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Jun 03, 2011

Louisiana Derby champ ahead of schedule


Oceanport, NJ (Sports Network) - With the $1 million Haskell Invitational as the target on July 31, local three-year-old stakes winner Pants On Fire is steadily preparing for his return to the races.

Winner of the Louisiana Derby, George and Lori Hall's colt is being trained by Kelly Breen at Monmouth Park and posted an excellent workout recently. Pants On Fire worked four-furlongs in 47 seconds. His first start since finishing ninth in the Kentucky Derby has yet to be determined.

"We were thinking about the Long Branch (July 9) as his first start back after the Derby," Breen said. "But after that work last week he's ahead of schedule, and we might look for a race before the Long Branch."

Pants On Fire, winner of two of nine career starts, could make his return start in the $200,000 Pegasus at 1 1/16-miles on Saturday, June 18 at Monmouth.

This year the colt, in five starts, has a win, a second and one third-place finish for $629,500. Along with winning the Louisiana Derby he was second in the Lecomte Stakes, also at Fair Grounds Racecourse. Pants On Fire was third in Aqueduct's Count Fleet Stakes and a disappointing sixth in the Risen Star Stakes in New Orleans.

Breen also conditions Ruler On Ice for the Halls. The three-year-old chestnut gelding is a probable starter in the $1 million Belmont Stakes on June 11. He was third in the Sunland Derby and second in the Federico Tesio Stakes.

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