In his third work in less than two weeks, Havana breezed a half-mile in 50.50. His stablemate Hartford, who won his only race by 5 3/4 lengths at Gulfstream last month, got back on track Monday after having missed a work, breezing five furlongs in 1:01.25.
The winner of the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes and second-place finisher in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in his last start, Havana is preparing for his return in the Grade 3 Swale, a seven-furlong race March 1 at Gulfstream. Earlier, Pletcher said he had hoped to make the Feb. 22 Fountain of Youth with Havana, but fell behind schedule with him.
“We’ve kind of consolidated three breezes here in 15 days,” said Pletcher on Tuesday. “Now, hopefully, he’s on schedule where we can kind of space them out every six or seven days.”
Havana put in a three-furlong breeze on Feb. 1 and came back five days later with an easy half-mile in 48.95 on Feb. 6. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.60 after that work.
Hartford, like Havana a son of Tapit, won going seven furlongs on Jan. 16 without really being asked. He came back to breeze a half-mile on Jan. 28, but grabbed a quarter and missed a work, Pletcher said.
Pletcher said he was impressed with Hartford’s work and gallop-out on Tuesday.
“Everything seems in order and we’ll work him back next week, either Sunday or Monday, and see how that goes,” he said.
Hartford and another Pletcher-trained debut winner, Constitution, are in the same boat regarding their next start, Pletcher said.
“They were impressive enough in their maiden wins that it wouldn’t be crazy to take a double jump into a stake, but we’ll probably go about it a little more methodically and come back in an allowance race,” he said.
Yet another son of Tapit, Constitution won his seven-furlong debut at Gulfstream Jan. 11 despite breaking slowly. Constitution rushed up to be right with the leader after a hot half-mile in 44.82 and dug in down the stretch to win by one length. He has come back with two half-mile breezes. His first work back from that race was a very easy half-mile move in 49.50 here on Feb. 2. Seven days later, he breezed a half in 48.30 and went nicely on the gallop-out, going five furlongs in 1:01.00, six furlongs in 1:14.00, and seven furlongs in 1:28.40.
Constitution’s next race will be decided after his next work, Pletcher said.
“Now we just kind of got to figure out how to bring him along, whether an allowance is the next step or something more aggressive,” he said. “The horse has been very impressive. The one thing we’ll try to do is get him to relax a little bit. He can get a little headstrong.”