HAMAZING DESTINY TUNES UP FOR BREEDERS’ CUP SPRINT FOR LUKAS – Westrock Stables’ Hamazing Destiny worked a half-mile in :49.60 after the morning renovation break over a fast track in preparation for the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (GI) to be run Nov. 6.
Fractions for the work were :13, :25 and out five furlongs in 1:04.40. The half-mile time was the ninth fastest of 35 on a bright, crisp morning.
“I thought it was an excellent work,” trainer D. Wayne Lukas said. “I think we might be a little stronger than people think.”
Hamazing Destiny has posted a 2-1-0 record in four races at Churchill Downs, with his only off-the-board finish coming in the Grade II Churchill Downs over a sloppy track on May 1. In his most recent start over the track, Hamazing Destiny ran second, beaten only a neck in the Kelly’s Landing by Here Comes Ben, one of the leading contenders for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI).
In adition to Hamazing Destiny, Lukas has two other Breeders’ Cup pre-entrants: Mine That Bird for the Dirt Mile (GI) and Tidal Pool for the Sentient Jet Filly & Mare Sprint (GI).
Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine’s Mine That Bird, winner of the 2009 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) is scheduled to work Sunday morning. Westrock Stables’ Tidal Pool, who is third on the preference list for the Filly & Mare Sprint, would run in the $85,000 Dream Supreme overnight stake at six furlongs on Nov. 6 if she doesn’t make the Breeders’ Cup race, according to Lukas.
This will be the record seventh time the Breeders’ Cup World Championships have run at Churchill Downs. Lukas has had runners on all previous occasions and saddled six of his 18 Breeders’ Cup winners beneath the Twin Spires, three coming in the event’s first stop at the Louisville track in 1988.
“That was my best day and I could have won four if Winning Colors had beaten Personal Ensign,” Lukas said. “We would have made history. Is It True beat Easy Goer and we ran 1-2-3 in the Juvenile Fillies.”
Gulch won the Sprint that year for Lukas, who also won the Juvenile here in 1994 with Timber Country and the 2000 Distaff (now Ladies’ Classic) here with Spain.
BOREL, STREET SENSE ROCKETED TO FOREFRONT IN 2006 CUP HERE – The most impressive performance the previous time the Breeders’ Cup World Championships were held at Churchill Downs in 2006 came from a 15-1 longshot and a rider whose greatest success had been largely confined to the South and Midwest.
But the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) changed all that for Street Sense and Calvin Borel.
“I knew (trainer) Carl (Nafzger) wanted to win the race real bad and he had him ready for it.” Borel said. “He thought he had the best horse and he was.”
Going into the Juvenile, Street Sense was coming off third-place finishes in the Breeders’ Futurity (GI) at Keeneland and the Arlington-Washington Breeders’ Cup Futurity (GIII). Until then Borel had only ridden in five previous Breeders’ Cup races, four of them at Churchill Downs.
Racing near the back of the 14-horse field and saving ground for the first six furlongs, it looked like Street Sense was going nowhere. But midway on the far turn, Borel took Street Sense around Principle Secret and then ducked back to the rail and began passing horses as if he were shot out of a cannon.
Street Sense slipped through a narrow hole and suddenly was four lengths on top at the eighth pole and wound up winning by 10, the largest margin in Juvenile history.
That was the first time he had really been tested,” Borel said. “I knew he had the talent. I got to riding him and he took off with a powerful run.”
The tour de force in the Breeders’ Cup was just a preview of what was to come six months and one day later when horse and rider ran basically the same race to win the 2007 Kentucky Derby. Street Sense is the only horse to pull off the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile-Kentucky Derby double.
“We made some history,” Borel said.
LEPAROUX SLATED TO RIDE IN 12 BREEDERS’ CUP RACES – Julien Leparoux, the 2009 Eclipse Award winner as America’s top jockey who has dominated the jockey standings the past four years at Churchill Downs, will be a busy man next weekend with mounts in 12 of the 14 Breeders’ Cup races.
Winner of the 2009 Eclipse Award, Leparoux also earned the Bill Shoemaker Award at Santa Anita last year as top rider in the Breeders’ Cup with three victories. Leparoux has won five Breeders’ Cup races overall, beginning with Nownownow in the Juvenile Turf in 2007 at Monmouth Park.
Leparoux, who has won or shared six riding titles at Churchill Downs since 2006, will partner Informed Decision in the Sentient Jet Filly & Mare Sprint (GI) in her bid to become the first repeat winner of the race.
According to Steve Bass, agent for Leparoux, the rider’s other mounts will be Harlan’s Ruby (Juvenile Fillies), Kathmanblu (Juvenile Fillies Turf), It’s Tea Time (Ladies’ Classic), Typhoon Slew (Juvenile Turf), Silver Timber (Turf Sprint), Rogue Romance (Juvenile), Cool Coal Man (Dirt Mile), Society’s Chairman (Mile), Warrior’s Reward (Sprint), Al Khali (Turf) and Fly Down (Classic).
BARN TALK – Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm’s Blame, one of the leading contenders for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI), returned to the dirt Thursday morning, when he galloped for trainer Al Stall Jr. after the renovation break under exercise rider Marcus Alfred. The colt had been at Keeneland for nearly two months training on Polytrack with the exception of a quick trip to New York for the Jockey Club Gold Cup (GI) on Oct. 2. Stall plans to bring Blame to the track after the break Friday morning and then go at 6 a.m., under the lights, the next three mornings with a work scheduled Monday under jockey Garrett Gomez. Also on the track for Stall was Columbine Stable’s J. B.’s Thunder, winner of the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (GI) at Keeneland and a pre-entrant in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI). “Man, I forgot how much he liked the dirt,” Stall said as J. B.’s Thunder galloped past under exercise rider Randi Melton. “He and Blame were on the same schedule and both shipped from Saratoga (to Keeneland) on Aug. 30, so this was his first morning on it in nearly two months.” …
One other Breeders’ Cup hopeful, Gold Mark Farm’s Double Espresso, worked Thursday morning at Churchill Downs. Double Espresso, who is far down on the preference list for the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (GI), worked a half-mile in :50.60 before the renovation break. The move was the 24th fastest of 35 at the distance. Trainer Tom Amoss said that if Double Espresso does not make the Breeders’ Cup field, she would run in the Nov. 6 Chilukki (GII). …
At Keeneland on Thursday morning, Brandon and Marianne Chase’s Here Comes Ben had his final prep for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI) by working a half-mile on the Polytrack in :46.60. Fractions for the work were :11.40, :23.60, :35.40 and out five furlongs in :58.40 and six furlongs in 1:12.40. Trained by Charles Lopresti, Here Comes Ben has won four consecutive starts and has a 5-3-1-1 record at Churchill Downs including a victory in the Kelly’s Landing overnight stake this past June. Working on the turf at Keeneland was Sullimar Stables’ Get Stormy, who worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 for trainer Tom Bush in preparation for the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (GI). Splits were :25, :49.20 and out six furlongs in 1:14.20. Get Stormy is 1-for-1 over the Matt Winn Turf Course here, having taken the Commonwealth Turf (GIII) last fall.