The leading candidate for Horse of the Year, Kentucky Derby and Midsummer Derby winning Street Sense, had his first workout since returning home to Churchill Downs following his victories in Saratogas Jim Dandy and Travers.

He continues to demonstrate that hes an equine machine. Working effortlessly, according to trackside reports, Street Sense worked five-eighths of a mile in 1:02.91 over his favorite surface.

The work might be pedestrian on its face but once again demonstrates how push-button this colt really is. Since hes been a two-year-old, Carl Nafzger has been teaching him how to run, how to distribute his energy efficiently.

Lessons learned.

Beneath Tracey Wilkes, wife of longtime Nafzger assistant, Ian, he finished in a fashion that every trainer covets: strongly and well within himself.

His opening quarter-mile of :27.20 was a laugher, even for a less accomplished thoroughbred. Then, like he does in his races, he picked up the pace on cue. His half-mile was timed in :51.20, as he willingly picked up the tempo from 13-second furlongs to 12-second furlongs.

Racetrackers call that 12-clipping, the measure of a top class racehorse under training conditions.

Then he did what he always seems to do: finish with a flourish; a final furlong in :11.71, getting stronger the farther he went. Given that he wont race again until Septembers final weekend, Street Sense went only as fast as necessary, fast enough to keep his condition and fast enough to remain sharp mentally and physically.

Many havent liked his last two races from a visual frame, not winning as impressively as he had in Kentucky, the thinking being hes just not as effective away from Churchill Downs.

There is evidence to support that notion. But theres reason, too, not to lose heart in his abilities. He needed to race closer to the pace in both recent soft-fraction starts. When the pace is honest to fast, his late run, like most horses, is far more effective.

The workout should bring a smile to lovers of the game and of good horses. Street Sense has only two starts left before he gallops off into retirement. No matter what he does in his prep, the Classic vs. the speedy and surging Any Given Saturday and, of greater significance, the older explosive Lawyer Ron will be exceedingly difficult on Monmouths speed-favoring oval.

But before beginning any meaningful analysis, remember this: Street Sense loves what hes doing, and doing what he does best: Winning.