the Pletcher barn was MISSION IMPAZIBLE (Unbridled's Song), who finished ninth.

Mission Impazible jogged a mile under Willey and will be pointed to the $125,000 Northern Dancer S. (G3), according to McCarthy. The 1 1/16-mile race for three-year-olds will be run on the Stephen Foster H. (G1) undercard on June 12.

Owner-trainer Tom McCarthy, age 76, was spreading straw in the stall of GENERAL QUARTERS (Sky Mesa) the other morning when a visitor asked if he felt like he was 66 in the wake of the colt's victory in Saturday's Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1). "Try 36," McCarthy said with a laugh. And so it was that the horse that was the feel-good story of the 2009 Kentucky Derby (G1) trail, was a feel-good story again in 2010. After exiting the 2009 Preakness S. (G1) with a ninth-place finish and a small chip in his right front knee, General Quarters went on the shelf for more than seven months. McCarthy never doubted that his star would make it back. "He came through everything so well," McCarthy said. "We got the chip out and turned him out and gave him time to heal." General Quarters returned to the races on December 26, finishing second in a six-furlong sprint. Three more races in 2010 at two-turn distances in stakes races on dirt resulted in runner-up finishes before the four-year-old's breakthrough grass win on Derby Day. "I'd like to keep him on the grass if possible," McCarthy said. "He just seems to be better on grass. I will just wait and see. I haven't really looked at anything yet, but I know there is a prep ($200,000 Arlington H. [G3] going 1 1/4 miles) for the Arlington Million on July 17." The Turf Classic victory was the second Grade 1 score for General Quarters, who won the 2009 Blue Grass S. (G1) over Keeneland's Polytrack surface...

 

On the Kentucky worktab

On Wednesday over Churchill Downs' fast main track, DUBIOUS MISS (E Dubai), winner of the Ben Ali S. (G3) at Keeneland in his most recent start, worked five furlongs in 1:04 4/5 for trainer Paul McGee.

Grade 3 scorer READY SET (Touch Gold), off the board in the Ben Ali last out, covered four furlongs in :49 4/5.

Stakes victor CHIEF OF AFFAIRS (Yonaguska), runner-up by a neck in the Count Fleet Sprint H. (G3) last out, breezed four furlongs in :52 1/5.

Grade 2 runner-up FLYING PEGASUS (Fusaichi Pegasus), most recently second against allowance/optional claiming rivals, traveled a half in :52 4/5.

CAPTAIN CHEROKEE (Sir Cherokee), unraced since finishing third in last August's Amsterdam S. (G2), logged five-eighths in 1:02 3/5.

Pan American S. (G3) hero BEARPATH (Dynaformer), unplaced in the Elkhorn S. (G2) last out, logged four furlongs in :49 1/5 on the all-weather surface at Skylight Training Center.

Grade 3 heroine WAR ECHO (Tapit), fifth in the Apple Blossom S. (G1) and Azeri S. (G3) in her past two starts, breezed five-eighths in 1:02 on Keeneland's Polytrack.

Grade 3 scorer AEGEAN (Northern Afleet), fourth in the OBS Sprint S. in her only start this year, breezed four furlongs in :47 4/5.

Dixie Poker Ace S. winner HALLWAY (Graeme Hall), third against allowance/optional claiming rivals last out, covered a half in :49 1/5.

Grade 3-placed stakes victress KINSOLVING (Posse), third in the Goldfinch S. most recently, traveled four panels in :51 1/5.

Tokyo City Cup H. (G3) third EAGLE POISE (Empire Maker) worked a half-mile in :49 2/5.

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