Rain throughout the afternoon and early evening Friday at Churchill Downs left trainers scrambling to decide when their horses would have their final Breeders’ Cup work. At least 14 World Championship contenders are expected to breeze Sunday morning including: Travers Stakes (GI) winner Catholic Boy (Classic), Forego Stakes (GI) runner-up City of Light (Dirt Mile/Classic), Vosburgh Invitational (GI) hero Imperial Hint (Sprint), Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) conqueror Monomoy Girl (Distaff) and the H. Allen Jerkens (GI) star Promises Fulfilled (Sprint).
A full list of probable workers on Sunday:
Catholic Boy (Classic)
Channel Maker (Turf)
City of Light (Dirt Mile/Classic)
Dak Attack (Dirt Mile)
Golden Mischief (Filly & Mare Sprint)
Imperial Hint (Sprint)
Liam the Charmer (Turf)
Mom’s On Strike (Filly & Mare Turf)
Monomoy Girl (Distaff)
Paved (Filly & Mare Turf)
Promises Fulfilled (Sprint)
Seven Trumpets (Dirt Mile)
Tracksmith (Juvenile Turf/Juvenile Turf Sprint)
Will Call (Turf Sprint)
McCARTHY WORKS TWO OF HIS BREEDERS’ CUP HOPEFULS IN THE MUD – Trainer Michael McCarthy brought five Breeders’ Cup hopefuls to Churchill Downs Tuesday from his Southern California base and Saturday morning produced the first works.
Working in company over a track labeled muddy, Axelrod (Classic-GI) and Vibrance (Tito’s Handmade Vodka Juvenile Fillies-GI) covered a half-mile in :48.40. Fractions on the work were :12.20, 24.20, :36.20 and :48.40 with both going out five furlongs and Axelrod six furlongs in 1:14.60; Vibrance in 1:14.80, according to Churchill Downs Clocker John Nichols.
“I just wanted them to stretch their legs,” McCarthy said. “Conditions were not ideal weather wise but I knew they would do a good job with the track. I was more than pleased with the works.”
Slam Dunk Racing’s Axelrod comes into the Classic off a runner-up finish to Classic rival McKinzie in the Pennsylvania Derby (GI). Jose Ortiz was aboard for the work Saturday with Joe Bravo having the call for the Classic.
Axelrod has produced a record of 4-2-2-0 since venturing into graded-stakes company.
“The Indiana Derby (GIII) was his breakthrough,” McCarthy said, tracing the colt’s improvement to maturity. “He has a lot of confidence now and thinks he can do anything. It was no disgrace losing to McKinzie, who is probably the best 3-year-old still running.”
Tyler Gaffalione was aboard Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Mr. and Mrs. Jim Daniell’s Vibrance, who finished second to Bellefina in the Chandelier (GI) in her most recent start. John Velazquez will have the Breeders’ Cup mount.
McCarthy’s three other Breeders’ Cup runners are Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr.’s City of Light (Dirt Mile-GI), Madaket Stables’ Liam the Charmer (Turf-GI) and Ciaglia Racing and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Paved (Filly & Mare Turf-GI).
City of Light also was pre-entered in the Classic but McCarthy said, “Barring anything crazy happening this week, he will go in the Dirt Mile. I will be very excited to lead him over there.”
McCarthy, whose barn at Santa Anita numbers 30, plans to work his three other runners Sunday, weather permitting.
City of Light would go at 7:30 during the special training period for Breeders’ Cup horses if conditions permit with Paved and Liam the Charmer going on the turf at 9:45. “That’s the plan now,” McCarthy said. “We’ll see what it looks like in the morning.”
SIGNALMAN BLITZES FOUR FURLONGS IN :47.60 IN PREPARATION FOR THE BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE – Tommie Lewis, David Bernsen and Magdalena Racing’s Breeders’ Futurity (GI) runner-up Signalman completed his last major step prior to the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) with a four-furlong move in :47.60 Saturday morning at Churchill Downs.
Breezing with jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. in the saddle, Signalman began his work one length behind stablemate Math Major (four furlongs in :48) through opening splits of :11.60 and :23, before finishing one length in front on the five-furlong gallop out in 1:01 and completing six furlongs in 1:15.
The massive son of General Quarters, who stands at least 17 hands tall, according to trainer Kenny McPeek, broke his maiden Sept. 1 at Saratoga prior to his runner-up effort behind fellow Juvenile contender Knicks Go in the Breeders’ Futurity.
REFLECT BREEZES FIVE FURLONGS IN 1:00 FOR BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE FILLIES – Impact Thoroughbreds and Madaket Stables’ Reflect worked five furlongs in 1:00 over a track rated as sloppy after the first renovation break Saturday morning.
With jockey Jose Ortiz aboard, Reflect carved out fractions of :12.40, 23.40, 35.40, :47.60 and 1:00 with gallop-out times of 1:13.60 and 1:27.80 for six and seven furlongs.
“I liked it; she did it pretty easy,” said Julie Clark, assistant to trainer Keith Desormeaux. “Jose liked her last week too (a half-mile in :48.40). He said she does it so easy and feels like there is another gear there.”
Ortiz will have the mount for the $2 million Tito’s Handmade Vodka Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) on Friday on Reflect who was second to Restless Rider in the Oct. 5 Alcibiades (GI) at Keeneland.
ADDITIONAL BREEDERS’ CUP NEWS AND NOTES – Trainer Tom Amoss said Saturday morning that G M B Racing’s Lone Sailor would be entered in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI). Winner of the Oklahoma Derby (GIII) in his most recent start, Lone Sailor was pre-entered in the Classic as well as the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI) but Amoss said the determining factor was the pace setup for the Classic. James Graham, who has ridden Lone Sailor five times including the Oklahoma Derby victory, will have the mount in the Classic. … There were 22 European Breeders’ Cup contenders that arrived at approximately 1:30 a.m. Saturday at Churchill Downs including superstar filly Enable and top older horse Roaring Lion. … Breeders’ Cup Classic contender Gunnevera is expected to arrive Saturday at Churchill Downs via van from Florida, according to Churchill Downs Director of the Stable Area Steve Hargrave. … Kaleem Shah’s Bellafina, the likely favorite for Friday’s $2 million Tito’s Handmade Vodka Juvenile Fillies (GI), jogged over the sloppy main track a day after arriving from her Southern California base. Trainer Simon Callaghan was on hand for the morning exercise and is here through the Breeders’ Cup. ... Turf training will begin Sunday at 9:45 a.m. for horses that are pre-entered in Breeders’ Cup races. The main track, which opens at 5:15 a.m., will close at approximately 9:35 a.m. Turf training will continue through Friday. … Assistant Racing Secretary and Stakes Coordinator Dan Bork reported Breeders’ Cup Juvenile contender Trophy Chaser is expected to enter in the $100,000 Street Sense on Friday, Nov. 2 and bypass the championship race. If Trophy Chaser does not enter the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, it would place Calumet Farm’s maiden Derby Date into the body of the field for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas who worked a half-mile in :48.20 Saturday morning at Churchill Downs.
BREEDERS’ CUP BARN LIST – https://bit.ly/2yCQ0op