Six-Pack of Breeders' Cup Hopefuls Dot Work Tab
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018) – The action continued to build on the backstretch of Churchill Downs Thursday morning in preparation for the Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 2-3 as six World Championship contenders donned the work tab and more than 20 others made appearances to train.
BRAVAZO TUNES UP FOR BREEDERS’ CUP WITH FIVE-FURLONG BULLET IN :59.80 – The Breeders’ Cup action began at 5:30 a.m. (all times Eastern) Thursday at Churchill Downs as Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ gritty 3-year-old colt Bravazo worked five furlongs in :59.80, his final major steppingstone prior to competing in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (Grade I) or $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI).
“This horse has done nothing but improve following the Derby,” Lukas said. “The last race wasn’t too much but this colt has danced in every dance and shows up each time. There’s not much more you can ask of him but I wish we could’ve gotten a little luckier in a couple of his starts.”
Bravazo, the runner-up finisher in the July 29 Haskell Invitational (GI) and third-place finisher in the Travers (GI), worked in company with Spire (five furlongs in 1:02) through splits of :11.60, :23, :35 and :47, before galloping out six furlongs in 1:15.60, according to Churchill Downs Clocker John Nichols.
Lukas has pre-entered Bravazo as first preference to the Dirt Mile and second preference to the Classic. Currently, Bravazo is one spot out of the starting gate for the Classic at No. 15.
FINLEY’SLUCKYCHARM WORKS HALF-MILE FOR FILLY AND MARE SPRINT – Carl R. Moore Management’s five-time graded-stakes winner Finley’sluckycharm completed her major preparation for the Nov. 3 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (GI) by working a half-mile in :47.80 over a fast track Thursday morning, the second-fastest of 37 horses at the distance.
With jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard shortly before 6 o’clock, Finley’sluckycharm reeled off fractions of :12, :24, :36 and :47.80, galloping out five-eighths in 1:00.40.
“That was her last work before the Breeders’ Cup,” said trainer Bret Calhoun, who won the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint here with Dubai Majesty. “I am happy to get that behind us.”
Thursday’s work was her fifth here since finishing seventh in the Ballerina (GI) at Saratoga Aug. 25.
“I feel better coming into this year’s Breeders’ Cup,” Calhoun said of Finley’sluckycharm, who finished ninth in last year’s running at Del Mar. “She had a long campaign last year and had lost some weight. This year we have spaced her races out more and she has actually gained weight.”
Last year, Finley’sluckycharm won the TCA (GII) at Keeneland four weeks before the Breeders’ Cup. This year, she will have 10 weeks between starts.
“She does better with space between races,” said Hernandez, who has ridden the 5-year-old mare in her past 14 starts. “Last year she ran at Keeneland and then had to ship to Del Mar. She seems to like it here and we have a fresh, happy horse.”
Finley’sluckycharm is scheduled to sell at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale on Sunday, Nov. 4.
AMOSS DUO WORKS TOWARD BREEDERS’ CUP STARTS – Working a set apart just after 6 o’clock Thursday morning, trainer Tom Amoss sent Breeders’ Cup hopefuls Lone Sailor and Serengeti Empress to the main track for their final breezes before next weekend’s World Championships.
Exercise rider Gilbert Concha was aboard both who recorded half-mile works of :48.20, the eighth-fastest of 37 at the distance over a fast track.
G M B Racing’s Oklahoma Derby (GIII) winner Lone Sailor worked first, posting fractions of :12.20, :24.20, :48.20 with gallop-out times of 1:01 and 1:14.60 for five and six furlongs.
“He had been running all year and today’s work nine days out from the race was by design for maintenance mentally and physically,” Amoss said. “He had done a lot of work previously.”
Lone Sailor was pre-entered Monday in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) and the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI) with first preference being the Classic.
“We won’t hold anybody up,” Amoss said. “We will make a decision by tomorrow (on which race he will enter).”
Joel Politi’s runaway Pocahontas (GII) winner Serengeti Empress produced fractions of :12.60, :24.20, :36.40 and :48.20 with gallop-out times of 1:01 and 1:14.20 for five and six furlongs as she readies for next Friday’s $2 million Tito’s Handmade Vodka Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI),
“Her work was similar to his, just an easy half,” Amoss said. “Her preparation has been different from his. She worked in company last week and has done a lot more than Lone Sailor has.
“The takeaway from this morning was she rated kindly like she did last week in company. I know it is not a full field (of 14), but I think post position will be important. With Bellafina, Jaywalk, Restless Rider and us; something has to give and I want to know that she can rate.”
