Pletcher Runners Training Well Ahead of Breeders' Cup

Pletcher Runners Training Well Ahead of Breeders' Cup
Photo: NYRA

A week before the first day of the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland, trainer Todd Pletcher expressed confidence in the 11 horses he has pre-entered to the event. All have been training at Keeneland for several weeks.

“I feel really, really good about the way the horses are training,” he said. “Over the last two days, we’ve seen the kind of works you’d like to see coming into big races: Horses finishing well, galloping out strongly, cooling out quickly, staying in the feed tub – all those little signs that you’re looking for. Right now I couldn’t be more pleased with all of them.”

On Thursday, Pletcher sent out Azar (Juvenile Turf-G1), Curalina (Longines Distaff-G1), Got Lucky (Distaff), Liam’s Map (Las Vegas Dirt Mile-G1) and Thrilled (Juvenile Fillies Turf-G1) for their final breezes. On Friday, his workers were Dame Dorothy (Filly & Mare Sprint-G1), Mshawish (Mile-G1), Rachel’s Valentina (14 Hands Winery Juvenile Fillies-G1), Red Rifle (Longines Turf-G1) and Sweet Whiskey (Filly & Mare Sprint).

In darkness, Pletcher worked a quartet of horses four furlongs each:

Dame Dorothy was clocked in :49, following fractions of :13.20 and :25.60. She had out times of 1:02.60 and 1:15.40.

Mshawish covered the distance in :47.80. Clockers caught him in fractions of :13.20, :25.80, :47.80 and out in 1:01 and 1:14.20.

The time for Red Rifle was :49 after fractions of :12.80, :25.80 with out times of 1:02 and 1:14.60.

Sweet Whiskey also was clocked in :49.

After the renovation break, Rachel’s Valentina worked in company with stablemate Ransack and was well ahead of him after breezing five furlongs in 1:00.80. Clockers caught her in fractions of :37.20, 1:00.80 and out in 1:13.20 and 1:28.20.

The final member of the Pletcher Breeders’ Cup contingent, Stopchargingmaria (Distaff), is to work Saturday.



Lael Stables’ Ageless will not run in next Saturday’s $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1), according to trainer Arnaud Delacour.

“We are not going to make it,” Delacour said of the mare, who sustained a deep cut below her left hock in winning the Buffalo Trace Franklin County on Oct. 9. “I wish we had another two weeks, but you can’t go into a Grade 1 race half ready. It is just bad timing, but that’s racing.”

Ageless, fourth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, is scheduled to return to Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland on Sunday. No decision has been made on the 6-year-old mare’s racing future.

“There is no rush to make a decision,” Delacour said. “Everything looks good now, and we expect she will make a full recovery. Then we will just take it one race at a time.”


G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s Frivolous showed her readiness for next Friday’s $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) by working five furlongs in :59.80 after the morning renovation break.

With trainer Vicki Oliver aboard, Frivolous recorded fractions of :12.60, :24.20, :35.80, :59.80 and galloped out in 1:13.40. It was the second work for Frivolous since finishing fourth in the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) on Oct. 4.

“The hard work is done and now we have to get the real job done,” Oliver said. “She was sensational this morning, and I thought her work last week (a half-mile in :47.80) was super. She’s a big, strong mare and does better with a solid work a week out. She’s a good doer and she never backs off her feed.” …

Budget Stable’s Dressed in Hermes (Juvenile Turf-G1) worked a half-mile after the break on the main track in :46.20. Trained by Janet Armstrong, Dressed in Hermes posted fractions of :22.80 and :34.80. …

Defending Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) champion Bobby’s Kitten worked a half-mile in :47.80 on the dirt for trainer Chad Brown. Fractions were :12, :24.20, :47.80 and out five-eighths in 1:00.40 and three-quarters in 1:15.20. Ken and Sarah Ramsey own and bred Bobby’s Kitten. …

Another Ramsey horse, Sapphire Kitten (Juvenile Fillies Turf-G1) worked a half-mile on the turf at Churchill Downs in :51.80 with trainer Joe Sharp aboard. Runner-up in the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3), Sapphire Kitten posted fractions of :13.80, :27, :51.80 and galloped out five-eighths in 1:07. …

Also working on the grass at Churchill was Midwest Thoroughbreds’ The Pizza Man (Longines Turf-G1), who covered five furlongs in 1:04. Runner-up in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) in his most recent start, The Pizza Man posted fractions of :13, :39, :51.60, 1:04 and out six furlongs in 1:19.40 under jockey Florent Geroux for trainer Roger Brueggemann. …

Robert Masterson’s Tepin and John Oxley’s Airoforce, Mark Casse trainees who won opening weekend stakes at Keeneland, put in their final major Breeders’ Cup preps Friday morning at Churchill Downs with Julien Leparoux aboard both runners.

Tepin, winner of the First Lady (G1) and pre-entered in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), worked a half-mile in :49.80. Fractions were :12.80, :25.20, :49.80 and out five-eighths in 1:02.60.

Dixiana Bourbon (G3) winner Airoforce (Juvenile Turf) worked a half-mile in company with Souper Awesome in :48.40. Fractions were :12.60, :24, :36.40, :48.40 and out five-eighths in 1:01.60 and three-quarters in 1:15.60.

Two other Casse Breeders’ Cup pre-entrants that ran here opening weekend worked half-miles in company with Shaun Bridgmohan on both. Conquest Big E (Juvenile-G1) was timed in :48.40 with an opening split of :24.40 and out times of 1:01.80 and 1:15.80. Siding Spring (Juvenile Turf) covered his half in :47.60 with an opening quarter of :24.80 and a six-furlong out time of 1:13.20.


Corey Lanerie rode two winners Thursday to boost his lead over Julien Leparoux to 20-16 in the race for leading rider with two days remaining in the 17-day Fall Meet. Lanerie is named on six mounts this afternoon and Leparoux seven.

Mark Casse retains a three-win lead in the chase for leading trainer with nine victories so far. Kenny McPeek, Chris Richard and Wesley Ward are next with six. Casse has won one training title here, that coming in the 2014 Spring Meet.

The race for leading owner remains tied with five wins each for Maggi Moss, John C. Oxley and Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey.

Source: Keeneland Association

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