Two 2-year-olds who have done their running at Woodbine in Canada, got a sampling of Churchill Downs dirt on Monday morning for trainer Mark Casse.
WinStar Farm’s Blue Laser and John Oxley’s Delightful Mary worked together after the renovation break with Calvin Borel on Blue Laser and Shaun Bridgmohan on Delightful Mary. Delightful Mary, racing on the outside and breaking off in front, covered five furlongs in 1:00 and finished a length in front of Blue Laser, who was clocked in 1:00.20.
Fractions for the work were :11.80, :24, :36 and :47.40 with Delightful Mary galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.80 and Blue Laser in 1:14.40.
“I thought the works were excellent,” said Casse, who was the leading trainer at Churchill Downs in the spring 1988 meet with 29 winners. “Neither of them had worked on dirt before. Blue Laser is not as good a workhorse as she is, but he is a fighter. He got passed and came back to win twice.”
While Delightful Mary, a winner of two of three starts on Polytrack, will be pre-entered in the $2 million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) with Bridgmohan to ride. Blue Laser may wait until the Delta Jackpot (GIII) at Delta Downs (La.) on Nov. 20.
“We (Casse and WinStar general manager Elliott Walden) are going to talk about it later today, but I think we will probably pass the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile) and go to the Delta Jackpot,” said Casse, who shared the 2007 Jackpot victory with dead-heat winner Turf War.
“One of the factors is timing,” said Walden, who celebrated victories this spring by Super Saver in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) and Drosselmeyer in the Belmont Stakes (GI). “He just ran three weeks ago and ran really hard and our program is geared to the 3-year-old season.”
WinStar won the Delta Jackpot last year with Rule, who is in training at Churchill Downs.
DESORMEAUX WORKS UNRIVALED BELLE FOR LADIES’ CLASSIC – Gary Seidler and Peter Vegso’s Unrivaled Belle, winner of the La Troienne (GII) here this spring over 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, tuned up for a run in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (GI) on Nov. 5 by working five furlongs in 1:00.60 under jockey Kent Desormeaux.
Starting off 2-3 lengths behind her workmate, Unrivaled Belle clicked off fractions of :23.60, :35.40, :47.20 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.80. Unrivaled Belle was 8-9 lengths in front of her workmate at the wire in the fourth-fastest time for the distance of the morning.
“She worked fantastic; she’s a happy lady,” Desormeaux said of the 4-year-old filly, who is trained by Bill Mott. “She has no lack of desire. She wants to run; she likes to run.”
Desormeaux has ridden Unrivaled Belle nine times, seven of those occasions on dirt with three victories and four seconds. Unrivaled Belle ran second in her most recent start, the Grade I Beldame, which came after a two-month layoff.
The Ladies’ Classic formerly was known as the Breeders’ Cup Distaff and Mott won the race at Churchill Downs in 1998 with Escena.
MINE THAT BIRD WORKS BULLET; PRE-ENTERED IN BC DIRT MILE – Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine’s Mine That Bird, winner of the 2009 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), worked five-eighths of a mile in company in 1:00 after the renovation break with exercise rider Arielle Witkowski up.
Working with graded-stakes winner Be Fair, Mine That Bird began on even terms with his companion, opened a clear advantage at the head of the stretch and finished four lengths in front in producing the best time of 32 at the distance for the morning. Fractions were :12, :23.40, :35, :47 and out six furlongs in 1:15.80.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said that Mine That Bird was pre-entered in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI) to be run Nov. 6. Mine That Bird also is nominated to the Ack Ack Handicap (GIII) to be run Nov. 5 at 1 1/16 miles on the main track, a race that looms as a possibility should he not be selected for the Dirt Mile if that race is over-subscribed.
BARN TALK – Among the other works involving possible Breeders’ Cup horses Monday morning at Churchill Downs were the Steve Asmussen-trained duo of Riley Tucker (Sprint) covering five furlongs before the renovation break in 1:01.80 (:13.20, :25.20, :37.20, :49.40 and out six furlongs in 1:15) and Thiskyhasnolimit (Dirt Mile) working six furlongs in company with Tone It Down in 1:12.80 (:13.20, :25, :36.60, :48, 1:00.80 and out seven furlongs in 1:26.20). Central City (Turf Sprint) worked a half-mile under jockey Robby Albarado in :48 (:11.80, :23.20, :35.20 and out five furlongs in 1:02.60) for trainer Ronny Werner. Alcomo (BRZ) (Marathon) 1:43.80 for a mile for trainer Eduardo Caramori.
Working over a Matt Winn Turf Course labeled as “good” Monday morning at Churchill Downs was Silent Joy (Juvenile Fillies Turf) covering five furlongs in 1:04.20 around the “dogs” under trainer Michelle Nihei. Fractions were :12, :24.80, :38 and :50.80. Also working five furlongs was Keertana, who is a possibility for the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (GI) or the Cardinal Handicap (GIII) on Nov. 7, covering the distance in 1:04 in fractions of :27.20, :40.60, :52.20 and out six furlongs in 1:17.40 and seven-eighths in 1:32.20. …
Two Breeders’ Cup winners for trainer Jonathan Sheppard worked Monday morning at Keeneland. Informed Decision, winner of the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (GI), worked five furlongs in :59.40 under Julien Leparoux in preparation for a repeat World Championships run. Fractions on the work on the main track were :12.40, :24.20, :36.20, :48 and out six furlongs in 1:11.80. Forever Together, the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (GI) winner, worked in company with Filly & Mare Turf candidate Fantasia (GB), covering five furlongs on the main track in :59.40 under Leparoux. Fantasia, with Barry Wiseman in the saddle, began four lengths in front with Forever Together cutting the deficit in half at the wire in fractions of :13.40, :25.40, :37.40 and :49.20. All three distaffers are owned by Augustin Stable. … Also working at Keeneland over a turf course rated as “good” was Darrell and Evelyn Yates’ Jordy Y for trainer Wayne Catalano. With retired jockey Larry Melancon up, Jordy Y covered five furlongs in 1:01.40 with fractions of :12, :23.80 and :37.40 around the “dogs.” Jordy Y, third in the Darley Alcibiades (GI) in her most recent start, is being pre-entered in the Juvenile Fillies and the Juvenile Fillies Turf (GII). …
Scheduled to work Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs are defending Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint champion California Flag and Filly & Mare Sprint hopeful Sweet August Moon for trainer Brian Koriner. California Flag will work on the grass unless turf works are rained out. Scheduled to work Wednesday is Secret Gypsy (Filly & Mare Sprint). …
A planeload of horses trained by Todd Pletcher is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs on Tuesday and will be housed in Barn 34. Also scheduled to arrive Tuesday is Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf candidate Arch Support for trainer Gary Contessa. Arch Support will be housed in Barn 43, Stall 12. Also due to arrive Tuesday from Belmont Park is Red Desire (JPN), who will go into Barn 42 in the quarantine area …
The Amerman Racing Stables’ Demarcation, winner of the 2008 River City Handicap (GIII) and the 2009 Ack Ack Handicap (GIII), will defend his title in the Ack Ack on Nov. 5 according to trainer Paul McGee.
- END -