Updated on 09/16/2011 8:29AM

BC Countdown - Classic: Sitting chilly for the Classic

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Evening Attire arrived at Arlington Wednesday, becoming the second Classic horse to stable there.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Bundled up against the cold with a down jacket and warm mittens, trainer Patrick Kelly looked well-prepared Wednesday for this year's Breeders' Cup Thoroughbred Championships on Oct. 26 here at Arlington Park. After all, the forecast was for rain and light snow on Thursday night and into Friday morning, with a high of 41 on Thursday. Brrrrr.

Kelly is hoping his attention to detail pays off not only in continued good personal health, but also a victory in the day's richest race. He sent Evening Attire, the winner of the Jockey Club Gold Cup, on an overnight van ride from Belmont Park, and the horse arrived in the wee hours Wednesday morning in order to get in more than a week's worth of preparation here for the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic.

Most horses competing in this year's eight Breeders' Cup races are not going to arrive at Arlington Park until next week. Evening Attire's arrival brought to exactly two - Macho Uno is the other - the number of Classic runners on the grounds. Considering the weather forecast for the next few days, it's appropriate that both are gray.

"I sent him early because I want him to get used to everything," Kelly said. "There's quite a lot of money involved. I hope he enjoys Chicago as much as New York."

This will be the 19th Breeders' Cup, but the first held at Arlington Park, the spectacular modern facility in the northwest Chicago suburbs. Pre-entries for all eight races were due to be announced on Thursday. Post positions for the races will be drawn next Wednesday. Top horses from across the United States and Europe are scheduled to compete, with Eclipse Award championships to be decided in most every division.

Only a handful of Breeders' Cup runners are already on the grounds, including last year's 3-year-old filly champion Xtra Heat and the Patrick Biancone-trained 2-year-old colts Whywhywhy and Zavata. Evening Attire and his Kelly-trained stablemate Riskaverse, a filly who was to be pre-entered in the $1 million Filly and Mare Turf, have a whole shed row of Barn 16 to themselves - for now.

"She got in at 7 o'clock last night from Keeneland, and he got in at 4:30 this morning," Kelly said Wednesday morning. "He had a good trip. He left New York around 11 yesterday morning. His groom went with him. He had a mattress and a chair. It's not exactly a glamorous part of the deal. There were two drivers who took turns driving. They made a few stops."

Because of the all-nighter, Kelly planned on giving Evening Attire an easy couple of days here before resuming serious training.

"He's going to rest mostly today," Kelly said. "He'll jog tomorrow, gallop over the weekend, then have a work the first part of next week."

Macho Uno, who worked on Monday, returned to the track on a bright, crisp Wednesday morning after a day of leisure Tuesday. Although he is coming off a poor performance in the Washington Park Handicap, his handlers believe he has progressed since that race, and can bounce back in the Classic.

"As poorly as he ran in that race, he's been a different horse since," said Russell Derderian, the lead assistant to trainer Joe Orseno. "He's been real good since then. We lost time with him after the Whitney, and he just wasn't that keen going into the Washington Park. He ran poorly, and I basically thought, 'This is it.' But he's doing well now. I'm happy. Joe's happy. It's still a long way to go, but if the race was tomorrow, I'd be real happy."

Derderian said Macho Uno would have another work either Sunday or Monday.

"We're not going to lean on him," he said. "I mean, if you're not in condition by now, there's not a lot you can do. He doesn't need a lot. He's not a heavy horse. He's not a big, robust horse. Joe would rather have him happy than keep leaning on him."

There were several Classic developments on other fronts on Wednesday:

- In California, Came Home, the winner of the Pacific Classic, breezed five furlongs in 1:02 at Santa Anita with jockey Mike Smith. "He looks very good right now," trainer Paco Gonzalez said. "I wish we could run at Santa Anita. He's going to ship Wednesday, three days before the race."

- Trainer Aidan O'Brien, reached at his Ballydoyle training center in Ireland, said he was going to pre-enter both Hawk Wing and Rock of Gibraltar in the Classic. O'Brien said Rock of Gibraltar was scheduled to have a workout in Ireland on Saturday, and that all of his Breeders' Cup runners would be flown to the United States on Monday or Tuesday.

O'Brien said if both horses go in the Classic, jockey Mick Kinane would have his choice of the two, though it seems a certainty Kinane would stick with Rock of Gibraltar. As for a rider for Hawk Wing, should both go in the Classic, O'Brien said, "I'm not sure. There are plenty of options."

Rock of Gibraltar never has raced on dirt, nor at 1 1/4 miles, but O'Brien is confident Europe's top-ranked miler can adapt, much as Giant's Causeway did two years ago. "We always felt he could get a mile and a quarter," O'Brien said. "He handles fast ground. I am confident he would run well if he runs in the Classic."

- Trainer Todd Pletcher is thrilled with the progress Harlan's Holiday has made since his third-place finish in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. "Other than worrying about the rain, he's had a perfect schedule," Pletcher said from Belmont Park. "He's training dynamite. I couldn't be happier with him. I plan to work him again Sunday, if the weather cooperates."