• QUARTET OF BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE HOPEFULS WORK AFTER RENOVATION BREAK • PLETCHER CONFIDENT AFTER SECOND WAVE OF BREEDERS’ CUP HOPEFULS WORK
QUARTET OF BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE HOPEFULS WORK AFTER RENOVATION BREAK
Observers hoping to get a line on the talent for next Saturday’s $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) received a quick, 15-minute peek Friday morning as four pre-entrants worked just after the track opened from the morning renovation break.
First up was Reddam Racing’s Hopeful (G1) winner Ralis, who covered five furlongs in 1:00.80 with Kieren Fallon aboard. Working on his own, Ralis produced fractions of :12.40, :24.40, :36.60, 1:00.80 and out six furlongs in 1:14.80. (Click here for a video of the work.)
“I’m happy, Kieren’s happy and (trainer) Doug (O’Neill) is even happier,” assistant Jack Sisterson said. “His other horses are working this morning at Santa Anita and will be here Sunday.”
The other O’Neill horses Sisterson referenced were the undefeated Nyquist (Juvenile) and Sharla Rae (Filly & Mare Turf-G1). For the Juvenile, Sisterson said Javier Castellano would ride Ralis and Mario Gutierrez would be on Nyquist.
Next up was Richard Ravin and Patricia’s Hope’s Cocked and Loaded for trainer Larry Rivelli. With Jose Valdivia Jr. aboard, the winner of the Tremont at Saratoga and Iroquois (G3) at Churchill Downs covered a half-mile in :49.20. Splits were :24.40, :49.20 and out five-eighths in 1:02.60 for his third local work since the Iroquois victory.
“We’re ready,” said Rivelli, who has not saddled a Breeders’ Cup starter. “Jose said when he was coming down the lane, he was talking to him all the way, ‘Whoa, whoa.’ ”
Coming through the stretch next was Champagne (G1) winner Greenpointcrusader with jockey Joe Bravo up for trainer Dominick Schettino.
Working a day earlier than expected because of a rainy forecast for Saturday, Greenpointcrusader worked a half-mile in :46.20 and galloped out five-eighths in :59.20 after earlier splits of :11.40 and :23.20. The second Keeneland work for Greenpointcrusader got a thumbs-up from Schettino and a big grin from Bravo.
“That was awesome,” Bravo said. “I threw him a little cross at the wire to ask the question about what he had left and he answered it and saved some for next week.”
A winner of two of three starts, Greenpointcrusader is owned in partnership by St. Elias Stables, Brooklyn Boyz Stables and MeB Stables.
Completing the string of workers was Sticksstatelydude, owned by the Estate of Alvin Haynes, John Ferris, Brad Ward and Pack Pride Racing.
With Lark Carroll up for trainer Greg Burchell, Sticksstatelydude worked a half-mile in :47.20 in his second breeze since finishing fourth in the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1). Splits were :11.80, :23.80, :47.20 and out in 1:00.20.
“I’m happy with it,” Burchell said. “The key thing with him is to get him to settle and make one run.”
Burchell said Sticksstatelydude would have one gate schooling session next week, probably Wednesday, prior to the Breeders’ Cup.
PLETCHER CONFIDENT AFTER SECOND WAVE OF BREEDERS’ CUP HOPEFULS WORK
A week before the first day of the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland, trainer Todd Pletcher expressed confidence in the 11 horses he has pre-entered to the event. All have been training at Keeneland for several weeks.
“I feel really, really good about the way the horses are training,” he said. “Over the last two days, we’ve seen the kind of works you’d like to see coming into big races: Horses finishing well, galloping out strongly, cooling out quickly, staying in the feed tub – all those little signs that you’re looking for. Right now I couldn’t be more pleased with all of them.”
On Thursday, Pletcher sent out Azar (Juvenile Turf-G1), Curalina (Longines Distaff-G1), Got Lucky (Distaff), Liam’s Map (Las Vegas Dirt Mile-G1) and Thrilled (Juvenile Fillies Turf-G1) for their final breezes. On Friday, his workers were Dame Dorothy (Filly & Mare Sprint-G1), Mshawish (Mile-G1), Rachel’s Valentina (14 Hands Winery Juvenile Fillies-G1), Red Rifle (Longines Turf-G1) and Sweet Whiskey (Filly & Mare Sprint).
