Updated on 09/15/2011 2:16PM

BC Workout Report: Starine impresses subtly


ELMONT, N.Y. - The frost was on the turf course as well as the pumpkins when dawn broke at Belmont Park on Friday, closing the inner course for training and altering plans for a couple of horses originally scheduled to work on the grass. For the second straight morning, the temperature remained in the 40's during training hours although the wind was not as blustery as the previous day.

It was basically a Godolphin morning with four of the five Breeders' Cup workers sporting their blue and white silks, including Classic pre-entrants Fantastic Light and Sahkee. Mile hopefuls Express Tour and Noverre had their scheduled grass works switched to the main track.

Work of the Day

Starine: five furlongs in 1:01.06.

In basically a maintenance-type move, this gray filly broke off perhaps a bit quicker than intended under exercise rider Anna Hollander, getting her first three-eighths in 35.22 seconds, but still finished up reasonably well, galloping out six furlongs in 1:15.82 in her final prep for the Filly and Mare Turf. It wasn't the kind of move that in and of itself would send one running to bet the mortgage, but it was more than adequate for a turf horse working on the dirt. It was also very similar to her final breeze before her sensational, career-best effort in the Diana.


Fantastic Light: seven furlongs in 1:31.90

With exercise rider Lee Roebuck up, Fantastic Light broke off slowly, going the opening half-mile in 5l.97 seconds, and never did pick up the pace despite being put to urging several times down the lane. He galloped out a mile in an uninspiring 1:47.14. The effort was in sharp contrast to the manner in which this grass specialist trained over the Churchill Downs' main track preparing for his appearance in the 2000 Breeders' Cup Turf.

Sakhee: five furlongs in 1:05.45

Like stablemate Fantastic Light, Sakhee has never run on the dirt and is also pre-entered for the Breeders' Cup Turf. He was a bit skittish to begin, wheeling and balking upon being turned loose by assistant trainer Tom Albertrani on the pony near the eighth pole. He ultimately broke off from the five-furlong marker in little more than an open gallop and never really picked up the bit, continually flipping his ears back and forth as he made his way down the stretch as if distracted by the new surroundings. He covered the first three furlongs in 39.17 seconds before coming home the final quarter in a sluggish 26.28 seconds and galloping out six furlongs in a very slow 1:19.17. It will be interesting to see if he gets another opportunity to breeze over the main track or if he is now destined for the B.C. Turf.

Macho Uno was put through a somewhat unorthodox tour of the 1 1/2-mile oval, open galloping at a 14-second-per-eighth clip for the first nine furlongs, then being set down by exercise rider Keith Ricks at the 11-furlong pole and covering the next three-eighths of a mile in 38 seconds. He is scheduled for a conventional and more serious drill on Saturday.


Express Tour: five furlongs in 1:02.03

With his scheduled turf work switched to the main track, he was never asked by jockey John Velazquez for any real speed. He went the first three-eighths in 36.84 seconds before stretching out a bit better down the lane, with his final quarter of 25.33 seconds the fastest of all the Breeders' Cup workers on Friday.

Noverre: five furlongs in 1:02.08

While at hair slower than Express Tour's, his work was the more impressive of Godolphin's Mile hopefuls. It came over a cuppy track near the tail end of the early training session, from a horse much more accustomed to, and comfortable over, the grass course than the main. Noverre came away from the pole a little anxious under slight urging but still got the final quarter mile in 25.71 seconds before galloping out six furlongs in a near-identical 1:15.89 as Express Tour.

All times clocked by Mike Welsch.

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