ELMONT, N.Y. – Exaggerator conducted his first official workout since the Grade 1 Belmont, breezing a half-mile in 51.69 seconds on the Belmont Park main track with Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux in the irons.
Exaggerator, the Grade 1 Preakness winner who finished 11th in the Belmont on June 11, registered splits of 24.99 seconds for the first quarter and 26.70 for the second. Trainer Keith Desormeaux said he is still on target for the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy on July 30 at Saratoga Race Course.
“It was a little slower than expected but it was his first work back, so we didn’t want to push him,” Desormeaux said. “We’ll crank it up next week and get him on the road to the Jim Dandy.”
Exaggerator has finished in the money in six of his last seven graded stakes starts, including a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby. The long-term goal for the son of Curlin, who also won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby in April, is the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers on August 27.
“We’re not going to try and complicate things,” Desormeaux said. “We did that route with [2015 Jim Dandy winner] Texas Red last year, and we’ll just hope for a better result in the Travers.”
Desormeaux’s Swipe will run in Saturday’s Grade 3, $500,000 Dwyer and is the program third choice for the one-mile main track race for 3-year-olds. Swipe finished second to Nyquist in three consecutive Grade 1 starts in the Del Mar Futurity, FrontRunner and the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
“He looks great,” Desormeaux said. “I expect a big race from him today.”