All three are 3-year-old colts seeking their first victory against older horses. Forty Tales, a three-time graded stakes winner, breezed four furlongs in 51.40 seconds.
Covering four furlongs in company later in the morning were Grade 1 Foxwoods King’s Bishop victor Capo Bastone (47.66 seconds) and Grade 1 Wood Memorial and Haskell Invitational winner Verrazano (47.67 seconds), the two fastest workouts at the distance on the training track.
“[Capo Bastone and Verrazano] been working together quite a bit,” said Pletcher. “I think it worked well in the past [and] just felt like it was a good match up.
• Lane’s End and Dell Ridge Farms’ Honor Code, most recently second in the Grade 1 Foxwoods Champagne Stakes, breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:03.34 this morning on Belmont Park’s main track in preparation for his next engagement, the Grade 2 Remsen on November 30.
“He went very well and Shug [McGaughey] said he was happy with the way he did it,” said assistant trainer Buzz Tenney. “He’ll have one more breeze next weekend, and that will be it.”
Tenney also reported that Imagining emerged from his first graded stakes win in Saturday’s Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap in good order. A front-running winner of two of his three previous starts, the 5-year-old Giant’s Causeway horse displayed a new dimension in coming from off the pace in the 1 3/8-mile race.
“That was really nice to see,” said Tenney. “The other thing we were pleased with was how well he acted shipping over to Aqueduct from Belmont. It seems as if he’s really maturing in a big way recently.”
• Clearly Now, who could make his first start in a Grade 1 by competing in the Cigar Mile, tuned up by breezing five furlongs in 1:01.75 on Sunday at the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida.
“Lovely,” said trainer Brian Lynch of the breeze. “I’m really happy. He finished up strong; we got him going the final eighth in 11 [seconds].”
A 3-year-old owned by Up Hill Stable, Clearly Now is exiting a 1 ½-length win over Forty Tales in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap on October 26 at Belmont Park. The Bold Ruler was Clearly Now’s first start wearing blinkers and first against older horses.
“We’re leaning in favor of running in the Cigar Mile,” said Lynch. “He seems to be getting better and has improved with blinkers.”
• Jockey Javier Castellano, who was unseated after the conclusion of Wednesday’s ninth race at Aqueduct, plans to resume riding Friday after taking off his mounts due to soreness, said his agent, Matt Muzikar.
A native of Venezuela, Castellano leads the nation in terms of both victories (317) and purses earned ($25.5 million).