Classic Bound Keen Ice Heads 2016 Breeders' Cup Works at Belmont

HorseRacingNation.com
October 29, 2016 10:30am

Keen Ice clocked five furlongs in 1:00.85 on the Belmont Park training track Saturday morning in his last work before the Grade 1, $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic on Saturday, November 5 at Santa Anita Park.


The 2015 Grade 1 Travers winner, Keen Ice finished third last out against allowance company at Belmont in his first North American start since back-to-back races at Meydan Racecourse in March.


"It's what we've come to expect, the further he goes, the stronger he gets," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "I thought it was a good, solid work. We got what we were hoping for from a fitness standpoint. We'll go into it with a fresh, fit horse. Now, we need a good pace in the race and a good setup for him."


Curalina could be targeting the $2 million Longines Distaff, said Pletcher, who added that he has been talking to Aron Wellman, the president of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, about the 4-year-old chestnut filly, who is also pre-entered for the Filly & Mare Sprint.


"We have not made a final decision yet," Pletcher said. "The conversations I've had with them leading up to today have been leaning towards the Distaff. As well as she worked this morning, I'd imagine we're still leaning that way. We haven't made a final decision yet."


Curalina, who won the Grade 1 La Troienne on May 6 and the Grade 3 Shuvee on July 31, is coming off a runner-up effort last out in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign on August 27 at Saratoga Race Course.


On Saturday, Curalina breezed five furlongs in 1:01.20 over the training track. Curalina is scheduled to depart for California Sunday along with stablemates J.S. Choice and Made You Look.


"She was very good again this morning, I thought it was an exceptional work," Pletcher said. "She seems to be in good form, she's happy and galloped out great."


J.S. Choice and Made You Look worked in company, going four furlongs in 49.78 seconds on the inner turf, rated as good.


J.S. Choice, for KRA Stud Farm, broke his maiden on September 5 at Saratoga and came in second in his stakes debut in the Grade 3 Pilgrim on October at 1 Belmont. He is targeting the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf on Friday, November 4.


Made You Look, Pletcher's other pre-entrant in the race, is 2-1-0 in three career starts, including two straight wins that encompassed a win in his stakes debut in the Grade 2 With Anticipation on August 31 at Saratoga.


"They did it in hand easily and seemed to handle the turf course great, considering it had a big cut to it," Pletcher said of Saturday's breeze. "It didn't seem to bother them."


Theory breezed 49.49 seconds in company with Ready Dancer on the training track, his last work before the Grade 1, $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile. The 2-year-old colt, for China Horse Club and WinStar Farm, is 2-for-2 in his career after winning the Grade 3 Futurity on October 15 at Belmont.


"It's what we were hoping and expecting they would do," Pletcher said.


Syndergaard, who is also set to run in the Juvenile, looked sharp breezing five furlongs solo on the training track in 1:00.80. Syndergaard won his first two career races at Saratoga before finishing just a nose behind Practical Joke in the Grade 1 Champagne on October 8.


"He started off easy, finished up strong and galloped out great," said Pletcher. "I thought it was an excellent work. We put him in company last week and he worked fine. But he's willing on his own, so I didn't think he needed company to get a solid work out of him. He did plenty on his own."


Sweet Loretta also worked by herself, registering a 48.88-second half-mile breezeas she readies for the Grade 1, $2 million 14 Hands Winery Juvenile Fillies.


Pre-entered in both the $2 million Filly & Mare Turf and the $2 million Mile, Photo Call worked four furlongs in 49.12 seconds ahead of her expected start in the Mile.
 
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Trainer Chad Brown was well-represented on the worktab Saturday morning at Belmont Park as a slew of his Breeders' Cup contenders hit the track to turn in their final breezes for their respective championship assignments next weekend, led by a four-furlong bullet breeze from 2015 Filly & Mare Sprint winner Wavell Avenue.


