Lewis Lakin’s Pure Clan, winner of the Grade I Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park in her most recent start, continued her preparation for a second bid for the $2 million Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (GI) with a five furlong workout on Tuesday at Churchill Downs.
The Robert Holthus-trained 4-year-old daughter of Pure Prize breezed five furlongs in a strong 1:00.40 over a “fast” track under exercise rider Steve Schmelzel. The move ranked as the seventh-fastest of 39 moves at the distance. Pure Clan covered the distance in fractional times of :12.60, :24.80 and :36.60 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.80.
“This was her final major work,” said Holthus. “We’ll probably just let her do something easy Sunday morning before she gets on the plane on Monday. It looks like she came out of her work good, so we hope we’ll get a decent post, a clean trip and a little more luck than last year.”
The consistent Pure Clan turned in an uncharacteristically poor effort in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, which was run at Oak Tree at Santa Anita, as it will be for this year’s running on Friday, Nov. 6. She finished last of 10 fillies and mares behind champion Forever Together in that race, but has returned this year with a strong campaign in which she has compiled a record of 2-1-1 in four races. She also won the Modesty (GIII) and finished third to Dynaforce in the Beverly D. (GI), both at Arlington Park, before overcoming soft turf to win the Flower Bowl on Oct. 3.
“She’s more mature and has been very lightly raced this year,” Holthus said. “She’s going into the race pretty fresh.”
Pure Clan will have a new jockey in the Breeders’ Cup race as regular rider Julien Leparoux is committed to ride Forever Together. Garrett Gomez will be in the saddle aboard Holthus’ filly on Breeders’ Cup Day.
The work by Pure Clan occurred just after the mid-session break for track maintenance on a cloudy, cool morning at Churchill Downs.
EINSTEIN HEADS WEST FOR BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC BID – A short time before Pure Clan’s work, Stronach Stable’s Einstein climbed aboard a van for the short ride to Louisville International Airport, where he caught a flight to California for the Breeders’ Cup.
Trainer Helen Pitts-Blasi’s two-time winner of Churchill Downs’ Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI), 2009 Santa Anita Handicap (GI) and the 2008 Clark Handicap (GII) is set to run in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI), a race that could be the last on-track appearance by the 7-year-old, Brazilian-bred son of 1985 Kentucky Derby (GI) winner Spend a Buck.
Einstein has a career record of 11-4-3 in 28 races with earnings of $2,903,324.
CHURCHILL DOWNS FALL MEET OPENS SUNDAY – Churchill Downs’ 21-day Fall meet opens on Sunday, Nov. 1 with the first of two “Stars of Tomorrow” racing programs that are restricted to races exclusively for 2-year-old Thoroughbreds.
The 11-race program, topped by the $100,000-added Iroquois Stakes (GIII) and Pocahontas Stakes (GIII), has a post time of 12:40 p.m. (all times EST). The Fall Meet will conclude on Saturday, Nov. 28.
Sharing the spotlight with the racing on opening day is the 2010 Churchill Downs Calendar Giveaway sponsored by Humana. The first 5,000 fans through the admission gates on Sunday will receive a copy of the calendar.
Also on Sunday, Churchill Downs will unveil its new “Daybreak at the Downs,” an early morning insider’s look at Churchill Downs racing and workouts hosted by racing analyst Jill Byrne. “Daybreak at the Downs” will be held each Sunday of the meet from 8-10 a.m in the Churchill Downs Clubhouse sections 117-118. Admission is free, as is coffee, milk and donuts for all of those attending the weekly sessions.
“Daybreak at the Downs” fans should park in the Gate 10 Longfield Ave. parking lot and enter the track though Gate 10.
Also set for opening day is the first “Who’s the Champ? Handicapping Contest” in the Churchill Downs Champions Club Lounge.
Events are also scheduled for kids every Saturday and Sunday of the Fall Meet in Churchill Downs’ “Junior Jockey Club,” which is located just inside of Gate 10.
WORK TAB (Main track: FAST) – Brassy Boy, third in the Bashford Manor (GIII) and a contender for Sunday’s opening day Iroquois (GIII), breezed five furlongs in 1:03 for trainer Hal Wiggins.