Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Reigning Breeders' Cup Classic champion Fort Larned put in his last workout Monday morning prior to Saturday's renewal of the $5 million Classic.
Trained by Ian Wilkes, Fort Larned worked five furlongs over a fast track in 1:01.80 at Churchill Downs. His regular jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. was in the saddle.
"He worked great this morning," Hernandez said. "He went just like Ian wanted him to. He cruised right around there to five-eighths and it looks like he's going into the Classic like he did last year."
The 5-year-old, owned by Janis Whitham, galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.80.
"Today was not to squeeze the lemon dry - it was to get the horse coming off the track wanting to do more," Wilkes said. "Today he walked off like he was wanting to do more, so I was happy."
Fort Larned won last year's Classic by a half-length over Mucho Macho Man. He won his most recent race, the Homecoming Classic at Churchill on Sept. 28. He leaves for Santa Anita by plane Tuesday along with defending Horse of the Year Wise Dan.
"I'm very excited," Hernandez said. "This is what we get up in the morning for, to compete in big races like this and to go in there with the defending champion is very exciting."
With 10 wins in 24 races, the 5-year-old has lifetime earnings of $4,171,322.