10/05/2012 5:10PM

Belmont: Alpha, Questing continue preparations for Breeders' Cup

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Barbara D. Livingston
Alpha, shown training at Saratoga, will depart for California on Oct. 27 for the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Alpha and Questing, both beaten at Parx in $1 million races in their last starts, returned to the work tab Friday morning, each breezing four furlongs over the synthetic surface at the Greentree training center in Saratoga.

Alpha, the Travers co-winner who finished sixth in the Pennsylvania Derby, went four furlongs in 48.40 seconds, according to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Alpha is pointing to the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 3 at Santa Anita.

Questing, beaten a head by My Miss Aurelia in the Cotillion, went four furlongs in 49.40 seconds. She is being pointed to the $2 million Ladies’ Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.

[BREEDERS' CUP 2012: DRF top 10 lists, video replays, latest news]

A third Godolphin-owned, McLaughlin-trained Breeders’ Cup horse, Emcee, worked four furlongs in 47.40 seconds. Emcee, coming off a win in the Grade 1 Forego at seven furlongs at Saratoga on Sept. 1, is a candidate for either the Breeders’ Cup Sprint or the Dirt Mile.

“They all worked well,” said McLaughlin, who got a report from his brother and assistant Neal, who oversaw the works. “Emcee was probably the most impressive of the morning, but he hadn’t run in a while so he needed to do more.”

Prior to the Pennsylvania Derby, Alpha had won the Jim Dandy and dead-heated for win in the Travers.

“I’m not one for running longshots or run just because, but we feel like it was a funny day over there and he deserves a chance at a mile and a quarter at a different racetrack as long as he continues to do well,” said McLaughlin, who added that racing manager Simon Crisford would make the final call on whether to run in the Classic.

McLaughlin said that Alpha, Emcee, and Questing would breeze each of the next three Fridays at Saratoga and would ship to California on Oct. 27.

McLaughlin said that no decision has been made regarding in which Breeders’ Cup race It’s Tricky would run.

The Lumber Guy to BC Sprint

Trainer Mike Hushion said that Vosburgh winner The Lumber Guy would be pointed to the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint and not the $1 million Dirt Mile.

In the days following The Lumber Guy’s victory in the six-furlong Vosburgh, Hushion had said he would consider both races. But Friday, he said the Sprint was preferable in part because the Dirt Mile is run around two turns.

“There’s a short run to the first turn and he tends to get a little headstrong early,” Hushion said. “Maybe one day, if the Breeders’ Cup ever comes back to Belmont, I’ll have a decision to make.”

Antonucci gets first New York win

Trainer Jena Antonucci didn’t see a downside to running the maiden Flattermewithroses in Thursday’s $80,000 Voodoo Dancer Stakes.

“We had been watching entries. The maiden special weights kept coming up just so full and she had been training fantastic and we knew what she was in the morning,” Antonucci said. “So I said you know what, why not? What’s the worst that can happen, she doesn’t run well? Then we know where not to put her.”

Under Mike Luzzi, Flattermewithroses ran well enough to rally past Discreet Marq in midstretch and hold off 4-5 favorite Coconut Shrimp to win the Voodoo Dancer by 1 1/2 lengths.

Sent off the longest shot in the field at 53-1, Flattermewithroses returned $108 to win.

The win was the first in New York and first in a stakes for Antonucci, who had previously worked with trainer Will Phipps. In 2010, Antonucci won two races at Tampa Bay Downs with Irish Wildcat.

Antonucci currently has 13 horses based in Saratoga.

Wayne Haehner More than 1 year ago
Questing will enjoy the SA surface--watch out Royal Delta
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Way to go, Antonucci!