ELMONT, N.Y. – Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale, currently overseeing a stable of six horses at Belmont, said last-out Grade 1 Jaipur winner Oleksandra looked sharp in her six-furlong breeze Sunday in 1:14.04 on Big Sandy in preparation for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
“She’s doing very well,” said Drysdale. “She doesn’t need speed because she’s very fast. She worked in company behind another horse and started a half dozen lengths back and finished well.”
The ultra-consistent Animal Kingdom mare, Team Valor homebred, sports a record of 15-7-3-3 with purse earnings of $537,353. She rallied from last-of-98 to beat the boys in the six-furlong Jaipur on June 20.
Oleksandra has worked six times on the Belmont main since October 2, including a trio of half-furlong breezes in close succession, ahead of a strong five-furlong effort in 1:01.58 last week.
“That was because of the layoff to get her fit,” said Drysdale regarding the busy work pattern. “We gave her some small easy works and then we’ve only done two serious works – this one and the last one.”
Oleksandra won the Grade 3 Buffalo Trace Franklin County in October 2019 in her only start at Keeneland.
“She’s won down there and if it comes up a bit soft she doesn’t mind,” said Drysdale.
A six-time Breeders’ Cup winner, Drysdale won the 1992 Belmont Stakes with A.P. Indy and added a Kentucky Derby win to his ledger in 2000 with Fusaichi Pegasus.
Drysdale started four horses at the Belmont fall meet with the best result being a runner-up effort from Adare, a 4-year-old Medaglia d’Oro colt, in a 1 1/6-mile main track event on October 9.
“We’ll see how these horses develop here,” said Drysdale. “Adare ran well the other day and only got beat a neck. He should improve off that race. We have some maidens to develop.”
Photo: Oleksandra wins the Jaipur in June. (Janet Garaguso)