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Breeders' Cup 2017

Plans Set for Alpha, Emcee, It's Tricky, and Questing

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin reported Sunday morning that Emcee, who registered Godolphin Racing’s fourth Grade 1 win at Saratoga this summer when he captured yesterday’s Forego, emerged from the race in fine fettle. The 4-year-old Unbridled’s Song colt will either run in the Grade 1 Vosburgh Invitational on Super Saturday, September 29 at Belmont Park, or train up to the Breeders’ Cup on November 3 at Santa Anita Park, McLaughlin said.

 

“Emcee came out of his race great,” McLaughlin said. “I’m very pleased with the way Alan [Garcia] rode him. The setup was great. When Shackleford didn’t run, it was just follow [ Pacific Ocean ], and it worked out perfectly for us.

 

“Looking back at the [Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap, in which Emcee finished third on August 5], we went early because we were in the two hole and Shackleford was in the one hole. We thought we had to beat him. So, [the plan was] break and go. Going to the Breeders’ Cup, if we go in the Sprint, they’re most likely going to go 21 and 43 anyway, so we’ll be laying off of them.”

 

McLaughlin said the six-furlong Breeders’ Cup Sprint was the probable choice for Emcee, though the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile also would be considered.

 

“Most likely [we would look at the Sprint],” McLaughlin said. “I just sent an email to Simon [Crisford, Godolphin racing manager] that we have to discuss.  The difference is that the mile is two turns at Santa Anita. If it was one turn, like at Belmont , we’d be talking more about it, but thinking about two turns, it changes a lot. We’re probably better sprinting. It’s just that [in the mile] we’d probably be on the lead, and is that where we want to be?”

 

The matter of a final prep for the Breeders’ Cup is also up in the air.

 

“The Vosburgh is a question mark,” McLaughlin said. “That’s another thing I’m going to talk to Simon about. Because he did run back in four weeks here, and he had a little gap before that, but we could do either. He’ll stay here, [to train at] Greentree.”

 

McLaughlin also confirmed plans for Godolphin’s other stakes runners, all of whom are scheduled for fall races ahead of the Breeders’ Cup. Alpha, winner of the Grade 2 Jim Dandy and co-winner with Golden Ticket in last weekend’s Grade 1 Travers dead heat, will head next to Parx Racing for the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby on September 22. Questing, who annexed the Grade 1 TVG Coaching Club American Oaks and Grade 1 Alabama this Spa season, will run in the Grade 1 Cotillion at Parx on the same day. It’s Tricky will join Emcee at Belmont Park on Super Saturday for a start in the Grade 1, $400,000 Beldame Invitational at 1 1/8 miles. While Alpha is scheduled for a start in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Breeders’ Cup races for the fillies remain in flux, as McLaughlin would like to keep them separate at year’s end.

 

“It’s Tricky will run in the Beldame, and then we have to talk about seven-eighths [in the Filly and Mare Sprint] or the [1 1/8-mile Ladies Classic] because of Questing,” reasoned

McLaughlin. “We’ll see how she does. If [Questing] wins impressively again, it might alter It’s Tricky’s course. We’ll see; we have races still to go.”

 

 

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