Homeracing BC Sprint contender Private Zone glides through 5f move

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TwinSpires Staff

October 18th, 2015

Edited Press Release

On a chilly Sunday morning, multiple Grade 1 winner Private Zone put in the first of two scheduled works at Keeneland in preparation for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on October 31 by working five furlongs in :59 over Keeneland’s fast track after the renovation break.

With regular workout rider Carlos Marquez Jr. aboard, Private Zone backtracked past the three-quarter pole before turning for the work that produced fractions of :11.20, :22.40 and :34.60. The Macho Uno gelding galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.60.

“He’s an old man and he knows what he has to do,” trainer Jorge Navarro said of the six-year-old bay. “My job is to just keep him happy. He’ll work again Saturday, just an easy half.”

As part of keeping Private Zone happy, Navarro opted not to work the Ontario-bred out of the gate.

“I just switched things up,” Navarro said. “He saw something (near the backstretch chutes) that he didn’t like and I didn’t want to take a chance he’d revert to what he did when he was in Panama when he would put on the brakes. He doesn’t need to go to the gate.”

Marquez, who is riding on the Mid-Atlantic circuit, flew to Lexington, Kentucky, for the work and will be back Saturday for the final pre-Breeders’ Cup breeze.

“He was just gliding out there,” Marquez said. “He handled the track well and couldn’t be doing any better. He’s a good horse to be around.”

Private Zone enters this year’s Sprint off a victory in the August 29 Forego S. (G1) at Saratoga. He will have a month’s more time between races this year than last when he finished third in the Sprint at Santa Anita.

“I did not have him at the time of last year’s Breeders’ Cup,” Navarro said of Private Zone, who has compiled a record of 5-3-1-1 this year under Navarro’s supervision and won more than $1 million. “We have not gotten to the bottom of him yet. He always seems to have another gear…I don’t know how many gears he’s got.”

Private Zone photo courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography