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Workforce team get frosty reception

The temperature dropped sharply here today, with a forecast that it will be close to freezing when the 2010 Breeders' Cup opens tomorrow, and there was little sign of a thaw either in the battle of wills between the connections of Workforce and track officials over the condition of the turf course at Churchill Downs.

Butch Lehr, Churchill's track superintendent, was quoted yesterday as suggesting that "some" European trainers were guilty of "a bit of arrogance" over their wish to see more water put on to the turf track, which is officially described as "firm". However, the track has maintained a policy of watering for just 10 minutes at midnight all week, and shows no sign of adjusting its plans in the face of threats that Workforce, the hot favourite for the Breeders' Cup Turf, could be scratched.

Sir Michael Stoute, Workforce's trainer, is also believed to be seeking a meeting with Dr Mick Petersen, one of the world's foremost experts on racing surfaces and a consultant to Churchill Downs, to air his concerns about the going.

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