Albertus Maximus, Dunkirk work
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. -- Albertus Maximus, the Donn Handicap winner, and Dunkirk, the undefeated 3-year-old who is targeting the Florida Derby, both worked Saturday at the Palm Meadows training center.
Albertus Maximus, prepping for the $6 million Dubai World Cup on March 28, worked a strong six furlongs in 1:11.80 under exercise rider Rob Massey. Daily Racing Form timed Albertus Maximus in fractions of 12.58 23.72, 35.19, and 59.39 seconds.
"You witnessed the same way he worked the last three Saturdays," trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. "He just does it the right way. He couldn't be doing any better."
Albertus Maximus is scheduled to leave for Dubai on Tuesday afternoon. He will be accompanied on the plane with fellow Florida-based World Cup starters Arson Squad and Anak Nakal.
In the Donn, Albertus Maximus was making his first start for McLaughlin and the Shadwell Stable, which purchased him privately after the horse won the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile last fall at Santa Anita.
Shortly before Albertus Maximus worked, Dunkirk went five furlongs in 1:01.40 in company with the 3-year-old maiden winner Checklist. Patti Barry was aboard Dunkirk.
Palm Meadows clockers caught Dunkirk in fractions of 25 seconds, 37.80, and had him galloping out six furlongs in 1:14. Dunkirk, who has won both of his career starts this year at Gulfstream Park, will be making his stakes debut in the Florida Derby.
"I thought he worked very well," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "He went off nice and relaxed, finished up very strongly, galloped out very well, so I thought it was a very good breeze."
Other noteworthy horses to work at Palm Meadows on Saturday were Commentator, who went four furlongs in 47.85 seconds under Maxine Correa. Commentator, a two-time Whitney Handicap winner trained by Nick Zito, is targeting the Charles Town Classic on April 18. Given the conditions of that nine-furlong race, Commentator would be running for $1 million.
Zito also sent out the 3-year-old allowance winner Brave Victory for a four-furlong work in 46.85 seconds, the fastest of 56 works at the distance. Brave Victory is targeting the Swale on the Florida Derby undercard.
At Gulfstream, Florida Derby contenders Beethoven worked five furlongs in 59.80 seconds, while Theregoesjojo worked the same distance in 1:01.80.
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