Race of the Week 2017

Asmussen Drills Breeders' Cup Hopefuls

Unbeaten Grade I Frizette winner My Miss Aurelia led a parade of five Steve Asmussen-trained contenders for the Nov. 4-5 Breeders’ Cup World Championships who worked on Monday at Churchill Downs.

Stonestreet Stables and George Bolton’s 2-year-old daughter of Smart Strike breezed five furlongs over a fast track in 1:01.40.  Exercise rider Carlos Rosas was in the saddle as the candidate for the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) covered the distance fractional splits of :12.80, :24.80 and :36.80.  She galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.20 after a five-furlong move that ranked 17th among 60 at the distance.

“We’re extremely pleased with her,” said Asmussen.  “She’s been very special at every stage, and has looked the part and has come through.  Her talent was obvious, but the races that she’s run have shown another dimension.”

My Miss Aurelia has not run over the one-mile dirt oval at Churchill Downs, but she did train over the surface during the track’s Spring Meet.

Four other Asmussen trainees out of an expected seven-horse Breeders’ Cup contingent worked Monday beneath the Twin Spires.  The other workers were Dirt Mile (GI) contenders Tapizar and Wilburn; Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) hope Sabercat; and Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint contender SeekerCathy and Bob Zollars’ Juvenile Turf (GI) contender Daddy Nose Best worked Sunday and Vinery Stable’s Turf Sprint (GI) contender Regally Ready did not work this week after winning the Canadian Grade I Neartic at Woodbine on Oct. 16.

Asmussen said Kirk and Judy Robison’s She Digs Me is no longer being considered for the Juvenile Sprint and was not pre-entered for that race on Monday.

Ron Winchell’s Tapizar, winner of the Robert B. Lewis (GII) at Santa Anita, worked just after the mid-morning maintenance break and breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40, the sixth-fastest move of the day.

Rosas was up as the son of Tapit worked in fractions of :12, :35.60 and :48 and galloped out in 1:14.

Stonestreet Stable’s Wilburn, whose win in the Indiana Derby (GII) was his third consecutive triumph, worked five furlongs under Rosas in 1:00.80 prior to the break.

Wilburn completed his work in fractional times of :12.80, :24.20, :36.20 and :48.20, and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.20.  The move by the Bernardini colt was the eighth best of 60 at the distance.

Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC’s Sabercat worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 in company with stablemate Tritap.  Fractional times for the winner of Monmouth Park’s Garden State Stakes were :12.80, :24.60, :36.40 and :48.50.  The son of Bluegrass Cat finished on even terms with Tritap and galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.60.

Ron Winchell’s Seeker breezed five furlongs under jockey Julien Leparoux in 1:00.20.  The son of Hard Spun worked in company with stablemate Governor’s Bridge, starting the work about two lengths behind his workmate and finished up a length in front.

Fractional times were :24.60, :36.40 and :48 and Seeker galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.80.

With seven horses in its ranks, the Asmussen 2011 Breeders’ Cup team remains his largest to compete in the World Championships.  He saddled four horses in 2008 and a trio of starters in three other years.

“I’m happy with the group of them,” Asmussen said, “I feel that they’re very fresh, sound and happy at the right time.”



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