Dullahan, upset winner of the Grade I Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity, breezed five furlongs shortly after the renovation break over a “fast” Churchill Downs track in 1:03.60 under Kent Desormeaux on a crisp Saturday morning beneath the Twin Spires in preparation for the $2 million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) or the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (GII).
“He went really well today, but we still don’t know yet,” trainer Dale Romans said. “We’ll know after his work next weekend.”
Donegal Racing’s Dullahan, a half-brother to Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) winner Mine That Bird, earned a free ride to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with his win in the Breeders’ Futurity, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race, and recorded fractions of :13.20, :26.20, :39 and :51.20.
“The track was slow and he put in a workman-like five-eighths,” Desormeaux said. “He was very responsive and energetic. He’s a serious horse and he made a move for me in the Dixiana (Breeders’ Futurity) that I haven’t had a horse do for me in 10 years.”
Preakness Stakes (GI) winner Shackleford, another Breeders’ Cup hopeful in the Romans barn, breezed five furlongs in 1:03.80.
“He looked good and he’s going to the Dirt Mile,” Romans said.
Michael Lauffer and Bill Cubbedge’s Shackleford, who was second in the Indiana Derby (GII) to Wilburn after a disappointing performance in the Travers (GI) at Saratoga, recorded fractions of :13.60, :26.20, :38.60, :51.40 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:17.20.
Another Romans worker on Saturday morning was My Due Process, a 2-year-old daughter of Henny Hughes who captured the Monmouth Park NATC Futurity. The bay filly went considerably faster in her five furlong work than her two star stablemates and stopped the clock in 1:01.60.
Priscilla Vaccarezza’s My Due Process, a $30,000 OBS Selected 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale graduate, was previously under consideration for the inaugural Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint, but will be pointed to the $150,000 Pocahontas (GII) at one mile on the main track Oct. 30 at Churchill Downs.
DROSSELMEYER CONTINUES MOVING FORWARD FOR CLASSIC BID –WinStar Farm’s Drosselmeyer, winner of the 2010 Grade I Belmont Stakes, continued his preparations for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) on Nov.5 by working five furlongs in 1:01.20 in company after the morning renovation break with Breeders’ Cup Marathon (GII) candidate Birdrun.
Working to the outside of Birdrun with Rodolphe Brisset up, Drosselmeyer put up fractions of :25, :36.80 and out six furlongs in 1:14.40 as the tandem worked on even terms. Larry Melancon was on Birdrun, who is owned by Preston Stables. The moves were the fourth fastest of 51 at the distance over a track rated as fast.
“I liked both of their works,” said trainer Bill Mott, who plans to work Breeders’ Cup hopefuls Royal Delta (Ladies’ Classic) and To Honor and Serve (Classic) on Sunday morning.
On hand to watch the work was Elliott Walden, president, CEO and racing manager for WinStar.
“I was really pleased with the work and he is as good as he can be,” Walden said. “It looked like he was all over the workmate.”
Runner-up to Flat Out in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (GI) on Oct. 1 in his most recent start, Drosselmeyer broke his maiden at Churchill Downs in November 2009, but has not trained here since that meet. His work Saturday was his second here since the Jockey Club Gold Cup with the first being a half-mile bullet breeze of :47.60 last Saturday.
After initially giving the Breeders’ Cup Marathon some consideration, it is full speed ahead to the Classic for Drosselmeyer.
“He’s a Belmont winner and the Marathon does not matter for him,” Walden said. “He has had two good works here and is coming out of a good race. He deserves a chance at the Classic and the mile and a quarter suits him fine.”
Walden said that Mike Smith, who rode Drosselmeyer to victory in the Belmont Stakes, would have the Classic mount.”
DECISION TIME NEARS FOR HEART OF DESTINY – Hurstland Farm and James Greene Jr.’s Heart of Destiny worked five furlongs in 1:02.60 before the morning renovation break with exercise rider Rafael Gonzalez up. The move was the 22nd fastest of 51 at the distance.
Runner-up in the Darley Alcibiades (GI) in her most recent start, Heart of Destiny is being considered for the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) or the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (GII).
Heart of Destiny was third in her debut on dirt at Saratoga, then broke her maiden on the grass prior to the Alcibiades over Polytrack at Keeneland.
“It is hard to say (which surface she is best on),” trainer Jim Baker said. “She has run well on all three surfaces. (Her sire) Lion Heart has mostly sprinters but the mare (Doc’s Destiny) is turf. We’ll decide by Monday. We may not find out this fall, but we’ll know what she’s best on next year.”
Baker said Heart of Destiny would work again next Saturday or Sunday.
PUTTHEBABIESDOWN WITH HALF-MILE BREEZE FOR JUVENILE FILLIES – Putthebabiesdown, third in the Grade I Darley Alcibiades in her most recent start, breezed four furlongs on the main track at Churchill Downs in :48.60 Saturday morning to gear up for a bid in the $2 million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI).
Starting two lengths behind her stablemate Colbert, Putthebabiesdown recorded an opening quarter-mile in :23.60 and finished even with her workmate at the wire.
“She went really well and we’re really happy with the time,” assistant trainer Philip Bauer said. “The track seems to be playing a little slow, but she handled it well.”
The Juvenile Fillies will be the first start on dirt for the 2-year-old daughter of Closing Argument whose career has included three starts on turf and one on Keeneland’s Polytrack. After breaking her maiden on the turf at Ellis Park, Putthebabiesdown finished second and fourth, respectively, in the Tippett at Colonial Downs and the P. G. Johnson at Saratoga.
“This was her first major move over this surface,” Bauer said. “She worked three furlongs here earlier this year, but it was just an easy three-eighths (:37 on April 29 when track was listed as “good”). We’re happy and we can’t complain.”
Putthebabiesdown, owned by J C M Racing, is scheduled to breeze again next Saturday (Oct. 29) in what will be her final prep for the Juvenile Fillies.
BARN TALK – In addition to Birdrun, one other Breeders’ Cup Marathon hopeful worked Saturday morning: Don Benge’s A.U. Miner. With exercise rider Georgina Baxter up after the renovation break, A.U. Miner worked five furlongs in 1:03.60 on his own in fractions of :12.80, :25, :37.20 and out six furlongs in 1:18.40. “That was just a maintenance move this morning,” trainer Clark Hanna said of the work that was the 34th fastest of 51 at the distance. “He will come back next Saturday with some company.” …
Elliott Walden, president, CEO and racing manager for WinStar Farm, said that Sidney’s Candy would be pre-entered in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (GI) and would work on the grass here Tuesday. John Velazquez has the mount in the Breeders’ Cup.
WORK TAB – Alex Rankin’s multiple graded stakes-winning mare Tar Heel Mom worked a half-mile under jockey Joe Johnson in :49.40 after the renovation break. The move was the 17th fastest of 79 at the distance. Fractions were :12.60, :25.20 and out five furlongs in 1:03.20. Gary Hartlage is overseeing Tar Heel Mom’s preparation for the Sentient Jet Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (GI) for trainer Stan Hough. …
Anita Cauley’s On Fire Baby, a nominee to next Sunday’s Pocahontas (GII), worked six furlongs in 1:16 under jockey Joe Johnson before the renovation break for trainer Gary Hartlage. …
Silverton Hill LLC’s Fine, runner-up in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile and nominated to next Sunday’s Iroquois (GIII), worked a half-mile in :49.60 for trainer Bret Calhoun.
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