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Fort Larned Works Five Furlongs at Churchill Downs

Fort Larned completed his serious preparation for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) at Santa Anita with a five-furlong workout under jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. early Monday morning at Churchill Downs.

Fort Larned

Fort Larned

The 5-year-old Janis Witham homebred son of E Dubai was among Monday’s early workers as he went to the track at approximately 6:40 a.m.and cruised five furlongs over a fast track in 1:01.80.

Fractional splits for Fort Larned’s work were :12.60, :25.20 and 37.60. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.80.

The move was the third by Fort Larned since Oct. 19 and trainer Ian Wilkes said the defending Classic champion was happy with both the work and the condition of his star heading into Saturday’s 2013 running of the Classic.

“Today was not to squeeze the lemon dry – it was to get the horse coming off the track wanting to do more,” Wilkes said. “Today he walked off like he was wanting to do more, so I was happy.”

“He worked great this morning,” Hernandez said. “He went just like Ian wanted him to. He cruised right around there to five-eighths and it looks like he’s going into the Classic like he did last year.”

With Monday’s breeze, the serious work for the Classic is completed. The next step is a Tuesday flight to Southern California and then light training over the Santa Anita course prior to Saturday’s bid by Fort Larned to equal the feat of Tiznow, who won the Classic in 2000 and 2001 and remains the only horse to win the race twice and in back-to-back years.

“I’m very excited,” Hernandez said. “This is what we get up in the morning for, to compete in big races like this and to go in there with the defending champion is very exciting.”

“I feel good,” Wilkes said. “The horse is right where you want him. He’s doing really well. I’m very pleased with him.”

Fort Larned’s career record heading into the Classic stands at 10-2-1 in 24 races with earnings of $4,171,322.

-Churchill Downs Publicity

Palmer photo