The Roger Brueggemann-trained 6-year-old gelding, who captured the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita in November, turned in the fastest of 16 clockings recorded at the distance over the Churchill Downs Training Center surface. It was the fifth in a series of workouts since Work All Week bruised a foot in his 2015 debut at Churchill in the Aristides (G3) on May 30. The Illinois-bred gelding finished second behind Alsvid, also a prominent Smile candidate.
“The work went the way we planned. He kind of did it easy,” said Richard Papiese, who campaigns the sprinting star with his wife, Karen, under the colors of Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc. “We’ll see how he comes out of it. His foot doesn’t seem to be bothering him. He seems to be responding. The plan is to work probably next Sunday. If everything’s ‘a go,’ he’ll get on a plane.”
The Smile Sprint will be one of nine stakes (four graded) on the July 5 Summit of Speed program, which will also be highlighted by the $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2), another Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re in’ event.
Work All Week has finished no worse than second in his 15 starts subsequent to his sixth-place finish in his debut. The son of City Zip, who won 12 of those starts, concluded his 2014 season with a triumph in the Phoenix Stakes (G3) at Keeneland and a half-length score over defending champion Secret Circle in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
“He’s about as honest as you can get,” said Papiese, whose Illinois-based racing operation has led the nation in victories for five years running. “We’re looking forward to running him at Gulfstream and be a part of it.”
Meanwhile, at Gulfstream Park Sunday morning, Honors Stable Corp.’s Wildcat Red breezed an easy furlongs in1:02.06 in preparation for a start on the Summit of Speed program, most likely in the Smile Sprint. The Jose Garoffalo-trained 4-year-old, who captured the Fountain of Youth (G2) and finished second in the Florida Derby (G1) last year, has been idle since finishing fifth in the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic on Jan. 17.