In darkness, Pletcher worked a quartet of horses four furlongs each: Dame Dorothy was clocked in :49, following fractions of :13.20 and :25.60. She had out times of 1:02.60 and 1:15.40.
Mshawish covered the distance in :47.80. Clockers caught him in fractions of :13.20, :25.80, :47.80 and out in 1:01 and 1:14.20.
The time for Red Rifle was :49 after fractions of :12.80, :25.80 with out times of 1:02 and 1:14.60. Sweet Whiskey also was clocked in :49.
After the renovation break, Rachel’s Valentina worked in company with stablemate Ransack and was well ahead of him after breezing five furlongs in 1:00.80. Clockers caught her in fractions of :37.20, 1:00.80 and out in 1:13.20 and 1:28.20.
The final member of the Pletcher Breeders’ Cup contingent, Stopchargingmaria (Distaff), is to work Saturday.
AGELESS OUT OF BREEDERS’ CUP TURF SPRINT
Lael Stables’ Ageless will not run in next Saturday’s $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1), according to trainer Arnaud Delacour.
“We are not going to make it,” Delacour said of the mare, who sustained a deep cut below her left hock in winning the Buffalo Trace Franklin County on Oct. 9. “I wish we had another two weeks, but you can’t go into a Grade 1 race half ready. It is just bad timing, but that’s racing.”
Ageless, fourth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, is scheduled to return to Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland on Sunday. No decision has been made on the 6-year-old mare’s racing future.
“There is no rush to make a decision,” Delacour said. “Everything looks good now, and we expect she will make a full recovery. Then we will just take it one race at a time.”
G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s Frivolous showed her readiness for next Friday’s $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) by working five furlongs in :59.80 after the morning renovation break. With trainer Vicki Oliver aboard, Frivolous recorded fractions of :12.60, :24.20, :35.80, :59.80 and galloped out in 1:13.40. It was the second work for Frivolous since finishing fourth in the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) on Oct. 4.
“The hard work is done and now we have to get the real job done,” Oliver said. “She was sensational this morning, and I thought her work last week (a half-mile in :47.80) was super. She’s a big, strong mare and does better with a solid work a week out. She’s a good doer and she never backs off her feed.” …
Budget Stable’s Dressed in Hermes (Juvenile Turf-G1) worked a half-mile after the break on the main track in :46.20. Trained by Janet Armstrong, Dressed in Hermes posted fractions of :22.80 and :34.80. …
Defending Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) champion Bobby’s Kitten worked a half-mile in :47.80 on the dirt for trainer Chad Brown. Fractions were :12, :24.20, :47.80 and out five-eighths in 1:00.40 and three-quarters in 1:15.20. Ken and Sarah Ramsey own and bred Bobby’s Kitten. …
Another Ramsey horse, Sapphire Kitten (Juvenile Fillies Turf-G1) worked a half-mile on the turf at Churchill Downs in :51.80 with trainer Joe Sharp aboard. Runner-up in the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3), Sapphire Kitten posted fractions of :13.80, :27, :51.80 and galloped out five-eighths in 1:07. …
Also working on the grass at Churchill was Midwest Thoroughbreds’ The Pizza Man (Longines Turf-G1), who covered five furlongs in 1:04. Runner-up in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) in his most recent start, The Pizza Man posted fractions of :13, :39, :51.60, 1:04 and out six furlongs in 1:19.40 under jockey Florent Geroux for trainer Roger Brueggemann. …
Robert Masterson’s Tepin and John Oxley’s Airoforce, Mark Casse trainees who won opening weekend stakes at Keeneland, put in their final major Breeders’ Cup preps Friday morning at Churchill Downs with Julien Leparoux aboard both runners.
Tepin, winner of the First Lady (G1) and pre-entered in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), worked a half-mile in :49.80. Fractions were :12.80, :25.20, :49.80 and out five-eighths in 1:02.60.
Dixiana Bourbon (G3) winner Airoforce (Juvenile Turf) worked a half-mile in company with Souper Awesome in :48.40. Fractions were :12.60, :24, :36.40, :48.40 and out five-eighths in 1:01.60 and three-quarters in 1:15.60.
