Ironicus breezed a half-mile in 48.88 seconds on the Belmont Park main track Sunday morning. Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, Ironicus worked at Belmont for a second consecutive week as he prepares for a possible start in Keeneland’s Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile on October 8.
Owned and bred by Stuart Janney, Ironicus, who won the Grade 3 Fort Marcy on May 7 before finishing as the runner-up in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Manhattan last out on June 11, also worked four furlongs on Belmont’s Big Sandy on September 11.
“He was excellent,” McGaughey said. “As of right now, he seems to be doing everything the right way.”
Ironicus, who is 6-5-1 in 12 career turf starts, continued to train on the dirt despite racing exclusively on grass since his first career start in 2013.
“I never work him on the turf,” McGaughey said with a laugh. “He works fine on the dirt and I’m not going to change.”
Ironicus’ 3-year-old half-sister On Leave came out of Saturday’s victory in the Grade 2 Sands Point in good order, McGaughey said. The 3-year-old posted a career-high 94 Beyer Speed Figure in a front-running win by 2 ¾ lengths.
“She seemed to be fine this morning,” McGaughey said. “She walked and grazed well. We’ll know more in the next few days if she’s tired, but so far, so good.”
On Leave is being pointed toward the Grade 1, $ 500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup on October 15 at Keeneland.
“She’s moving up,” McGaughey said. “I just have to wait and see if it took too much out of her. She usually bounces out of her races fine.”
Inspector Lynley breezed a half mile in 52.10 seconds on the inner turf on Sunday in his first work since winning the Grade 3 Saranac on September 3 at Saratoga. Following his first career graded stakes win, Inspector Lynley is targeting the Grade 3, $ 500,000 Hill Prince over 1 1/8 miles on the turf on “Super Saturday,” October 8 at Belmont.
“He went an easy half; I just wanted something easy since it’s three weeks [until] he runs,” McGaughey said. “He’s the type of horse who is maturing all the time. We’ve been watching him and I think for a while he was immature, running-wise and body-wise. His last three races have been pretty good.”
Hereditary and Coming Attraction breezed in company Sunday morning, going four furlongs in 48.48 seconds on the inner turf. Hereditary has been recovering from a foot injury after coming in fifth in an optional claimer on May 29 at Belmont and McGaughey said he is looking to run both of them soon.
“I thought they both looked fine,” McGaughey said. “Hereditary is on the way back. He had a foot issue but he’s had that resolved and hopefully in the new book there’ll be something where I can run him on the turf at a mile-and-an-eighth or so. For Coming Attraction, I’m looking to sprint her on the turf.”
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