Clocker: Lani, unfazed by workload, works five furlongs


Weather: Cloudy

Track: Fast

Temp.: 62

ELMONT, N.Y. – LANI and Belmont Stakes favorite EXAGGERATOR have two things in common. They are the only two horses who’ll compete in all three legs of this year’s Triple Crown, and both have garnered plenty of media attention since their arrival in New York. At that point, however, the comparisons end, considering that Exaggerator won the Preakness after being the runner-up behind Nyquist in the Kentucky Derby, while Lani finished off the board in both races.

Exaggerator was the focus of attention here Tuesday, when he turned in his final Belmont work, with Lani taking center stage Wednesday, breezing five furlongs in 1:00.74 following another extended training session.

It was a little cooler during training hours Wednesday than it had been here for much of the previous week, with the main track on the lively side once again.

As usual, Lani spent plenty of time warming up for his work, walking approximately 1 3/4 miles, then galloping 1 3/4 miles, with the final three-eighths at nearly a two-minute-per-mile clip, before breaking off at the five-furlong pole to begin his drill. Lani posted splits of 25.68 seconds and 37.10 to the top of the stretch, then accelerated once turning for home, completing his final quarter in 23.64 on his correct lead while being sticked a couple of times nearing the wire. He was then urged to gallop out an additional furlong, pulling up six furlongs in 1:13.97.

The breeze itself was average-looking, but when taking into consideration his entire body of work and that Lani has held up so well under his grueling regimen here over the past couple of weeks, it is safe to say he should go into the Belmont on Saturday fit and ready for an improved showing.

Exaggerator jogged two miles over the training track Wednesday. According to DRF’s Jay Privman, Exaggerator had plenty of bounce to his step and showed good energy coming out of his work 24 hours earlier.

GOVERNOR MALIBU continues to make a very favorable impression, with Wednesday perhaps his best day yet. The Peter Pan Stakes runner-up was on his toes from the moment he hit the racetrack shortly before 6 a.m., steadily picking up his pace and traveling at nearly a two-minute clip during the final three-eighths of his regular 1 1/2-mile gallop.

Stablemates CHERRY WINE and BRODY’S CAUSE each galloped 1 3/4 miles on Wednesday, with Cherry Wine at a bit more of a leisurely pace than usual. Brody’s Cause was well anchored but pulling his rider hard while moving at nearly a two-minute lick coming through the wire and heading into the clubhouse turn the second time around.

Three of the newer faces in town tested the main track for the first time Wednesday.SUDDENBREAKINGNEWS and SEEKING THE SOUL galloped before the renovation break and TROJAN NATION after the break. Seeking the Soul’s stablemate FOREVER D’ORO was also out early for a routine gallop.

Tom Franklin is a senior contributor at US Racing.
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