ELMONT, N.Y.—Trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. breezed Mischevious Alex and Drain the Clock Sunday at Gulfstream Park in preparation for starts at the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival.
Cash is King and LC Racing’s Mischevious Alex worked a half-mile in company in 48.72 seconds on the fast main track in his final breeze for Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Hill ‘N’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap.
Slam Dunk Racing, Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables and Michael Nentwig’s Drain the Clock also worked a half-mile in company in 48.68.
Joseph, Jr. said the breeze was easier by design for both after working the two talented colts head-and-head on May 23 through five furlongs in a bullet 1:00.81 on the Gulfstream main track.
“We didn’t want either of them to overdo anything so we paired them with lesser workmates today,” said Joseph, Jr. “The last time they worked together they went head and head the whole way.”
Joseph, Jr. said Mischevious Alex is coming into the Met Mile, which offers a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, in top form following his impressive score in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap on April 3 at the Big A that garnered a career-best 109 Beyer.
“They caught him in 48 and change and he got the last quarter in 23 and 1, so it went well,” said Joseph, Jr. “He’s in good form. We’re hoping he can run a race as good as last time. If he does, I think we’re going over there with a good chance.”
Drain the Clock, who has won 5-of-7 starts, is targeting the Grade 1, $400,000 Woody Stephens presented by Nassau Country Industrial Development Agency, a seven-furlong sprint for sophomores.
Joseph, Jr. said the Maclean’s Music chestnut, who matched a career-best 86 Beyer last out winning the Grade 3 Bay Shore on April 3 at the Big A, is in good order.
“He’s plenty fit,” said Joseph, Jr. “He looked good working and he is coming into the race in good form at a distance that he’s been successful. He’ll have to run his career best, but we feel like he’s sitting on his career best.”
Joseph, Jr. will also be represented at the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival by Sweet Bye and Bye in Thursday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Intercontinental, a seven-furlong Widener turf sprint for older fillies and mares; and by Queen Nekia in the Grade 1, $500,000 Ogden Phipps at 1 1/16-miles on Big Sandy for older fillies and mares which offers a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” berth to the Distaff.
Joseph, Jr. said the colts will fly to New York on Wednesday, while the mares will begin their journey by van later today.
The Florida-based conditioner, who has stalls at Belmont for the first time, has three wins and three thirds from nine starts at the Belmont spring/summer meet. He praised assistant trainer Sabine Langvad for the strong early showing.
“Our horses have been in good form and running good. Even the ones that didn’t win have performed credibly,” said Joseph, Jr. “Sabine works hard and has a lot of passion for what she does.”
NYRA Press Office
Photo: Mischevious Alex winning the Carter April 3, 2021. (NYRA/Coglianese)