Keen Ice Puts in Final Drill for Whitney
Article via BloodHorse
Donegal Racing and Calumet Farm's grade 1 winner Keen Ice completed his major preparations for the Aug. 5 $1.2 million Whitney Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course with a half-mile work July 29.
The recent three-length winner of the Suburban Stakes (G2) July 8 at Belmont Park, Keen Ice took to the main track early Saturday in company with graded-stakes placed stablemate Patch, finishing just ahead of his workmate to cover the distance in :49.09 and galloped out strongly past the wire.
"I thought he breezed really, really well," said Todd Pletcher, who took over conditioning Keen Ice last year. "It seems like he's in superb form at the moment."
Previously trained by Dale Romans, Keen Ice memorably pulled off one of the great upsets in recent times when he defeated Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the 2015 Travers Stakes (G1). The son of Curlin had lost 10 straight races since that time, including a seventh-place finish in the Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1) in March, before defeating heavily-favored Shaman Ghost in the 1 1/4-mile Suburban.
Among those Keen Ice is expected to face in the Whitney are: Gun Runner, who went gate-to-wire in the June 17 Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) to win by seven lengths; Breaking Lucky, third in the Foster last time out; and a Loooch Racing Stables-owned pair in Cautious Giant, last-out winner of a six-furlong optional claimer at JACK Thistledown Racino; and grade 2 winner War Story.
Patch, owned and bred by Calumet Farm, was clocked covering four furlongs in :49.45 in preparation for his expected run in the West Virginia Derby (G3) Aug. 5.