Breeders' Cup Flash Notes: Havre de Grace Works for Classic

Oct 31, 2011 Breeders' Cup Notes Team

  • Fox Hill Farm’s Havre de Grace tuned up for the Breeders’ Cup Classic with an easy 5f workout in 1:02 under jockey Gabriel Saez Monday. The clockers caught her in splits of 12 2/5, 24 3/5, 36 4/5, 49 1/5 and 1:02 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:15 3/5.

“It was very similar to the work before the Beldame that we had at Delaware Park,” trainer Larry Jones said. “(Jockey Gabriel Saez) thought the effort she put forth was about the same thing. It was probably one of the slower works we’ve had coming into Churchill Downs.

“Everybody criticized Hard Spun for his 57 (before the 2007 Kentucky Derby) so we didn’t do that today. She had a real good work at Keeneland. We’re not worried about fitness so much as we’re worried about handling the track. Watching the helmet cam with Gabe you could tell every time he called on her a little bit she gave him something.

“Everything was good. It probably wasn’t as fast as all these other horses have been working. That was a concern when we first saw the time, but it looks like, watching her now and what little water she drank, it’s more like a gallop than a work.”

“She never has (been a great work horse),” Jones continued. “She’s become a better work horse and maybe I should have thrown a target at her.

“At Keeneland I gave her a little something to run at but we made a point to be the first one around the track today. If we really needed to tighten her down, I would have sent something out there. I wanted to kind of see how she got over the track. She doesn’t do anymore than you ask her, so we’re okay.”

  • Trainer Charles “Scooter” Dickey had only good things to report of Flat Out on Monday morning, one day after the Jockey Club Gold Cup winner zipped 4f in 46 3/5 at Churchill Downs.

He’s wanting to go back out there,” Dickey said. “He’s fine. The work didn’t take anything out of him.”

Flat Out walked the shedrow Monday morning. He is scheduled to return to the track and jog two miles Tuesday in the first set around 6:10 a.m.

The Preston Stables runner will be under regular exercise rider Otto Aguilar for the next few days, although jockey Alex Solis will be in the saddle Friday morning to get reacquainted before Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.

  • Spendthrift Farm’s Mile hopeful Court Vision impressed his connections with a 5f workout over the turf course in 1:01 4/5 under regular rider Robby Albarado.

“He sure looked happy out there,” trainer Dale Romans said. “At this point we’re not going to change anything. We just wanted to keep him happy. We know he’s fit.”

Live Oak Plantation’s Brilliant Speed, who meets older horses for the first time in Saturday’s Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf, walked his Belmont Park shedrow Monday morning.  The Dynaformer colt will fly to Kentucky Tuesday afternoon.

“He should be in at Churchill by about 5 in the afternoon,” trainer Tom Albertrani said.  “His last two works have been his best ever.  It’s a tough assignment, but the colt is training well.  He’s maturing all the time and however he runs there’s going to be no disgrace.  I know he’s going to try.”

  • Courageous Cat went to the turf course shortly after 9:45 Monday morning for a final breeze with exercise Rudolph Brisset. The 4f move was clocked in a leisurely 51 4/5 around the dogs.

“My rider was happy,” trainer Bill Mott said. “He said he gave him a little rein at the eighth pole and he was willing to go on, so he was happy.”

Courageous Cat finished second in the Mile in 2009.

  • New York-bred Compliance Officer, who has gone unbeaten in five starts since claimed by current trainer Bruce Brown, is scheduled to fly to Kentucky Tuesday afternoon.

“He’s really in great shape,” Brown said.  “He deserves to take shot in a race like this.  If some of those older horses stub their toe a bit and we’re able to pull a good trip, he’s going to be right there.”

Jockey Alex Solis has the mount Saturday.

“Alex gets along with him great and breezes him for me all the time now,” Brown said.  “He really knows the horse and they get along well.  I don’t know if I’d be as game to do this if Alex wasn’t on the horse.”

  • Trainer David Fawkes worked both of his Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint contenders, Apriority and defending champion Big Drama, on Monday morning at Churchill Downs with jockey Jeffery Sanchez aboard each.

Big Drama, who won last year in gate-to-wire fashion, went out early while Apriority was sent to the track at 8:30 a.m.

“Big Drama turned in a nice breeze in 49 (49 3/5) and I have no complaints. Everything is good with him,” Fawkes said.

Apriority breezed 4f in 50 2/5.

  • Trainer Al Stall Jr. sent his two Breeders’ Cup contenders Cease and Animal Spirits through their final pre-race works Monday morning with Animal Spirits working 4f in 49 1/5 on the main track for the Juvenile Turf and Cease going the same distance in 51 4/5 for the Marathon.

Although it was entry day, Stall did not plan to be at the draw. He was scheduled to pay a visit to Claiborne Farm and last year’s big Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Blame.

“I have a group of good old friends from Louisiana that I’m taking out there,” Stall reported. “It’s supposed to be great weather and Claiborne looks pretty fine on a sunny day.”