CASSE’S WONDER GADOT, AWESOME SLEW LOG FINAL BREEDERS’ CUP WORKS – The final Breeders’ Cup contenders to breeze Thursday morning at Churchill Downs were trainer Mark Casse’s Dirt Mile contender Awesome Slew (four furlongs, :48) and Longines Distaff (GI) runner Wonder Gadot (four furlongs, :47).
“Both horses worked great this morning,” said trainer Mark Casse as he personally walked Wonder Gadot around his Barn 36 shedrow. “We’re ready to go.”
Awesome Slew breezed on the outside of stablemate Determinant (four furlongs, :48.40) through opening eighth-mile splits of :12.20 and :24, before galloping out five furlongs in 1:01, according to Nichols.
Wonder Gadot’s work, the fastest of 37 at the distance, began swiftly with opening fractions of :11.60 and :22.80, before a five-furlong gallop out in 1:01, according to Nichols.
“It’s interesting with Wonder Gadot’s pedigree how well she takes to this track,” Casse said. I’ve always said horses with a little polytrack or turf pedigree tend to do better over this dirt track than others. I think she absolutely loves this surface.”
McCARTHY CONTIGENT READY FOR FINAL BREEZES BEFORE THE BREEDERS’ CUP – While many Breeders’ Cup contenders have yet to ship to Churchill Downs, several new arrivals have settled in to the Churchill Downs backstretch including trainer Michael McCarthy’s quintet of runners: Axelrod (Classic), City of Light (Dirt Mile/Classic), Liam the Charmer (Longines Turf), Paved (Maker’s Mark Filly and Mare Turf) and Vibrance (Tito’s Handmade Vodka Juvenile Fillies).
“It’s a little bit colder than California here in Kentucky,” McCarthy joked. “It could be worse. The horses shipped in fine and have done well on their first two days over the track.”
McCarthy could breeze Axelrod, City of Light and Vibrance on Saturday while Liam the Charmer and Paved are tentatively scheduled to work Sunday over the turf.
ADDITIONAL LOCALLY BASED BREEDERS’ CUP CONTENDER NEWS – Approximately 23 European contenders for the Breeders’ Cup are tentatively scheduled to arrive Friday evening at Churchill Downs. The Qatar Airways flight, that includes superstar mare Enable (GB), the likely favorite for the Longines Turf (GI), is expected to land at 8:50 p.m. (all times Eastern). The horses will quarantine for 42 hours in Barn 48 and could train Monday. A second-wave of European contenders is tentatively scheduled to land Saturday at 1:45 p.m. The final flight of European contenders is expected to arrive Monday, according to Churchill Downs Director of the Stable Area Steve Hargrave. … A plane from California carrying horses for trainers Jeff Bonde (Barn 35), Simon Callahan (Barn 33), Paddy Gallagher (Barn 33) and Richard Mandella (Barn 28) is expected to arrive Friday. Also expected to arrive Friday via van from Florida is trainer Kathleen O’Connell’s Breeders’ Cup contenders Stormy Embrace (Filly and Mare Sprint) and Well Defined (Juvenile).
TRAINERS WATCHING WEATHER FOR FINAL BREEDERS’ CUP WORKS – The National Weather Service is calling for a 90-percent chance of showers after 3 a.m. Friday which is leading to several Breeders’ Cup trainers shifting their horse’s final workout at Churchill Downs.
All works are tentative and subject to change.
· Thunder Snow (Classic, Barn 17)
· Axelrod (Classic, Barn 43)
· City of Light (Dirt Mile/Classic, Barn 43)
· Promises Fulfilled (Sprint, Barn 4)
· Seven Trumpets (Dirt Mile, Barn 4)
· Vibrance (Juvenile Fillies, Barn 43)
· Whitmore (Sprint, Barn 10)
· Catholic Boy (Classic, Barn 41)
· Channel Maker (Turf, Barn 20)
· Forty Under (Juvenile Turf, Barn 43)
· Liam the Charmer (Turf, Barn 43)
· Paved (Filly and Mare Turf, Barn 43)
BARN LIST – All Breeders’ Cup contenders must be on the grounds 72 hours prior to their race. Many of the contenders will begin arriving Friday-Sunday. Stay tuned for updates regarding arrivals via Twitter from @DerbyMedia.
Below are the current Breeders’ Cup contenders that are currently stabled at Churchill Downs:
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