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breeders cup horse racing
Aruna, who goes in the Filly & Mare Turf tomorrow, gallops in the rain on Thursday morning at Churchill Downs after the turf works were cancelled.

World Championships
Breeders' Cup Workouts

Date: 11/03/2011

The weather luck left us on Thursday morning at Churchill Downs, with overcast skies early and heavy rain later which resulted in the turf course workouts being cancelled. With only one day to go before the Breeders' Cup World Championships, this was was the last chance for horses in the Friday races to get one final gallop in over the track. There will be workouts on Friday morning also, but we are not going for those as there would be no time to work on them with the races that afternoon.

Rain started to fall around 9:30 just before the turf works were to begin, and track superintendent Butch Lehr cancelled the session. Several European horses were already on the main track waiting to enter, and when denied, heated arguments ensued between trainers John Gosden and Sir Michael Stoute, and Churchill's maintenance crew.

Here are photos for 35 of the horses on the track or schooling in the paddock. Click the small picture to see a larger version. There are a few repeats today, mostly for horses who were schooling yesterday who we saw on the track today. Thanks to Vanessa Ng for coming early to take photos before dawn!

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Drosselmeyer galloped before the rain arrived Thursday morning in preparation for the Classic. Last year’s Belmont Stakes winner is looking for only his second victory since that race for trainer Bill Mott.  
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Rattlesnake Bridge galloped 1 1/4 miles under Rob Massey at Churchill Downs Thursday in preparation for the Classic. He finished second behind Stay Thirsty in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga, will be ridden by Calvin Borel for the first time. “Hopefully, he’s last going into the first turn, saving ground under Calvin Borel,” said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. “That’s why we named (Borel) on him. So we hope that happens and he can work his way by a lot of them through the lane.”
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To Honor and Serve  galloped before the rain arrived Thursday morning and Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott seemed more than pleased with his progress since arriving here. “There appears to be two obvious speed horses in the (Classic), one being Uncle Mo and the other one being Mr. Baffert (Game On Dude). Those are the two fastest horses in the race. Hopefully they’ll set a pretty good pace and we’ll be able to get good trips and be in the right position.”
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Goldikova galloped in preparation for her attempted 4th Mile win. Trainer Freddy Head said, “Getting to (age) 6, of course, she is getting a bit lazier now, I would say, and she’s a bit heavier, too. That’s nature. But I think she has the same way. In the morning she does exactly what she used to do years ago. She’s got the same action and the same will to win. This morning when I saw her galloping, it was like two or three years ago, or like last year. She just wants to run, run, run.”
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Afleet Again galloped on the main track in preparation for the Marathon.
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Animal Spirits went out for a main track gallop Thursday morning. He goes next in the Juvenile Turf on Saturday.
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Camp Victory, entered in the Turf Sprint, was sent out to the main track for a maintenance gallop by trainer Mike Mitchell.
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Caracortado is listed as one of the favorites for the race at 4-1 in Mike Battaglia’s morning line for the Turf Sprint. Thursday morning he had an easy gallop on the main track at Churchill Downs with trainer and part owner Mike Machowsky looking on. “He’ll go easy (Friday), too,” the conditioner said. “He schooled (Wednesday) in the paddock during the afternoon and did it fine. We’re hoping for a clean trip.” Caracortado will start his journey from post 13 under regular rider Joe Talamo.
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Caspar Netscher had the services of jockey Richard Hughes Thursday morning when he did a steady canter out on the main track in preparation for the Juvenile Turf. “Richard said that he gave him a really nice feel this morning,” trainer Alan McCabe said.
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Cease galloped on the main track in preparation for the Marathon.
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Compliance Officer went out for a gallop on Thursday. He goes next in Saturday's Mile.
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Country Day went out for a gallop Thursday morning in preparation for the Turf Sprint.
