Updated on 09/16/2011 8:31AM

BC Countdown - Classic: All roads lead to Arlington

Breeders' Cup Turf hopeful Golan (left) and Filly and Mare candidate Islington (center), both in from Europe, test the Arlington track.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Think you're anxious to see the Breeders' Cup? You've got nothing on Paco Gonzalez.

The trainer of Came Home usually gets to his barn at Santa Anita around 3:30 or 3:45 every morning and arises without need of an alarm clock. On Tuesday, Came Home was scheduled to work for Saturday's $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Arlington Park. It was to be the last work for the last race of his career.

"I couldn't sleep," Gonzalez said from his barn. "I got here at five minutes after 3."

A few hours later, Came Home breezed a half-mile in 47.60 seconds under exercise rider Danny Benitez. It was the fourth fastest of 39 works at the distance and another in a series of strong drills for Came Home.

"He's doing great," Gonzalez said. "If he doesn't run well, I won't know why. He hasn't missed one day since the Pacific Classic. He's happy."

Two others Classic runners - the longshots E Dubai and Perfect Drift - also worked on Tuesday. Like Came Home, they have done their serious training at their home bases and will arrive here just days before the race.

Came Home was scheduled to be flown to Arlington on Wednesday. As usual, Gonzalez was going to be at his side. Trainer Bob Baffert's Breeders' Cup runners were also scheduled to make the flight, among them War Emblem, who will face Came Home in the Classic. They were scheduled to leave Ontario, Calif., at 5 a.m., and arrive at Arlington's stable area around noon.

A large number of horses arrived Monday afternoon and Tuesday as the Arlington stable area began to fill up with the international runners who will compete in the 19th Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.

Trainer Bobby Frankel's runners, including his Classic duo of Medaglia d'Oro and Milwaukee Brew, got here from New York on Monday afternoon. Around noon Tuesday, a large shipment arrived from California, including Azeri, the favorite for the $2 million Distaff. A group of European runners arrived on Monday, and then late Tuesday trainer Aidan O'Brien's contingent arrived from Ireland. Included in that group were Hawk Wing and Rock of Gibraltar, who were pre-entered in both the Classic and the $1 million Mile.

The forecast for the week is encouraging - cold, but dry. An overcast, chilly morning gave way to blue skies and a high of 53 on Tuesday. It was expected to be cloudy, with highs ranging from 47 to 55, from Wednesday through Friday. Saturday's forecast is for partly cloudy skies, and a high of 56 degrees. According to the National Weather Service, it will dip into the 30's every night.

Even though as of Tuesday there was no rain in the forecast, Arlington's main track was bladed and sealed after training hours Tuesday. It might bear watching to see if the track suddenly becomes speedier this week. Arlington Park is owned by Churchill Downs Inc., whose flagship track has a history getting significantly faster as Kentucky Derby Day approaches.

Perfect Drift, who finished third in the Kentucky Derby, finally got in his final workout on Tuesday. It was delayed from Saturday because of a minor bruise to his left front foot. At the Trackside training center in Louisville, Ky., Perfect Drift breezed five furlongs in 1:02.60 with jockey Joe Deegan.

"The work is pretty much self-explanatory. We were just making sure he was hitting the ground okay," trainer Murray Johnson said.

Johnson said the bruise that surfaced late last week had disappeared. "He's been off medication for 48 hours," Johnson said. "It was just a tiny thing that the blacksmith cut out. There was a little fluid that came out, and then we soaked it real good. It's all behind us."

Perfect Drift was scheduled to be sent by van to Arlington on Wednesday.

The last Classic runner who will arrive here is E Dubai, who is scheduled to travel from New York on Thursday. He worked six furlongs at Belmont Park on Tuesday in 1:16.02 with Jorge Chavez, who will ride E Dubai in the Classic.

E Dubai has not raced since July 6 because of a badly bruised foot.

"He missed most of his time during August," said Tom Albertrani, who handles the Godolphin Racing string in New York. "We thought he had a chance to make this race, but those types of injuries can always re-occur. He just needed time to get over it. You've got to be patient until the frog toughens. It's painful. You can't speed things."

Albertrani said E Dubai has trained well in recent weeks, but added, "If I had another week, I'd feel better about it."

"We're hoping he's tight enough. He's doing really good, but he hasn't run in three months," Albertrani said.

Saeed bin Suroor, the primary trainer for Godolphin, arrived from Newmarket, England, in time to watch E Dubai's work at Belmont.

"He missed time, but still it looks to me like the horse is in good form, he's fresh and healthy," Suroor said. "I think he has a chance to run a good race."

Suroor is on an international odyssey. He is leaving after the races Saturday night to go to Australia, where he has three runners in the upcoming Melbourne Cup.

- additional reporting by David Grening and Marty McGee