Independence Hall got acquainted with Gulfstream Park March 22 during a sharp half-mile breeze ahead of a scheduled start in the $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) March 28, and Tiz the Law put in his final breeze for the race with a five-furlong move at Palm Meadows Training Center.
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Twin Creeks Racing Stables, and Kathleen and Robert Verratti’s grade 3 winner Independence Hall, with trainer Mike Trombetta’s assistant and former jockey Sarah Shaffer aboard, went four furlongs on a fast main track in :48.31, ranking seventh of 67 horses at the distance.
It was the fifth work for the son of 2014 Florida Derby winner Constitution since suffering his first loss in four starts when he placed second to Sole Volante in the Feb. 8 Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) at his winter base of Tampa Bay Downs.
“We’re certainly pleased with the horse in all respects,” Eclipse’s California-based managing partner, Aron Wellman, said. “I spoke to Mike and I spoke to Sarah; both of them were extremely pleased with the breeze. He had had his serious workout the week before last when we really put some air into him going seven (furlongs) and out a strong mile. All he needed this morning was a little maintenance move to sharpen him up.”
The connections were particularly pleased with the way Independence Hall took to Gulfstream in his first spin on the surface, as well as the way the Kentucky-bred colt continued on in his gallop out.
“Mike was very happy, and Sarah executed the plan to precision. Sarah thought Independence Hall really appreciated the surface at Gulfstream this morning,” Wellman said. “It’s a mixture of dirt and sand compared to what he’s been on all winter at Tampa, which is pure sand. Sarah was of the opinion that he got a hold of this surface better than how he’s been handling Tampa. That’s no knock on Tampa’s surface—it’s a great surface, and he had a really good winter there. With the big goal being the Florida Derby right now ahead of us, we’re pleased to hear that Sarah believes he really bounced over this surface nicely today.
“I thought the body of the work itself was very, very sharp and just what we wanted to see, especially for a young horse like him going by himself. I thought from the wire to the mile pole, and then from the mile pole to the seven-eighths, it was probably the best part of his work. He really started to find his stride, and it seemed like he had a lot of energy galloping out, and that’s exactly what Mike was looking for this morning six days out from the Florida Derby.”