In her final work before her title defense on Saturday, the 5-year-old Harlington mare earned an official half-mile time of 47.00 seconds on the main track, the fastest of 40 at the distance.


"It was one of her better breezes of the entire year, I thought," said Brown. "It was a normal maintenance work. She went a little quick, but I'll tell you, the way she did it was absolutely effortless. She was under a strong hold the whole way. She looks like she's coming into this race very well."


Joining Wavell Avenue in this year's Filly & Mare Sprint, Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America winner Irish Jasper breezed four furlongs in 49.09 in company with 2-year-old maiden winner You're to Blame.


Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence's two-time Grade 1 hero Practical Joke turned in his ultimate move for the $2 million Sentient Jet Juvenile. Winner of the Hopeful and Champagne this fall, the Into Mischief colt breezed five furlongs in 1:01.44 in company with 2-year-old filly Devine Union.


"He worked a very good, very steady five-eighths," Brown said. "It was a very good work and he galloped out extremely well. I'm looking forward to getting this horse around two turns."


A Lot breezed four furlongs in company in 49.55, wrapping up his major preparations for the $1 million Turf Sprint, contested over Santa Anita's unique downhill turf chute.


"He breezed well, it was just what I was looking for," Brown said of A Lot. "He worked a good half and galloped out a very strong five-eighths. He's coming into this race fresh. Coming down the hill is always a question mark for us. The horse hasn't done it before, but he's giving me the feeling that he's custom-made for it.


Later, Favorable Outcome stretched his legs out over the good inner turf in preparation for his grass debut in the $1 million Juvenile Turf. Third to Practical Joke in the Champagne last time out, Favorable Outcome worked in company with Grade 3 Bourbon runner-up Ticonderoga, also on tap for the Juvenile Turf, breezing five furlongs with dogs up in 1:03.12.


Juvenile Fillies Turf hopefuls New Money Honey and Rymska, the respective 1-2 finishers of the Grade 3 Miss Grillo on October 2, also breezed five furlongs in company on the inner turf, covering the distance in 1:02.15.


"Those works were just what I wanted," said Brown. "They worked steady, each team stayed together. I was looking for the way they were moving more than anything and all four horses went extremely well."


Brown noted that final work plans for the remainder of his Breeders' Cup contingent, including expected heavyweights Lady Eli ($2 million Filly & Mare Turf) and Flintshire ($4 million Turf), are still to be decided.
 
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Visiting the main track Thursday morning, China Horse Club's Grade 1 Frizette winner Yellow Agate continued her preparations towards the 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies under the watchful eye of trainer Christophe Clement. Undefeated in two career starts, the daughter of Gemologist breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 over the main track Thursday morning.


"She came out of her work in good shape," said Clement. "She's due to leave [Sunday] morning. She has tactical speed so [Manny] Franco can do anything he wants with her. If he has to use her early to get position or take her off the pace, it shouldn't be a problem. She's doing well so it's exciting."


Rounding out Clement's Breeders' Cup contingent is Lull, pre-entered for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, and Pure Sensation, taking aim at the $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.


Working Wednesday on the main track, Lull completed a five-furlongs in 1:02.48. The daughter of War Front, she will look to rebound cutting back in distance following a second-place finish on October 12 at Keeneland in the Grade 3 Jessamine Stakes.


"The Jessamine was pushing it a little bit, but she's very fit and loves firm turf and going a mile," added Clement. "She's a beautiful mover. It's going to be exciting to see."


Lastly, 5-year-old gelding Pure Sensation will look to win his fourth consecutive race heading to the Turf Sprint. Scheduled to leave for California Tuesday morning, Clement was hopeful to keep his streak going despite facing new conditions out west.


"He's a nice horse" added Clement. "I'm not sure he's just been on a roll lately, but he's been winning so it's been good. He'll face some new challenges in California, going 6 ½ furlongs down the hill, but he's doing well so we'll see."


Source: NYRA

 

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