Groovy, the sprinter with the stout-hearted connections, sped five-eighths of a mile in 58 2/5 seconds during a workout at Pimlico Race Course this morning.
Groovy, the son of Norcliffe, was ridden by Craig Perret, who also will ride him in Saturday's 111th running of the Preakness Stakes. He went the quarter-mile in 24 2/5 seconds and the half in 47.
By contrast, Ferdinand, the Kentucky Derby winner, managed only a time of 1:01 3/5 for the same distance today, roughly 16 lengths slower than Groovy's.
Perret, enthusiastic about Groovy's sharp workout, said, "They've got me to catch and beat Saturday. This colt is like a loaded gun . . . he's going to fire."
On Ferdinand's effort, trainer Charles Whittingham said, "His work was a good one . . . it's my intention not to have him too sharp too soon . . . by Saturday he should be just right."
Jockey Donald Miller avoided suspension for his ride on Big Red Breaker in Tuesday's fifth race because, according to steward Clinton Pitts Jr., "he took sufficient corrective measures to keep his mount straight." Big Red Breaker was disqualified.
The decision leaves Miller available to ride Miracle Wood in the Preakness.
Burt's Dream pulled away from five females in Pimlico's feature race today to register a three-length victory over Weque Moon Walk. Royals Galore finished third.
Burt's Dream ran the six furlongs in 1:12 under Rick Wilson and paid $4.40. The exacta coupling of 6 and 7 returned $35.40.