Land Over Sea gallops at Pimlico for possible Black-Eyed Susan bid

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TwinSpires Staff

May 13th, 2016

Edited Press Release

Grade 2 heroine Land Over Sea had her first gallop over the main track at Pimlico Race Course Friday morning ahead of a possible engagement in the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) on May 20.

Like Kentucky Derby (G1)-winning stablemate Nyquist – who shares the same connections in owner J. Paul Reddam, trainer Doug O’Neill and jockey Mario Gutierrez – the three-year-old Bellamy Road filly had jogged for two days since arriving in Baltimore, Maryland, Monday afternoon.

In a change from the previous two days, O’Neill sent Land Over Sea out before Nyquist Friday, with regular exercise rider Jonny Garcia aboard on a foggy and misty morning.

“We were worried about rain, so we just thought we’d try to jump ahead of it,” O’Neill explained. “It’s like being at a training center; it’s so tranquil and nice out there.”

O’Neill was pleased with the interest shown by Land Over Sea, who captured the March 26 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) by 4 1/2 lengths prior to closing from far back to run second behind Cathryn Sophia in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 6 at Churchill Downs.

“I thought she went great. She showed a lot of energy,” O’Neill said. “Just like Nyquist, Jonny said at Churchill when both of them would gallop, they were really on the muscle the whole gallop.

“Here, after they jog their mile and went into their gallop, they were a little bit more settled and the gallop got stronger, which is ideally what you like to see. She was very controlled and very strong, really jumping a long way and looked real happy. She cooled out really good.”

Citing the quick two-week turnaround, O’Neill will continue to monitor Land Over Sea before committing to the 1 1/8-mile Black-Eyed Susan, run one day before Nyquist goes after the middle jewel of the Triple Crown in Saturday’s 141st Preakness S. (G1).

“We’re penciling in the Black-Eyed Susan. We’re just going to kind of play that by ear. She’s not as locked into it as Nyquist is locked into the Preakness, but we have very strong feelings that that’s where we’re going with her,” O’Neill said.

“The big concern is whether or not she’s up for it. We continue to monitor the feed tub and that speaks volumes there, and her energy. She’s usually very energetic on the track so if we see that normal energy, that will push us even more to Friday’s race.”

Land Over Sea photo courtesy of Churchill Downs/Coady Photography