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Breeders' Cup 2017

Breeders' Cup Remains Goal for Trappe Shot

Trappe Shot, fourth as the even-money favorite in Saturday's Vosburgh Invitational, was doing fine Sunday morning, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin reported.

"He came out of the race in good shape, just unlucky," McLaughlin said. "He's had unlucky weather twice now. In his last two races, the track was muddy and it appears that speed was just not backing up in our race yesterday. It was just a strange track and scenario. Giant Ryan didn't look like he would be the one to be on the lead. We didn't dislike the track, it's just that the first two went and they didn't back up. It would have been nice if it had rained in the afternoon - we really like it wet, but [yesterday] it was just kind of in between."

McLaughlin said that the Breeders' Cup was certainly still on Trappe Shot's agenda with a decision to be made on whether to run the 4-year-old son of Tapit in the Dirt Mile or the six-furlong Sprint.

"We will regroup and look at November 5, Mile or Sprint. We're not sure," McLaughlin said. "The reason that we're talking so much about the mile is the post position doesn't matter in the mile, but drawing 1-2 in the six-furlong race is a disadvantage. Uncle Mo is obviously probably the best miler and if he goes to the Classic, as Mike Repole said he wants to do, then that opens up the mile a little bit. We'll just have to see."

Campaigned by Nicholas Brady's Mill House, Trappe Shot has enjoyed success since turned back in distance for 2011 with a record of 2-1-0 from four starts, all at six furlongs. Given time off after a ninth-place finish in last year's Grade 1 Travers, Trappe Shot made a winning 4-year-old debut in the Waldoboro overnight stakes at Belmont in May, then won the Grade 2 True North Handicap presented by Emirates Airline on Belmont Stakes Day. On August 7 at Saratoga, he was unable to catch front-running Sean Avery in the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap, losing by a nose.

McLaughlin added that It's Tricky, winner of a pair of Grade 1 races in New York this summer - the TVG Acorn at Belmont in June and TVG Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga in July - returned from her runner-up effort to Plum Pretty in the Grade 2 Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing on Saturday in fine fettle and also is likely Breeders' Cup bound.

"The track at Parx was wet, drying out, but it was wet and speed favoring a little bit, but we were second best," McLaughlin said of the Godolphin color-bearer. "Bob Baffert's filly ran huge. I do think it was a funny track though and [Plum Pretty] liked it and ran a huge race. We'll talk about pointing for the Breeders' Cup and just see what's going on with all of the competition. You know, if Havre de Grace goes to the Classic, and you don't know what happened with Blind Luck...it could turn out to be a 3-year-old filly race. So, we'll just have to see, but we will definitely talk about it, there are no other options, it's either the Breeders' Cup or just sit on her for awhile."

Finally, McLaughlin revealed that Darley Stable's impressive maiden winner Alpha, set to make his second start in Saturday's Grade 1, $300,000 Champagne, would likely turn in his final timed work for the race over Belmont's training track on Monday morning.

"He went out this morning, but he didn't work," McLaughlin said of the Bernardini colt, who was originally scheduled to have his final breeze for the Champagne on Sunday. "He's doing fine, he just needs to work. It's a drying out day, the problem is, it rains at night and we're up against it a little bit."

McLaughlin said he had contemplated working the colt at Aqueduct, or perhaps even taking him to Saratoga's Greentree Training Center for a breeze over the all-weather surface there, but ultimately opted to stay home.



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