Iliad ‘Picked Up The Bridle’ In Final Work For Santa Anita Derby

San Vicente winner Iliad finished his major preparations Friday for next weekend's G1 Santa Anita Derby, according to The Doug O'Neill trainee covered six furlongs in 1:13 4/5 under jockey Flavien Prat, besting his stablemate Hoffenheim at the wire.

“I didn't even ask him anything, but at the quarter pole he picked up the bridle and did it by himself,” said Prat. “It was good.”

Iliad, by Ghostzapper, may well inherit favoritism in the Santa Anita Derby, as he was the closest finisher to the very impressive Mastery in the San Felipe Stakes last out. With Mastery's defection, the major question about Iliad remains his ability to get the distance after seeming to struggle chasing Mastery in the stretch in his first two-turn race.

“That's going to be the question mark—the distance,” Prat said. “Last time was his first time (going) two turns, so you can expect an improvement from that race, but if he handles the distance, he should run really good.”


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