Sensing how sharp Epicenter has been the last week, trainer Steve Asmussen on Monday gave him a five-furlong workout that the 3-year-old did by himself in 1:01.70. He got his final quarter in 24.81 seconds and galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.41.
It was a bit atypical for an Asmussen runner to do that much so close to his last race.
“Its not a big deal for him,” Asmussen said. “Little concerned with how sharp he’s been off of winning the Jim Dandy. Obviously, he’s proud of himself. He came out of it in really good shape, just wanted to kind of smooth him off. I’ll give him a little company next week and then we’ll probably slow it down from there.”
Asmussen is taking everything he’s seen from Epicenter since the Jim Dandy as a “great sign.”
“He looked great,” Asmussen said. “I think he remembered how to win and came out of it proud of himself. He’s had very good energy. Honestly, I didn’t want to make him sharper. Just kind of wanted to flatten him out a tad with today’s work.”
Epicenter has time for two more works leading up to the Travers, where he will attempt to secure his first Grade 1 victory against the likes of Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike, Zandon, Cyberknife, Charge It, Artorius, and potentially Early Voting.