WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International and SF Racing’s Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner Quip, based at Keeneland with trainer Rodolphe Brisset, worked 4 furlongs in :48.20 Sunday in his final preparation for Saturday’s Preakness (G1). (Photo of work attached. Please credit Photo by Z.)
Keeneland’s clocker caught Quip’s final quarter in :23.80, galloping out 5 furlongs in 1:00.60.
“It was a usual maintenance work for him,” said Brisset, who was aboard Quip in the work, while the Distorted Humor colt was being bathed. “He went off easy and came home nicely, galloped out strong. Looks like he’s cooling out nicely.”
The Preakness, the middle leg of the Triple Crown, will mark Quip’s first race since he was second in the April 14 Arkansas Derby (G1) to Magnum Moon, who next ran in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1).
Following the Arkansas Derby, Quip returned to Keeneland. On May 3, he breezed 4 furlongs in :48.
Brisset said Quip is to ship Wednesday to Pimlico for the Preakness in which his rivals are scheduled to include Kentucky Derby winner Justify.
“I think the (post position) draw is important, even if it’s a short field,” Brisset said about the Preakness. “The draw will determine what kind of plan we can come up with (jockey) Florent (Geroux). I don’t think we need to overthink it, either. Hopefully, everybody will have a clean trip, and then we go from there.”
Quip and Justify have a few things in common.
WinStar, which bred Quip, owns Justify in partnership with China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners and Starlight Racing.
A $500,000 purchase at Keeneland’s 2016 September Yearling Sale, Justify spent several months of his 2-year-old season at Keeneland with Brisset alongside Quip. Oct. 19, 2017, was a notable day for both colts. That morning, Justify turned in the first work of his career, covering 3 furlongs in 38.40. That afternoon, Quip scored a 6½-length victory in a Keeneland allowance for his second win in two starts.
Justify worked two more times at Keeneland before shipping to trainer Bob Baffert in Southern California.
“Since he (won) the Derby, it would be lying to say we knew what the horse was going to be,” Brisset said about Justify. “Now, saying that, the horse was forward. He was a pleasure to be around. He never (took) one bad step. For sure, looking at him body-wise and (because of) his mind, you could have guessed something was in him.”
Post positions for the Preakness will be drawn Wednesday.