Dr. Dan Dreyfuss pronounced Halory Hunter "a bit ahead of schedule" in his recovery from the fractured fetlock he suffered in Tuesday's workout at Pimlico.
He was "bright, standing on his broken leg and looking out the window" when Dr. Dreyfuss, a local veterinarian, called the New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa., yesterday morning. "He's much more comfortable even now than after the surgery."
Halory Hunter's post-operative recovery in the hospital's swimming pool also pleased the doctor.
"You could not have written a better script for a pool recovery," he said. "He showed his brains and class."
Trainer Nick Zito was also in brighter spirits after getting the report. "He'll be a wonderful sire," Zito said.
Zito and assistant trainer John Allen returned to Belmont Park, leaving two horses on the Preakness undercard in charge of Terri Berwanger.
Hot Wells goes easy
The only horse to work out on the grounds yesterday was Hot Wells, going an easy four furlongs in 51 3/5 under jockey Edgar Prado.
"The track was real slippery and sticky," Prado said. "We didn't want to push the horse too much. How much rain can a track take?"
Fourth in the Arkansas Derby, Hot Wells galloped out in 1: 06, picking up the tempo after the three-eighths mark.
Hot Wells drifted on the turn for home but Prado said he was under orders to let the colt make his own path.
Trainer Dick Dutrow sent Spartan Cat through a five-furlong workout at Laurel Park. He was timed in 1: 06.
"He's 100 percent and going. I got as much as I wanted from him," Dutrow said. "He's never done much in his morning works. Time means nothing at all in his case."
Dutrow said Spartan Cat, a distinct closer, will require a rapid pace up front to have a chance. When the rail remained open during the draw yesterday, Dutrow snapped it up, hoping to save ground.
"That's the shortest way to the first turn, where he's not using himself."
Comings and goings
Trainer H. Graham Motion scratched a planned workout for Chilito yesterday and announced that the horse will bypass the Preakness.
"He's fine," Motion said, "but after a lengthy conversation this morning with Mr. [Joe] Allbritton [owner], we decided it was not in the best interests of the horse to run Saturday."
Chilito was the surprise winner of the Flamingo Stakes in Florida.
Luis Gambotto, co-owner of Basic Trainee, reversed field and re-entered his horse, who finished last in the Kentucky Derby.
"We decided we wanted to give him another race before the Belmont," Gambotto said. "He only ran six furlongs in Kentucky."
Gambotto said he is trying to get Cornelio Velasquez from Panama to ride.
Miss Preakness draws 7
The weekend of stakes climaxing with the Preakness kicks off today with the $100,000 guaranteed Miss Preakness Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
The D. Wayne Lukas-trained Storm Beauty has been installed as the 2-1 overnight favorite for the six-furlong race, which has drawn seven entries.
Owned by Beverly J. and Robert B. Lewis, Storm Beauty will be ridden by Kentucky Derby winner Kent Desormeaux. She won her last start in an allowance race at Keeneland, finishing six furlongs in 1: 09.
The major opposition is expected from local runner Hair Spray, an impressive victor in three straight outings, two of them stakes, and 4-for-5 lifetime.
She is trained by Dick Small.
Also figuring is Brac Drifter, who has run in three Grade I stakes in New York.
In her only appearance here, Brac Drifter broke the Pimlico track record for 4 1/2 furlongs while losing by a half-length to Countess Diana last June.
Pub Date: 5/14/98