SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- With the defection of Overdriven from Monday's Grade 1 Hopeful, favoritism for the seven-furlong race for 2-year-olds figures to be between J.C.'s Pride and Power World. On Wednesday, Power World did his best to stamp himself as the one to beat with a visually-impressive workout over Saratoga's main track.
With jockey Edgar Prado in the irons, Power World worked a strong five furlongs in 1:00.12 in company with the 4-year-old Mine Train. Power World began a half-length behind his workmate and went in fractions of 12.10 seconds, 24.02, 35.54, and came home in 24.58 with Prado barely moving on him. Power World galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.49.
"I was very happy,'' trainer Neil Howard said. "He worked excellent, Edgar was happy. We were looking for a good work ... not that he needed something very, very strong, but when you give them [six] weeks between starts you do need to hold what you got. I was very pleased with him, he did it nice.''
Power World, a son of Distorted Humor owned by Donald Adam, rallied from 11 lengths back to win his debut going 4 1/2 furlongs on June 11. After that he finished second to Ex Factor in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor at Churchill and second to Overdriven in the Grade 2 Sanford here on July 24. In the Sanford, Power World finished three lengths clear of Jacks in the Deck, the Grade 2 Futurity winner who came out of the Sanford to win an allowance race at Delaware Park.
"I thought it was a very good race for him because he's probably not at his best at six [furlongs] and 6 1/2 and he got beat by the best 2-year-old out there right now I would say,'' Howard said.
Overdriven has since been sidelined with a yet-to-be-diagnosed injury.
A large field is expected for the Hopeful, including Big Blue Nation, Currency Swap, Hunt Crossing, J.C's Pride, Jagati, Laurie's Rocket, Scallion, Trinniberg, and Vexor.