Preston Stables’ Flat Out, winner of the Jockey Club Gold Cup (Grade I) and a leading contender for the $5 million Breeder’ Cup Classic (GI) on Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs, displayed continued sharpness Saturday in a ‘bullet’ five-furlong work over his home track.
The 5-year-old son of Flatter stepped onto the “fast” one-mile oval at the home of the Kentucky Derby (GI) just after 7 a.m. (EDT) and then zipped five-eighths of a mile under jockey Greta Kuntzweiler in :59.80. The work was the fastest of 46 moves at the distance on the crisp autumn morning at Churchill Downs.
Trained by veteran Charles “Scooter” Dickey, Flat Out completed the work in fractional times of :12, :24, :35.80 and :47.60. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.80 and seven-eighths in 1:28.80.
“We broke him off at five-eighths and he finished real strong up the stretch,” Dickey said. “He cooled out good and he’s doing great right now. I hope we can keep him going.”
Plagued by quarter cracks through most of his career, Flat Out has overcome those foot woes this year in what is easily the most successful campaign of his racing career. He has run six times with a record of 2-3-0 and earnings of $992,613. His career mark stands at 5-3-0 in 12 races with earnings of $1,109,713.
Along with victories in the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Suburban (GII) at Belmont Park, he ran second to the 4-year-old filly Havre de Grace, the current future betting favorite for her expected run against males in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, in the Woodward (GI) and was runner-up to expected Classic competitor Tizway in the Whitney (GI). Both of those races were run at Saratoga.
Dickey plans two more works for Flat Out prior to the 1 ¼-mile Classic.
“There’ll probably be one more light work, and more kind of serious work,” Dickey said. “But he’s fit and ready to go.”
If all goes well over the next three weeks, Flat Out will be the first Breeders’ Cup starter for the 70-year-old Dickey, whose training career spans 48 years.
“You can’t imagine how much fun it’s been,” Dickey said. “It just keeps getting better. We’ve waited on the horse and he’s rewarding us now and taking good care of us. He’s just something to be around.”
Other possible Breeders’ Cup contenders to work on Saturday at Churchill Downs included Grade I winner Court Vision (possible for Mile), who breezed five furlongs in 1:02 under exercise rider Tammy Fox. Spendthrift Farm’s 6-year-old son of Gulch, now trained by Dale Romans, ran fourth and fifth, respectively, to Goldikova in the last two renewals of the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
Preston Stables’ Brooklyn (GII) winner Birdrun (Marathon) worked four furlongs in :48.80 for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, the all-time training leader at Churchill Downs. The move was sixth fastest of 54 at the distance.