Old Fashioned's scheduled 3-year-old debut in the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park still is more than two weeks away, but a Thursday morning workout at Fair Grounds suggested Old Fashioned is ready for anything. Having by far his most serious piece of exercise so far this year, Old Fashioned flew through a five-furlong workout in 58.80 seconds after breaking from the gate. That time was 1.20 seconds quicker than the next-fastest five-furlong work of the morning, and that breeze, by the 3-year-old Indygo Mountain, came with a running start.
"He did it well within himself," said trainer Larry Jones. "I picked him up galloping out after a mile, and I still had to catch him with the pony."
Jones said clockers had timed Old Fashioned, ridden by Gabriel Saez, galloping out six furlongs in just more than 1:11, which would be an extraordinary work time at Fair Grounds.
"He wasn't blowing as much as he was after his last five-eighths work," Jones said. "He was more prepared for this. We wanted to get his juices flowing, but he just does it awfully easy. Gabriel never really let him go."
Jones worked Old Fashioned from the gate in response to a series of recent morning injuries at Fair Grounds. Jones noted that injuries had occurred in the homestretch, and since the gate is placed at the head of the stretch in the morning, Old Fashioned went through the stretch early in his work, which concluded on the backstretch.
"I can't find anything at all wrong with the track, but I didn't want to take a shot on him going through that area on tired legs," said Jones. "That was the main reason we went to the gate."
Old Fashioned remains on course to ship to Oaklawn for the Feb. 16 Southwest sometime on Monday, and Jones said he planned to haul the horse from New Orleans to Hot Springs in his own trailer.
"I know I've got precious cargo, and this way I can make sure everything goes the way I want," Jones said. "My dad was a long-haul trucker, and I learned at an early age how I ought to be driving to satisfy my dad."