Multiple graded stakes winner Willcox Inn, pre-entered
in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) next Saturday, worked
Saturday for the second time since his runner-up finish to Wise Dan
in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) on October 6. With assistant Hilary
Pridham aboard for trainer Mike Stidham, the colt worked five furlongs
in 1:00.80 in company with Every Way, a 2-year-old City Zip filly who was third in the Mazarine (G3) at Woodbine on October 6.
Clockers caught Willcox Inn in splits of :12.60, :24.20, :35.80, :48.20, 1:00.80 and out six furlongs in 1:14.80.
“The work went just like what we had planned,” Stidham said. “Sit off
of her and then come to her down the lane. He inched by her in the last
part. We weren’t looking for anything too serious because he’s a fit
horse, but that work was just what I was looking for.”
Stidham said James Graham will ride Willcox Inn in the Mile in which
he will face Wise Dan and other rivals, including 2011 Kentucky Derby
(G1) winner Animal Kingdom.
“Our horse traditionally – especially going a mile when there’s going
to be pace in front of us – he’ll be sitting back,” Stidham said. “I’m
not sure how far back, depending on how fast they’re going up front.
He’s always got a really good kick like he showed in the Shadwell. We’re
just hoping the kick that he has is good enough.”
Stidham said Willcox Inn, a 4-year-old Harlan’s Holiday colt who
races for Lael Stables and All In Stable, will ship to California on
Another Breeders’ Cup pre-entrant to work on Saturday was James Covello’s Oscar Party,
fourth just beaten a neck in the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3) on
October 11. The 2-year-old Dixie Union filly worked five furlongs in
1:00.60 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.80 under jockey Kent
Desormeaux for trainer Wayne Catalano.
“She was out in the middle of the track and she was just flying out
there,”’ Catalano said of Oscar Party, who is scheduled to leave Tuesday
for a run in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) on
Friday. Desormeaux, who has ridden the filly in her past two starts,
retains the mount.