  • The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Rattlesnake Bridge galloped at Belmont Park Monday.  He is scheduled on a Kentucky-bound flight that departs from New York Tuesday.

“The Classic is obviously a tough spot,” McLaughlin said.  “But we feel he’s going to get a serious pace and he’ll make a serious run.  I’m confident we haven’t seen the best of this colt yet.”

Godolphin Racing’s Alpha, runner-up to Union Rags in Belmont’s Champagne this month, was scheduled to van from Belmont Park to Churchill Downs Monday afternoon.

“He’ll get in at 5 tomorrow morning and walk right into his stall,” McLaughlin said.  “He couldn’t be doing any better.”

Cheyenne Stable’s Miss Netta, who was third in Belmont Park’s Frizette this month, was scheduled to van from Belmont Park to Churchill Downs Monday afternoon.  Miss Netta galloped at Belmont Park prior to her departure.

“I was happy she finished third in the Frizette,” McLaughlin said.  “She had an unlucky, terrible trip.  She’s worked great a couple of times since.”

Mill House’s Trappe Shot, who has never started at a mile in his 11-race career, galloped Monday at Belmont Park.  He is scheduled to fly to Kentucky Tuesday.  Jockey John Velazquez has the mount on Saturday.

“We think the mile is a great distance for him,” McLaughlin said.  “And given the race shape, with The Factor and Shackleford setting a fast pace, that’s a big plus.  (John Velazquez) should be able to stalk without having to get into him early.”

It’s Tricky, winner of Belmont’s Acorn and Saratoga’s Coaching Club American Oaks this year, was scheduled to depart Belmont Park on a van bound for Churchill Downs Monday afternoon.

“She’s fine once she ships,” McLaughlin said.  “Rather than get on a van, get on a plane, then get on a van with her, all she has to do is walk onto the van and she’ll be at Churchill by 5 in the morning.  She can just walk right into her stall.”

Before the renovation break Monday, four of Steve Asmussen’s Breeders’ Cup hopefuls worked a half-mile, and the trainer was pleased with all of their moves.

  • George Bolton and Stonestreet Stables’ My Miss Aurelia, the morning-line favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, breezed 4f in 49 3/5.

“It was a nice half mile,” Asmussen said. “She got over the track well and was nice and relaxed. We’re keeping her happy.”

Winchell Thoroughbred LLC’s Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint contender Seeker breezed 4f in 50 2/5.

“He went well,” Asmussen said. “The work went nice and smooth. I feel very good about where’s he’s at.”

Winchell Thoroughbred LLC’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile entrant Tapizar breezed 4f in 49 3/5.

“He worked a nice half-mile,” Asmussen said. “He’s proven he likes this racetrack in the past.”

Stonestreet Stable LLC’s Wilburn breezed 4f in 49 4/5.

“It was an easy half-mile for Wilburn,” Asmussen said. “I was very happy with all four of them (Monday Breeders’ Cup workers). They all handle the track well, and I’m very comfortable with where they’re at.”

  • The 2011 Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice jogged 1m over the Churchill Downs track Monday morning after arriving by van from Monmouth Park late Sunday night.

Trainer Kelly Breen was not planning to attend the Breeders’ Cup post position draw Monday afternoon.

“I didn’t attend the Belmont draw and it turned out OK,” Breen said. “I don’t want to change things now.”

  • Turf Sprint entrant Great Attack had his final major workout Monday breezing 5f in 1:02 4/5 over the turf course with jockey Jeffery Sanchez aboard.

“It was beautiful,” trainer Wesley Ward said of the workout. “I’m very happy with it.”

Kenneth & Sarah Ramsey’s 2yo filly Stephanie’s Kitten was entered in the Juvenile Fillies Turf instead of the Juvenile Fillies on Monday morning. According to trainer Wayne Catalano, the decision was a “no brainer”.

“Her pedigree is turf all the way,” Catalano explained. “She’s run on the turf and Polytrack, and her numbers (speed figures) are good on those surfaces. If it had been a question between turf and Poly, it would have been a tough call, but since it was turf or dirt, it wasn’t a tough call at all.”

  • Tom Amoss was confident Monday morning following an easy 4f workout by Sum of the Parts as he moved a step closer to Friday’s Juvenile Sprint.

“He worked a nice half in 49 3/5,” the Churchill Downs-based trainer said. “He did it well in hand.”

And that made Amoss especially happy, as he said that he’s been trying to dial down the aggressiveness normally shown by the son of 2004 Sprint winner Speightstown.

  • Trainer Mark Casse’s Breeders’ Cup prospects were reduced by half Monday when the Sovereign Award winner said that neither Spirited Miss nor Sky High Lady will be in the gate on Friday.

Sky High Lady was being pointed to the Juvenile Fillies and Spirited Miss was a contender for the Juvenile Fillies Turf.

“Last week after Spirited Miss’s work (on October 24 when she breezed 5f in 1:01 2/5 at Churchill Downs), we scoped her and she was full of mucus. We scoped her again yesterday and she’s not better,” he said.

