ELMONT, N.Y. -- After winning the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park on June 19, it seemed likely that Afleet Express would make his next start in the $1 million Haskell Invitational on Aug. 1 at the Jersey Shore track.
But with the $1 million Travers on Aug. 28 being the primary objective this summer, Afleet Express will most likely make his next start in the $500,000 Jim Dandy at the Spa on July 31.
"I'd like to run where he's stabled," trainer Jimmy Jerkens said Saturday morning. "With the Travers being the ultimate goal I think that's the best way to go."
Jerkens spoke shortly after Afleet Express worked a solid half-mile in 48.56 seconds Saturday morning over the Belmont training track. He went his first quarter in 24.99 seconds and his final quarter in 23.57.
"He's always been a very good work horse," said Jerkens, who plans to ship Afleet Express to Saratoga on July 20 or 21. "It was faster than I kind of wanted. He's a better horse than he was, so things are coming easier to him."
Afleet Express, a son of Afleet Alex, has won 3 of 5 starts. He won his debut over Aqueduct's inner track in December. After two poor races at Gulfstream, Afleet Express returned to New York to win an allowance race at Belmont on May 22 before making a successful two-turn debut in the Pegasus, a 1 1/16-mile race.
Uptowncharlybrown back to work
Uptowncharlybrown, working for the first time since the Belmont Stakes, breezed a half-mile in 48.66 seconds Saturday morning over Belmont Park's training track. Under jockey Rajiv Maragh, Uptowncharlybrown went in quarter splits of 24.58 seconds and 24.08.
Uptowncharlybrown finished fifth in the Belmont, but was disqualified and ordered unplaced after failing to run the 1 1/2 miles with the assigned 126 pounds. An eight-pound weighted-pad fell from underneath Maragh's saddle five furlongs into the race.
The owners, the Fantasy Lane Stables, are appealing the disqualification in hopes of, at the least, having the $20,000 entry fee refunded.
Meanwhile, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said he would discuss options for Uptowncharlybrown's next race with Bob Hutt, the head of Fantasy Lane.
Given the Jersey-based roots of the owners, the $1 million Haskell is the most likely next spot. The Jim Dandy and the $750,000 West Virginia Derby on Aug. 7 are also possible.
"The Haskell is on our radar," McLaughlin said. "He's plenty fit. We'll talk about it. I wanted to wait until we worked him before we talked about it."
McLaughlin has another good 3-year-old, Trappe Shot, who is making his two-turn debut in Saturday's $175,000 Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Boys at Tosconova gets 103 Beyer
Boys at Tosconova turned in the first "wow" performance of the season in New York's juvenile division, winning a maiden race by 12 lengths Friday. He ran five furlongs in 56.26 seconds and earned a 103 Beyer Speed Figure.
Boys at Tosconova was dropping into a maiden race after finishing second to Lou Brissie in the Kentucky Juvenile Stakes on April 30 at Churchill Downs. He was purchased privately after that race by Mace and Samantha Siegel's Jay Em Ess Stable and turned over to trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.
While not the first away from the gate, Boys at Tosconova quickly split horses to assume command and ran fast fractions in 22.35 seconds and 44.38 en route to the easy score.
"We anticipated a big race from him," Dutrow said. "I shipped him over to breeze him so we could give him every opportunity in the world to run a big race."
Dutrow said he would most likely wait to run Boys Tosconova back until the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga on Sept. 6.
"He had a two-month break from his race to this, I don't see what the problem is giving him another two months to run seven-eighths," Dutrow said. "I like the idea; I hope he likes the idea. He could be the real deal. We'll find out as time goes by. Right now, he's on the top of our list."
Mine That Bird's half-brother wins
Brother Bird, the 3-year-old half-brother to last year's Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, won a one-mile maiden race by four lengths Saturday. It was his first victory in five starts. Brother Bird, a son of Yonaguska, stalked Just Hold On for five furlongs before taking the lead, leaving the three-eighths pole. He covered a mile in 1:36.43 and returned $3.60
Brother Bird is owned by Dogwood Stable and trained by Todd Pletcher.