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Excaper galloped 1 1/2 miles on Thursday with Greg Cox in the irons. "He's trained very well," said trainer Ian Black of his Juvenile Turf hope. "He's eating well and training well since he got here. He's in good order. If we break fine, I'd like to see us in a stalking position. Coming out of that post position, you can easily get shuffled back on the first turn or carried very wide if you don't run out of there a little bit." Regular rider Emma-Jayne Wilson will be aboard on Saturday.
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Fantastic Song went out for a routine morning gallop of 1 3/8 miles in preparation for the Juvenile Turf. “The colt definitely needs firm ground,” trainer Chad Brown said. “He didn’t run his “A” race in the Pilgrim. He still almost won, but it’s not his ‘A’ race. His ‘A’ race is the first time out in Saratoga when he came from dead last and won. I’m looking for the same type of trip here. I’m looking for a quicker pace and firm ground for him on Saturday.”
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Giant Oak  takes a second stab at the Breeders’ Cup Marathon after a fourth-place finish in last year’s edition. “He settled in here fine,” trainer Chris Block said.  “He’s been here plenty of times before. He’s doing real well.  He got here Monday and he’s galloped well Tuesday and Wednesday morning.  He galloped really strong this morning.  He’s coming into the race just the way I want him to. We didn’t learn a whole lot last year. He had a real wide trip and never got a chance to run his race.  I’m hoping this year to get a better trip.”
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Gio Ponti galloped 1 ½ m on Thursday morning under Christophe Lorieul and went to the paddock for schooling. “He was full of himself. Everything went extremely well,” said Lorieul, the long-time assistant to trainer Christophe Clement. “If the track is sloppy tomorrow we’ll probably just jog.” Clement will arrive on Friday to fine tune the final preparations for Gio Ponti’s final Breeders’ Cup race. In 2012, he will return to Castleton Lyons to stand at the farm where he was born and raised.
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Hansen has only two races under his belt and he has yet to win a Graded stake or run in a dirt race, but trainer Mike Maker is fully confident he will put in a big effort on Saturday. “He’s already won around two turns (Kentucky Cup Juvenile), but the competition is going to be greater (on Saturday),” Maker said. “He’s trained well on dirt the whole time, so we’re not really concerned about the surface change.”
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Her Smile will be looking for her second victory in nine starts this season when starting in the Sentient Jet Breeder’s Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Her only victory came in the Prioress at Belmont Park on Independence Day. “She’s very similar to (Sprint starter) Aikenite,” said trainer Todd Pletcher, following her Thursday morning gallop. “She needs a fast pace setup. She seems to really like this track, so we hope she can jump up.”
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Homecoming Queen  returned to the main track Thursday and cantered with her two stablemates, Up and Misty For Me.  “She has had a hard campaign but her last four efforts have been very progressive,” trainer Aidan O’Brien said. “She is tactically quick enough on the grass and she gets a mile well and she is tough at the end, but it is a finding out mission for us on the dirt.”
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Jackson Bend galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Carlos Correa at Churchill Downs Thursday morning in preparation for the Sprint. The son of Hear No Evil stretched out well enough to finish second in the Holy Bull, Fountain of Youth and Wood Memorial before checking in 12th in the 2009 Kentucky Derby. He finished third in the Preakness, but never could find the winner’s circle again. Jackson Bend was sent home to Ocala and rejoined former trainer Stanley Gold last winter before being shipped back to Zito in June. "We had to try something different. We got him back and he was doing great, we said, ‘Let’s just try this,’ and it worked." Jackson Bend won a pair of sprint stakes at Saratoga, including the Forego.
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Midday, 2009 Filly and Mare Turf winner, was out for a jog Thursday and takes on males in the Turf on Saturday. “She didn’t quite get to run her race last year,” Juddmonte’s racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said. “But she has bounced back. She’s had a very productive season again this year. She’s shown us that she still wants to do it. We couldn’t be happier the way she is. She travels well, her attitude is excellent. She’s just a charming and lovely filly to be around. Last year, the race had sort of a lack of pace. We know she stays the 1 1/2. She’s won two Grade 1’s over that (distance) in Europe, so that’s not going to be a problem. She travels well in these races and has got a turn of foot. This is a race well worth winning.”