Two other Casse Breeders’ Cup pre-entrants that ran here opening weekend worked half-miles in company with Shaun Bridgmohan on both. Conquest Big E (Juvenile-G1) was timed in :48.40 with an opening split of :24.40 and out times of 1:01.80 and 1:15.80. Siding Spring (Juvenile Turf) covered his half in :47.60 with an opening quarter of :24.80 and a six-furlong out time of 1:13.20.
Corey Lanerie rode two winners Thursday to boost his lead over Julien Leparoux to 20-16 in the race for leading rider with two days remaining in the 17-day Fall Meet. Lanerie is named on six mounts this afternoon and Leparoux seven.
Mark Casse retains a three-win lead in the chase for leading trainer with nine victories so far. Kenny McPeek, Chris Richard and Wesley Ward are next with six. Casse has won one training title here, that coming in the 2014 Spring Meet.
The race for leading owner remains tied with five wins each for Maggi Moss, John C. Oxley and Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey.
Here are the probable starters for Keeneland stakes to be run during Prelude to the Cup on Oct. 29 and as undercard races of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Oct. 30-31 as compiled by Racing Secretary Ben Huffman and Stakes Coordinator Allison DeLuca:
THURSDAY, Oct. 29 (Entries taken Saturday, Oct. 24)
$100,000 LAFAYETTE PRESENTED BY KEENELAND SELECT Probable: A. P. Indian, Bagg O’Day, Coastline, Den’s Legacy, Doubledown Again, Jimmy Bouncer, Midnight Cello, Nates Mineshaft, Stacked Deck.
Here are probable starters for the stakes on the undercard of the first day of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
FRIDAY, Oct. 30 (Entries taken Monday, Oct. 26)
$200,000 HAGYARD FAYETTE (G2) Probable: Code West, Commissioner, Encryption, Geothermal, Imperative, Protonico, Race Day, Smack Smack, V. E. Day. Possible: Eagle
$200,000 MARATHON (G2) Probable: Bailoutbobby, Chairman Garey, Crucero, Divine Oath, Dynabeaver, Hoppertunity, Looks to Spare, Majestic Harbor, Neck ‘n Neck, Zambian Dream (CHI). Possible: Fast Away.
$100,000 BRYAN STATION Probable: Billy’s Star, Chapter Two, Closing Bell, King of New York, One Go All Go, Paid Admission, Tale of Life (JPN), Tale of Verve. Possible: Courtier.
Here are probable starters for the stakes on the undercard of the second day of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
SATURDAY, Oct. 31 (Entries taken Monday, Oct. 26)
$100,000 PERRYVILLE Probable: Bayerd, Feisty’s Cause, Lewys Vaporizer, Lord Commander, Prime Engine, Ready for Rye, Sir Rockport.
$100,000 JUVENILE DIRT SPRINT Probable: D. Shifflett, Este Es, Noholdingback Bear, Richie the Bull, Spikes Shirl, Twirling Tiger, Uncle Vinny, Uno Mas Modelo, Whence.
$100,000 FORT SPRINGS Probable: Coco’s Wildcat, Dr. Fager’s Gal, Fusaichi Red, Julie D, Meshell, Natural Wonder, Promise Me Silver, Sweet Success.
FALL MEET LEADERS Through Oct. 22 (15 days of racing)
Jockey Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses
Corey Lanerie 98 20 12 15 $1,038,362
Julien Leparoux 80 16 13 7 $1,081,308
Brian J. Hernandez Jr. 74 9 5 8 $399,293
Florent Geroux 82 8 9 14 $1,007,946
Ricardo Santana Jr. 51 8 6 7 $359,049
Trainer Starts Wins 2nd 3rd Purses Mark Casse 27 9 2 4 $682,451 Kenny McPeek 32 6 4 5 $361,537 Wesley Ward 22 6 4 3 $183,332 Chris Richard 17 6 1 3 $102,083
Owner Wins Maggi Moss 5 John C. Oxley 5 Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey 5 Godolphin Racing LLC (lessee) (Mohammed Al Maktoum et al) 3 G. Watts Humphrey 3 Shadwell Stables LLC (Hamdan Al Maktoum) 3