Shadwell Stable’s Grade 2-placed Takaful returned to the work tab with a sharp half-mile breeze Thursday morning, and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said the G2 Holy Bull Feb. 4 at Gulfstream Park is among the races being considered for his next start.
In his first work since finishing seventh in the G2 Jerome Jan. 2 at Aqueduct, and first in South Florida, Takaful went four furlongs in 47.90 seconds over the main track at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County. It was the second-fastest of 47 works at the distance.
“He worked well and galloped out well, and we were very happy with him,” McLaughlin said. “What we’re going to do and where we’re going, we’re undecided right now. But, today went very well.”
Takaful, by 2006 champion 3-year-old Bernardini, has been beaten as the favorite in each of his past two starts, both at Aqueduct, following a front-running eight-length romp in his Oct. 29 unveiling at Belmont Park. Prior to the Jerome he was third in the G2 Remsen Nov. 26.
“We’re trying to figure out what happened last time and whether it was the track,” McLaughlin said. “That’s hopefully what we’re zooming in on and we’re thinking he just didn’t like it.”
McLaughlin won the Holy Bull and G2 Fountain of Youth last year with Shadwell’s multiple graded stakes winner Mohaymen. He is keeping his options open for Takaful, including a drop out of stakes company.
“Possibly an allowance race and possibly the Holy Bull. We’re not sure, we just want to make sure all is going well and then we’ll look ahead and make a decision,” he said. “We want to make sure he’s doing great. He is and he always has, and that’s what’s such a head-scratcher about the last race. Hopefully he keeps going in the right direction and we can draw a line through it.”
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