• Centre Court returns to work tab
• Discreet Marq under consideration for G2 Woodford Reserve Lake Placid
• Turallure working toward G2 Bernard Baruch
Regular exercise rider Pedro Velez was up for the work, the first for Golden Soul since finishing last of seven in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational on July 28 at Monmouth Park. Stewart is targeting the Grade 1, $1 million Travers on August 24 for the Perfect Soul colt's next start.
"He worked great," Stewart said. "Actually, he came out of the Haskell great. I can't explain the bad race. Health-wise, he's fine. We've been galloping him steady, giving him his normal routine and he's handled it fine. He worked great today. He had great energy and came home good, so we're pointing toward the Travers."
Since breaking his maiden December 30 at Fair Grounds, Golden Soul is 0-for-6 this year, running second in the Grade 3 LeComte and following his Derby run, was ninth in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes. In the Haskell, he ran last all the way around and wound up beaten 29 ½ lengths.
"The next day, he was sharp, feeling good. I had to walk him with a lip chain for three days," Stewart said. "He was full of energy when he galloped and [showed] everything you like to see coming out of a race. He ran bad; I really don't know why. Maybe he didn't like the racetrack. It was a disappointing race, but he came out of it good. It happens in racing. The Travers, we think he can be competitive."
Stablemate Perfect Title, last seen running seventh of nine in the Grade 2, $600,00 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 27, also had his first work since the race, going five furlongs in 59.39 seconds on the main track.
"We'll think about where we should go with him next," Stewart said. "I don't know about [the Travers] with him yet. We'll have to talk about it."
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Still mystified by Centre Court's last race, trainer George "Rusty" Arnold was feeling much better about his multiple graded-stakes-winning filly on Thursday.
The 4-year-old daughter of Smart Strike worked five furlongs over the Oklahoma training track turf in 59.78 seconds with exercise rider Simon Harris aboard. Arnold said Centre Court was clocked in :47 3/5 for a half-mile, going the last quarter in :22 3/5 in her first breeze since finishing last as the 6-5 favorite in the Grade 1 Diana at Saratoga on July 27.
"She went the right way," Arnold said. "It's very encouraging, and she's as happy as she can be. I feel better now. She has done nothing but get better since she's been here. I'm not giving her an excuse, but training at home, I just don't think she was herself, but now I do. Since the race, everything's gone good and every day's been better. I'm very happy the way she went today, so we're ready to go."
Arnold plans to bring Centre Court back in the Grade 2, $250,000 Ketel One Ballston Spa, the featured turf stakes on the Travers undercard August 24. Looking to beat the rain that was forecast for Saratoga, Arnold was able to move the work up from Friday.
"I got really worried about rain tonight and I was afraid we'd lose the turf works," he said. "I called [NYRA stakes coordinator] Andrew [Byrnes] and they were kind enough to let her work today. They were more than accommodating. She worked great. If it doesn't rain, that's OK, but I would have felt bad if I blew my work tomorrow. We are headed to the Ballston Spa as long as everything is in good shape."
The Diana was the worst finish for Centre Court since she was fifth in her career debut in July 2011. She had been first or second in 10 straight races since, including her first Grade 1 victory in the Jenny Wiley on April 13, before running fourth in the Grade 1 Longines Just a Game on June 8.
"I wouldn't be running if she wasn't showing me all the right signs, and now she has," the Kentucky-based Arnold said. "I had to train her on the [Polytrack] at home. She likes the Poly, but she doesn't breeze as good on it. I don't know that she didn't need the [Diana] a little bit, but she doesn't need it now."
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Trainer Christophe Clement has Grade 2 Sands Point winner Discreet Marq under consideration for the Grade 2, $200,000 Woodford Reserve Lake Placid on August 18. She fired a bullet five-furlong work in 1:00.20 over the training turf on Wednesday.
"She came back very good from that," Clement said. "She looks well, and I'm very happy with her."
Clement is also targeting the $150,000 West Point presented by Trustco Bank on August 15 for New York-bred Lubash, whose lone win in four 2013 starts came in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy on May 4 at Belmont Park.
"That's the plan at the moment. As long as he trains well, we'll run in the West Point," Clement said. "He's a fun horse to be around."
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Trainer Charles LoPresti, who Thursday morning schooled reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the gate in advance of Saturday's Grade 2, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap, had high praise for 6-year-old Turallure, who is being pointed toward the Grade 2, $250,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf August 31.
Turallure turned in a sharp breeze over the Oklahoma training track turf Wednesday, covering a half-mile in 47.44 seconds, tied for second-fastestbest of 14 works at the distance.
The son of Wando has not won since the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile in 2011 but showed signs of his old self July 24 when he finished a fast-closing second by a head to Seal Cove in a high-level optional claimer at a mile over the inner turf course.
"He's training as good as Wise Dan or [Grade 1 Whitney runner-up] Successful Dan is," LoPresti said. "I think the Bernard Baruch is a good race for him."
Turallure, who won the 2011 Bernard Baruch, raced three times in 2012, with his best finish being a second by a neck to Data Link in the Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile Stakes at Keeneland. He then failed to hit the board in his next five starts before coming to life in the tough optional claimer.
"He had a bone bruise, and I think it took him a while to get on track," LoPresti said. "I think getting him up here [helped him]. He got up here and got more competitive. He got a little breeze on the turf course over there [at Oklahoma]. I think it all started coming back to him: 'Hey, this is what I'm here to do.' He [hadn't been doing] anything wrong, but he didn't have that spark. He's showing it now. I think he's going to run big."