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Belmont: Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic candidate Awesome Feather maintains her fitness level
ELMONT, N.Y. - One undefeated champion and three unbeaten Eclipse Award contenders highlighted the work tab Sunday morning at Belmont Park as horses continued preparation for the upcoming Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.
Awesome Feather, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2010 who is undefeated in 10 career starts, worked six furlongs in 1:12.22 over Belmont’s main track. She is preparing for a meeting with champions Royal Delta and My Miss Aurelia in the $2 million Ladies’ Classic on Nov. 2.
Meanwhile, a trio of Todd Pletcher’s undefeated juveniles - fillies Dreaming of Julia (four furlongs in 48.02 seconds) and Kauai Katie (five furlongs in 1:00.81), and the colt Shanghai Bobby (four furlongs in 47.00) - put in workouts over the Belmont training track.
Also working Sunday at Belmont were Filly and Mare Sprint candidate Turbulent Descent (five furlongs in 1:00.81 in company with Kauai Katie), The Lumber Guy (four furlongs in 48.50), Corporate Jungle (four furlongs in 47.16), Brilliant Speed (five furlongs in 1:00.60), and Belle of the Hall (four furlongs in 49.71).
Awesome Feather, under exercise rider Javier Herrera, broke off at the five-furlong pole on the main track and went her first three furlongs in 35.55 seconds and hit the wire in 59.79 seconds. With a little bit of urging from Herrera, Awesome Feather worked a furlong past the wire in 12.43 seconds and galloped out seven furlongs in 1:25.32.
“That was a solid work, but she did it well within herself,” trainer Chad Brown said. “Just stretched her legs a little bit. It was really just to keep her where she’s at. Since her last race, we haven’t done anything in her training to try to get more fitness out of her, we’re just trying to keep her where she’s at. She’s had two easy works in a row - a half and five-eighths - we just did something longer and steadier today. I thought she galloped out extremely well and seems to have come back super so far.”
Brown said Awesome Feather would have one more breeze, next Sunday, before shipping to California, the following day.
Corporate Jungle, whom Brown is pointing to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, worked four furlongs in 47.46 seconds under exercise rider Claudio Elgueta.
Corporate Jungle went a very quick opening quarter of 22.16 seconds before appearing to tire a little bit late. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.32.
“He’s got a bit of a touchy mouth and he’s been a little bit of a head-strong horse that’s why we breeze him solo,” Brown said. “He got a little bit sharp going to the pole there but I thought Claudio did a nice little job just sitting chilly for me. What he lost going a shade fast he made up for with just sitting chilly on the horse and letting him come back to him. The final time was what we were looking for.”
Brown is scheduled to work his five turf horses - Zagora, Watsdachances, Flashy Gal, Noble Tune, and Balance the Books - on Monday.
One day after breezing several Breeders’ Cup horses in California, trainer Todd Pletcher was back in New York to oversee significant drills for four more of his Breeders’ Cup starters.
At 7:45 a.m., Pletcher watched Juvenile Fillies contender Dreaming of Julia breeze a half-mile in 48.02 seconds in company with the older filly Maristar. The pair went off in 23.77 seconds and came home in 24.25.
“I thought she worked well. She was on cruise control throughout,” Pletcher said. “Typical breeze for her.”
Kauai Katie, who like Dreaming of Julia is undefeated in three starts and owned by Stonestreet Stable, worked five furlongs in 1:00.81 in company with the older multiple Grade 1-winning mare Turbulent Descent, who is pointing to the Filly and Mare Sprint. The pair went their first three furlongs in 36.78 seconds and came home in 24.03. They galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.34.
Though Turbulent Descent, under Anne Finney, was going easier of the two, Pletcher was happy enough with what he saw from Kauai Katie to say she would be pre-entered Monday for both the $1 million Juvenile Fillies at 1 1/16 miles and $500,000 the Juvenile Sprint at six furlongs against males and possibly the fleet filly Beholder. He said further discussions would take place between he and the Stonestreet camp before deciding where to run.
“She’s proven at six furlongs so we know she’s a very good sprinter. At the same time I haven’t seen anything that would suggest that she can’t go further,” Pletcher said.
For Turbulent Descent, this was the second straight solid work for her since she finished fourth in the Gallant Bloom at Belmont on Sept. 25.
“She seems to be training more enthusiastically than ever for us so I’m happy with her,” Pletcher said. “The reason we ran there was because we felt it would help us get to the Breeders’ Cup in better shape. Even if we didn’t run as well as we could have I feel like we’re in better shape today than we’ve been since we’ve had her.”
Trainer Mike Hushion said he wasn’t looking for much from Vosburgh winner The Lumber Guy, who worked four furlongs in 48.50 seconds over the training track.
“I asked the rider to go in 49 [seconds] and he went in 48 and a couple and he was easing him at the wire,” Hushion said. “He didn’t want him to get away from him. It was fine. … After that last race it’s not like you have to bottoms up in the morning.”
Brilliant Speed, a longshot for the Classic, came home his final quarter in 24.02 seconds in a five-furlong drill that went in 1:00.60 over the training track.
His stablemate, Belle of the Hall, went an easy half-mile in 49.71 seconds over the training track. Belle of the Hall will be pre-entered for the Filly and Mare Sprint.
- additional reporting by Mike Welsch
This 2012 BC Ladies Classic is going to be a race. Racing Awesome Feather in the Ladies Classic in my opinion is the race to race in and it is not going to be a cake-walk. Royal Delta won her prep at Belmont in The Beldame by 9 ½ lengths with a 106 beyer at the 1 1/8 mile distance but in one turn. Love and Pride who beat Royal Delta and It’s Tricky at Saratoga in the Personal Ensign won The Zenyatta at Santa Anita with a 102 beyer at 1 1/16 mile. Awesome Feather won The Nasty Storm at Belmont by 12 lengths at a mile in 1:33.47. The competition keeps coming with the other great runners. Forget about putting Royal Delta in The Classic. She has all anyone could expect to conquer. This might be the hardest race in the 2012 BC to handicap.
Little wonder Mr Mott, a very smart man, cross entered Royal Delta..the Classic isn't all that strong and don't think he wants any part of Awesome Feather.
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