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Miss Netta galloped 1 1/4 miles under exercise rider Rob Massey after schooling in the starting gate. The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained filly broke to the inside in the Frizette last time out and dropped back to sixth before closing to finish third. In her previous start, she debuted with a front-running score. “She can get a little goosey in there (starting gate) but she went right in, so everything’s gone well,” said McLaughlin.
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Misty for Me trotted one circuit of the main track Thursday morning before breaking into a steady canter ahead of her start in the Filly & Mare Turf.
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My Miss Aurelia, 5-2 morning line favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, has won all three of her career starts. “She’s done a lot of things right,” trainer Steve Asmussen said. “One turn versus two turns is another question she must answer. I do feel very comfortable that she’ll handle it. She spent a lot of time at Churchill in the spring, and trained quite forwardly here. She came out of the Frizette, came back here (Churchill), went back to the track and didn’t miss a beat.  Her confidence level is good.”
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Rocket Twentyone galloped on the main track in preparation for the Juvenile Fillies.
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Royal Bonnie galloped on the main track for trainer George Weaver. She goes next in the Juvenile Fillies Turf on Friday.
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Stately Victor, a longshot at 30-1 in the morning line in the Turf, has just one win and one third from seven lifetime turf starts, and he’s never performed over Saturday’s 1 1/2 mile distance, but trainer Mike Maker is encouraged by his recent performances. “In the Durham Cup (third on Oct. 2), he broke well for once, but was forced to steady a bit. He ran a decent race that day, and seems to have found a level of consistency lately. Mike (Smith) has gotten to know him. We think he’ll put in a good stretch run.”
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Sum of the Parts galloped 1 1/2m and schooled in the gate Thursday morning to finish up his fine tuning for Friday’s Juvenile Sprint. “Everything is ready,” trainer Tom Amoss said of the son of Speightstown, a colt he thinks will be in the mix if expected heavy favorite Secret Circle doesn’t bring his “A” game.
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Super Espresso galloped 1 1/4m on the main track Thursday morning. Trainer Todd Pletcher admitted that the 4yo daughter of Medaglia d’Oro would be something of a surprise should she prevail in the Ladies’ Classic. “It’s a tough race, and we’re taking a little bit of a shot. But she seems to be in good form and doing well and she’s happy. I would say she’s probably our longest shot of the two days.” Her last four starts have all come in top-level stakes, but her best finish was a second behind Ladies’ Classic contender Ask the Moon in the Ruffian Handicap.
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Tapizar  was thought to be a legitimate Triple Crown contender following a 10 1/2 length maiden victory at Churchill Downs last November and a 4 1/4 length win in the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita in January. Following a disappointing fifth-place run as the favorite in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes, he was found to have had a knee chip. He returned to action nearly eight months later, scoring an impressive Belmont allowance victory over Uptowncharleybrown and Boys At Tosconova, and is now ready to contest Saturday’s Dirt Mile.
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Tequila Factor who twice raced in $25,000 maiden claimers, does have two minor turf stakes wins on his resume, and drew into the Juvenile Turf when Gung Ho scratched. “If you get in the Breeders’ Cup with a post position, you have a chance,” trainer Wayne Catalano said. “Anything can happen. We saw it the other day in the Bourbon. He’ll have a little speed. He’ll be up there, so if the other ones find trouble in the back somehow and he kicks away, who knows what can happen?”
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Tres Borrachos galloped on the main track in preparation for the Dirt Mile.
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Up went to the main track and had a routine canter Thursday morning in preparation for the Juvenile Fillies Turf. “Up is a filly we have always liked,” trainer Aidan O’Brien said. “She was a bit disappointing on her first run so we gave her a break and she came back and won well (in a maiden race) at Dundalk.”
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Vexor galloped on the main track and walked through the paddock Thursday in preparation for the Juvenile Sprint on Friday.

Full info on all the Breeders' Cup races:

Friday: Juvenile Sprint   Juvenile Fillies Turf   F&M Sprint   Juvenile Fillies   F&M Turf   Ladies Classic  
Saturday: Marathon   Juvenile Turf   Turf Sprint   Dirt Mile   Juvenile   Mile   Sprint   Turf   Classic

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