Breeders' Cup notes: Wonder Gadot 'loves this surface'

Press Release
October 25, 2018 02:40pm
Breeders' Cup notes: Wonder Gadot 'loves this surface'
Photo: Konrad Weeber/HRN

The final Breeders’ Cup contenders to breeze Thursday morning at Churchill Downs were trainer Mark Casse’s Dirt Mile contender Awesome Slew (four furlongs, :48) and Longines Distaff runner Wonder Gadot (four furlongs, :47).

“Both horses worked great this morning,” Casse said as he personally walked Wonder Gadot around his Barn 36 shedrow. “We’re ready to go.”

Awesome Slew breezed on the outside of stablemate Determinant (four furlongs, :48.40) through opening eighth-mile splits of :12.20 and :24, before galloping out five furlongs in 1:01, according to Nichols.

Wonder Gadot’s work, the fastest of 37 at the distance, began swiftly with opening fractions of :11.60 and :22.80, before a five-furlong gallop out in 1:01, according to Nichols.

“It’s interesting with Wonder Gadot’s pedigree how well she takes to this track,” Casse said. I’ve always said horses with a little polytrack or turf pedigree tend to do better over this dirt track than others. I think she absolutely loves this surface.”

FINLEY’SLUCKYCHARM READY TO GO – Carl R. Moore Management’s five-time graded-stakes winner Finley'sluckycharm completed her major preparation for the Nov. 3 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (GI) by working a half-mile in :47.80 over a fast track Thursday morning, the second-fastest of 37 horses at the distance.

With jockey
 Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard shortly before 6 a.m., Finley'sluckycharm reeled off fractions of :12, :24, :36 and :47.80, galloping out five-eighths in 1:00.40.

“That was her last work before the Breeders’ Cup,” said trainer
 Bret Calhoun, who won the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint here with Dubai Majesty. “I am happy to get that behind us.”

Thursday’s work was her fifth here since finishing seventh in the Ballerina (GI) at Saratoga Aug. 25.

“I feel better coming into this year’s Breeders’ Cup,” Calhoun said of
 Finley’sluckycharm, who finished ninth in last year’s running at Del Mar. “She had a long campaign last year and had lost some weight. This year we have spaced her races out more and she has actually gained weight.”

Last year,
 Finley’sluckycharm won the TCA (G2) at Keeneland four weeks before the Breeders’ Cup. This year, she will have 10 weeks between starts.

“She does better with space between races,” said Hernandez, who has ridden the 5-year-old mare in her past 14 starts. “Last year she ran at
 Keeneland and then had to ship to Del Mar. She seems to like it here and we have a fresh, happy horse.”

 is scheduled to sell at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale on Sunday, Nov. 4.

McCARTHY CONTIGENT READY FOR FINAL BREEZES – While many Breeders’ Cup contenders have yet to ship to Churchill Downs, several new arrivals have settled in to the Churchill Downs backstretch including trainer Michael McCarthy’s quintet of runners: Axelrod (Classic), City of Light (Dirt Mile/Classic), Liam the Charmer (Turf), Paved (Filly & Mare Turf) and Vibrance (Juvenile Fillies).

“It’s a little bit colder than California here in Kentucky,” McCarthy joked. “It could be worse. The horses shipped in fine and have done well on their first two days over the track.”

McCarthy could breeze Axelrod, City of Light and Vibrance on Saturday while Liam the Charmer and Paved are tentatively scheduled to work Sunday over the turf.


ADDITIONAL LOCALLY BASED BREEDERS’ CUP CONTENDER NEWS – Approximately 23 European contenders for the Breeders’ Cup are tentatively scheduled to arrive Friday evening at Churchill Downs. The Qatar Airways flight, that includes superstar mare Enable, the likely favorite for the Longines Turf (GI), is expected to land at 8:50 p.m. The horses will quarantine for 42 hours in Barn 48 and could train Monday. A second-wave of European contenders is tentatively scheduled to land Saturday at 1:45 p.m. The final flight of European contenders is expected to arrive Monday, said Churchill Downs Director of the Stable Area Steve Hargrave.


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