Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has saddled a
record 18 Breeders’ Cup winners and compiled a record $20,005,520 in
earnings at the World Championships and Monday morning he sent out his
two hopefuls for the 28th edition of the races.
Working first with jockey Robby Albarado aboard shortly after 6 o’clock was Bluegrass Hall’s homebred Optimizer, who covered five furlongs in 1:01.
Working in company with Conway, Optimizer started
two lengths back and finished four lengths in front while compiling
fractions of :12.60, :36.60 and out six furlongs in 1:16. The
five-eighths time was the 11th fastest of 60 at the distance.
Albarado came out in the next set on Barry Butzow and Westrock Stables’ Hamazing Destiny, who worked a bullet half-mile in :46.20 on his own. Fractions for the move were :11.40, :22.80 and out five furlongs in 1:01.
“Both of them worked well,” Lukas said. “I was pleased with both.”
Hamazing Destiny ran second in the Grade I Sentient Breeders’ Cup Sprint here last year.
“He is doing as well as he can be and he is coming up to the race great,” Lukas said. “He has an affinity for this track.”
Lukas said that Optimizer would be pre-entered in the Grey Goose
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI), which would mark the English Channel colt’s
debut on dirt.
“All of his races have been two turns,” Lukas said of Optimizer, who
broke his maiden at first asking on turf at Saratoga and then ran second
in the With Anticipation (GII) on turf before a third-place finish on
Polytrack in the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (GI) at Keeneland. “He’s
running on the dirt. The (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile) Turf was not