“The other filly (Sky High Lady who ran at Churchill Sunday) isn’t going to run.”

  • Trainer Donnie Von Hemel commented as to why McNeil Stables and Cheyenne Stables’ Caleb’s Posse was entered in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile rather than the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

“The tough part about our decision was that his best races have come at seven furlongs, and they wouldn’t let us run in the Filly & Mare Sprint (7f),” Von Hemel said of his colt with a chuckle. “If it had been a two-turn mile, we would have almost surely gone in the Sprint.”

At Churchill Downs, 1m dirt races are run around one turn. The 3yo son of Posse has won at distances spanning from 6f to 1 1/16 m.

“It was a tough decision. After pre-entries come out, you try and handicap the races and figure out how both races might set up. In the end, the owners and I thought the mile was the best spot for us.”

  • Creative Cause, a leading contender for the Juvenile Saturday, galloped 1 ½ m on Cushion Track at Hollywood Park Monday in his final exercise in California before being flown to Kentucky Tuesday morning.

Also putting in their last drills before joining Creative Cause on the Tex Sutton charter from Ontario Airport were Tanda in the Filly & Mare Sprint, Camp Victory in the Turf Sprint and Tres Borrachos in the Dirt Mile. The flight is scheduled to leave Ontario at 5 a.m. Pacific time.

“He looked good to me,” said trainer Mike Harrington after Creative Cause galloped under regular exercise rider John Cisneros. “He seemed full of himself. He’s happy and healthy, and that’s all you can ask for at this point. He’s ready.”

Graded stakes winners Tanda and Camp Victory each galloped 1m on the main track, according to Phil D’Amato, assistant to trainer Mike Mitchell.

“All systems are go,” D’Amato said. “They’re ready. We’ve been pointing for these races for a long time.”

Tres Borrachos exercised on the training track, jogging once around and galloping around twice, according to Martel Castaneda, assistant to trainer Marty Jones.

“He’s been doing great,” Castaneda said. “He won’t be battling for the lead like he did in his last race (the Goodwood). He’ll run the way he did when he won the San Diego.”

Harrington and Mitchell caught flights to Louisville Monday, while Jones is scheduled to fly east on Wednesday.

  • Arrivals: Tex Sutton Air Forwarding charter flights carrying contenders for this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs arrived into Louisville from New York on Saturday and California on Sunday.

Another flight Monday morning originating in New York was to bring runners trained by Nick Zito with a stop in Baltimore to pick up others stabled in the mid-Atlantic trained by Michael Matz, Graham Motion and Anthony Dutrow.

Two more Tex Sutton flights are scheduled for Tuesday. The first originates in California with a full load, including as many as 10 trained by Bob Baffert, and the second due in late afternoon from New York, including trainer Kiaran McLaughlin’s contingent and Gio Ponti for trainer Christophe Clement.

Nineteen of the Europeans arrived on two flights on Saturday, October 29.

The first flight contained four runners, the Roger Varian-trained pair of Nahrain, who will contest the Emirates Airlines Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf and Farraaj for the Juvenile Turf. Also on board were the John Gosden-trained Questing and the David Lanigan-trained Meeznah.

A further 15 arrived on the Saturday evening Breeders’ Cup charter including France’s first lady Goldikova ahead of her historic bid of a four-timer in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile.

The Europeans yet to arrive are the eight Aidan O’Brien colts, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic contender So You Think, who are due to arrive at 6.30 p.m. on Tuesday.  The O’Brien shipment had been reduced by one, with news that Learn will not be aboard the flight.

The only Europeans that appeared on the track Monday were Questing and Meeznah.

Meeznah went a couple of circuits at a walk and trot with her pony to get used to the surroundings before heading back to the barn.

An early arrival at Churchill Downs is trainer Alan McCabe, who will be saddling his first Breeders’ Cup runner when Caspar Netscher contests the Juvenile Turf.

“I am very pleased with everything. The horse is in good shape and I am happy with the ground at Churchill Downs, which is good to firm good in places.” McCabe said.

Complete list of Monday Workouts

Churchill Downs: Animal Spirits – 4f in 49 1/5; Apriority – 4f in 50 2/5; Big Drama – 4f in 49 3/5; Candrea – 4f in 48 4/5; Cease – 4f in 51 4/5; Golden Mystery 4f in 47 2/5; My Miss Aurelia – 4f in 49 3/5; Seeker – 4f in 50 2/5; Sum of the Parts – 4f in 49 3/5; Tapizar – 4f in 49 3/5; Wilburn – 4f in 49 4/5; Courageous Cat – 4f turf in 51 4/5; Customer Base – 4f turf in 49 3/5; Shkspeare Shaliyah – 4f turf in 51; Court Vision – 5f turf in 1:01 4/5; Great Attack – 5f turf in 1:02 4/5; Havre de Grace – 5f in 1:02.

Churchill Downs Training Center: Hansen – 4f in 48 3/5.

Santa Anita: Prayer for Relief – 4f in 46 2/5; The Factor – 6f in 1:10 1/5.

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