- Lava Man worked over the Polytrack at Keeneland - just a breeze, six furlongs in 1:15. (Remember, The Works on TVG commences on Saturday). Under exercise rider Tony Romero, the 5-year-old son of Slew City Slew went the final three-eighths in :35..
"He's put on some good weight here and he's stronger than ever," the exercise rider said. "I'm very happy with the way he's pulling; he feels better than he did before the Pacific Classic, even. Bernardini is a tough horse to beat, but he should watch out with the way our horse is training."I think we pretty much know what Brother Derek is going to do; not much flexibility in his preference for the lead, and he usually doesn't get it. He didn't against Lava Man in the Goodwood, and I have no reason to believe he will here.
"I play the Classic out in my mind a lot," O'Neill said. "The post position draw will tell us more. We'd like to see Brother Derek and Bernardini start on his inside so we can tell what they're going to do, but our jockey [Corey Nakatani] knows him well, he knows he can be a little aggressive early and still have something left in the tank." [Bloodhorse]
I think it will be interesting to see what Lawyer Ron does in his first race for Pletcher, who apparently is retaining the services of John McKee, who was criticized for his ride in the Super Derby. If he's turned loose, he could be a factor up front as well. But hell, if Bernardini runs the way we think he will - imagine how fast he could be if he actually has to try hard...or even just a little - nothing that happens in the early stages will matter.