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Pletcher's Hunt Crossing Injured, Out Of BC Juvenile Sprint

| Churchill Downs Communications | 10/27/2011 #
  • Trainer Todd Pletcher (Reed Palmer, Churchill Downs)

  • Ralph Nicks, trainer of Pocahontas contender Aubby K. (Reed Palmer, Churchill Downs)

HUNT CROSSING INJURED, WILL MISS JUVENILE SPRINT – Hunt Crossing, runaway winner of the NATC Futurity at Monmouth Park, suffered an injury to his right knee during his most recent work at Churchill Downs and will miss the $500,000 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint.

“He worked on Monday and then we noticed he was off Tuesday morning and that’s when we found it,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “He underwent surgery yesterday.”

Dell Ennis’ Hunt Crossing, who also was being considered for the Grade III, $100,000 Iroquois on Sunday, worked five furlongs Monday in 1:02.60, which was the 46th fastest of 60 at the distance.

The 2-year-old son of Corinthian has a career record that stands at 2-0-0 from three lifetime starts, with his lone loss coming in the Hopeful (GI) at Saratoga, and earnings of $110,417.

The plans for the horses in the Pletcher barn who are still pointing to the Breeders’ Cup were confirmed Thursday morning.

“All of our (Breeders’ Cup) Friday horses will work this Saturday and all of our (Breeders’ Cup) Saturday horses will work Sunday,” Pletcher said.

Included in the group of horses working Sunday will be Mike Repole’s Stay Thirsty and Uncle Mo, who are scheduled to work at 6 a.m. EDT. It will be the final major move for the duo of 3-year-old colts in preparation for Saturday’s $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI).

Also, mounts have been confirmed for eight of Pletcher’s 10 remaining Breeders’ Cup hopefuls. Aikenite (Sentient Jet Sprint or Dirt Mile), Stay Thirsty (Classic) and Sweet Cat (Juvenile Fillies Turf) will be ridden by Javier Castellano. Finale (Juvenile Turf), Stopshoppingmaria (Juvenile Fillies Turf or Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies), Super Espresso (Ladies’ Classic), Sidney’s Candy (TVG Mile) and Uncle Mo (Classic) will be ridden by John Velazquez.

AUBBY K TO TEST GRADED STAKES WATERS OFF IMPRESSIVE MAIDEN SCOREAubby K turned a lot of heads when breaking her maiden in her career debut at Belmont Park and will attempt to prove her 15 ½-length romp was no fluke in the Grade II, $150,000 Pocahontas to be run Sunday at one mile on the main track beneath the Twin Spires.

“You gotta like the way she won the first one,” trainer Ralph Nicks said.

Aubby K, a James Spence homebred, will be stretching out from 5 ½ furlongs to one mile in the Pocahontas, but her bloodlines say that shouldn’t be a problem, especially over the Churchill Downs track. Her sire Street Sense captured the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the 2007 Kentucky Derby over this oval and her dam Lilly Capote, who also raced under the Spence colors, won the Golden Rod at the Louisville track in 1994.

“She’s never given any indication that she won’t like (the added distance),” Nicks said. “She’s by Street Sense and (her half-brother) Flying Pegasus ran second in the Risen Star (GII at 1 1/16 miles).”

Aubby K, who broke her maiden in gate-to-wire fashion, may try to rate off the pace in her first test against stakes company.

“She’s versatile,” Nicks said. “We’ve had her in behind horses in the morning and she’s been fine.”

Aubby K was ridden to victory in her first outing by Corey Nakatani; however, Robby Albarado will be in the irons Sunday.

FOR STARTERS, LEPAROUX HAS THE CALL IN SEVEN BREEDERS’ CUP RACES – Julien Leparoux has accomplished a lot at Churchill Downs since picking up his initial victory beneath the Twin Spires in the 2005 Fall Meet.

The 28-year-old native of France already ranks 10th in all-time victories at the track with 503 and has won or shared eight riding titles, including the past two.

A five-time Breeders’ Cup winner, Leparoux has the call in seven races for the World Championships here next week with the possibility of one or two more according to his agent, Steve Bass.

Breeders’ Cup mounts for Leparoux include Seeker (Sentient Jet Juvenile Sprint), Brigantin (Marathon), Daddy Nose Best (Juvenile Turf), Camp Victory (Turf Sprint), Sabercat (Grey Goose Juvenile), Turallure (TVG Mile) and Wilburn (Dirt Mile).

Leparoux got his first Breeders’ Cup victory in 2007 aboard Nownownow in the Juvenile Turf at Monmouth and in 2008 won the Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita on Forever Together. In 2009 at Santa Anita, Leparoux pulled off a hat trick, winning with Furthest Land (Dirt Mile), Informed Decision (Filly & Mare Sprint) and She Be Wild (Juvenile Fillies).

BARN TALK – Two new riders will join the jockey colony here for the Fall Meet that begins its 21-day run on Sunday: Jermaine Bridgmohan and apprentice Ronald Richard. Bridgmohan, the 23-year-old younger brother of Shaun Bridgmohan, is riding at Hawthorne now and will move his tack to Kentucky beginning the week after the Breeders’ Cup. Tommy Owen is Bridgmohan’s agent. Richard, a 17-year-old native of Louisiana, has ridden at Ellis Park and Lone Star Park as well as Keeneland. Scott Ward has the book for Richard, who plans to ride this winter at Fair Grounds. …

Arriving here Wednesday night from Lone Star Park was Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint hopeful Jake Mo. Owned by Stephen Brown, Jake Mo is trained by Allen Milligan who plans to work the Giacomo colt Saturday morning. Milligan said that Mike Smith, who rode Giacomo to victory in the 2005 Kentucky Derby, would have the mount on Jake Mo. Smith has ridden 13 Breeders’ Cup winners, second only to Jerry Bailey’s 15 for the most all time in the history of the World Championships. …

Rocket Twentyone, upset winner of the Arlington-Washington Lassie (GIII) and pre-entered in both the Grade I, $2 million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and the Grade II, $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf, is scheduled to work Friday morning at approximately 8:30 a.m. (all times Eastern) for owner Frank Fletcher and trainer Tom Howard. Regular rider Eddie Razo Jr. will be in the irons for the workout.