OCEANPORT, N.J. -- Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird had his final breeze for the $1.25 million Haskell Invitational on Sunday morning at muddy Monmouth Park.
With jockey Kent Desormeaux aboard, Summer Bird went five furlongs in 1:01.80, the second-fastest of five works at the distance.
The wet strip seemed to bother Desormeaux more than the chestnut colt.
"I didn't really care for the track," Desormeaux said. "I don't think he minded it as much as I did. I tried to get him over the best part of the racetrack. This horse knows the game and he knows how to prepare himself."
As for the workout, Desormeaux said, "It was pretty quick and the track was pretty slick. He got a lot out of it."
Trainer Tim Ice was pleased with the move.
"Everything went great," Ice said. "It was a good strong work and he galloped out strong. I couldn't be happier."
Summer Bird will face six other confirmed starters in the Haskell here on Aug. 2. The Preakness-winning filly Rachel Alexandra is the headline attraction, The lineup also includes Arkansas Derby winner Papa Clem; Munnings; Iowa Derby winner Duke of Mischief, Atomic Rain, and Bunker Hill.
Big Drama, who is headed to the West Virginia Derby on Saturday, also worked Sunday at Monmouth. He was caught in 49 seconds, the fastest of seven half-mile breezes.