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Belmont: Brown likes his Breeders’ Cup team’s chances
ELMONT, N.Y. – Chad Brown knows nothing is guaranteed when it comes to the Breeders’ Cup, but he feels he has legitimate chances with all six of the horses he pre-entered on Monday for this year’s 29th edition of the event.
On Monday, Brown said he had pre-entered Awesome Feather (Ladies’ Classic), Zagora (Filly and Mare Turf), Watsdachances (Juvenile Fillies Turf), Noble Tune and Balance the Books (Juvenile Turf), and Corporate Jungle (Turf Sprint) for the Breeders’ Cup, which will be conducted at Santa Anita on Nov. 2-3.
With the possible exception of Corporate Jungle, Brown’s runners figure to among the top three or four betting choices in their respective races.
“I feel like I’m taking six horses out there that are really live,” Brown said Monday morning at Belmont Park. “Look, so are other people. We could go out there and run decent with all six of them and go 0 for 6 on a day like the Breeders’ Cup. We’re just fortunate we have six that fit. Now it’s a matter of keeping them happy and healthy, going out there and enjoying ourselves, and seeing if we can get lucky and win one of them.”
Awesome Feather, the 2010 BC Juvenile Fillies winner, will enter the $2 million Ladies’ Classic undefeated in 10 career starts. She has run only twice this year, winning the Sunshine Millions Distaff in January and a one-mile overnight stakes in September at Belmont. Still, Brown is supremely confident that she will give fellow champions Royal Delta and My Miss Aurelia all they want in the Ladies’ Classic.
“If everyone gets there healthy it’ll be arguably the best Ladies’ Classic we’ve ever had. To be part of it is exciting for us,” Brown said. “Right now, I’m sure all the connections are saying the same thing – I wouldn’t trade places with anyone.”
Brown said Monday that Awesome Feather came out of her six-furlong work in 1:12.22 on Sunday at Belmont in good order and would have one more work – presumably next Sunday – before shipping to California on Oct. 29.
On Monday, Brown put four of his Breeders’ Cup horses through workouts on the turf. Zagora, coming off a narrow loss in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl, worked five furlongs in company with Flashy Gal, a 2-year-old maiden winner, in 1:04.80 with Javier Castellano in the irons. A triple set of orange cones, known as dogs, were up on the Widener turf course, keeping the works 40 feet off the inside the yielding turf .
“I thought Zagora was moving very, very well, switched her leads good, galloped out well,” Brown said. “She doesn’t particularly like the soft going, so I didn’t push it with her.”
Zagora set a Saratoga course record for 1 1/16 miles when she won the Ballston Spa at Saratoga on Aug. 25. Following that, Brown wasn’t sure 1 1/4 miles – the distance of the Filly and Mare Turf – would be her optimum. But after watching her performance in the Flower Bowl – where she was beaten one-half length – he changed his mind.
“The way she ran in the Flower Bowl really gave us more confidence, particularly because it was off going, and I think a firm track will carry her a little further,” Brown said. “I feel confident on firm ground now that she can get the mile and a quarter with top fillies.”
While content with Zagora’s move, Brown didn’t see enough from maiden winner Flashy Gal to pre-enter her in the Juvenile Fillies Turf. She is possible for an overnight stakes at Belmont on Sunday.
Brown will still be represented in the Juvenile Fillies Turf with multiple stakes winner Watsdachances, who worked a half-mile in 50.29 seconds, pulling away from workmate La Conquerante late to win the work by a length.
“She left her workmate in hand and galloped out very well,” Brown said.
Brown’s pair of Juvenile Turf contenders – Balance the Books, a dual graded stakes winner, and Noble Tune, winner of the Grade 3 Pilgrim – worked a half-mile in company in 49.16 seconds, final quarter in 23.96 in a solid move for both horses.
“I can’t separate them. I’ve said that and people think I’m just being political,” said Brown, who trains the pair for different owners. “These two horses are both nice. They both have an equal chance to win the race.”
While Corporate Jungle, a four-time winner at a mile, might be the longest-priced horse Brown runs in the Cup, Brown believes the horse has a big chance. He likes the idea the horse is cutting back from a mile to 6 1/2 furlongs as opposed to attempting to stretch out from 5 1/2 furlongs, something he tried to do unsuccessfully with Silver Timber in 2009-10.
“I have a totally different horse this time, a miler cutting back and he likes firm,” Brown said. “I think the horse is real live in there.”
On Sunday, Corporate Jungle breezed four furlongs in 47.46 seconds, going a rapid first quarter in 22.16 before tiring a little bit late.
Point of Entry works for Turf
Point of Entry, winner of five straight races, worked five furlongs in 1:02.51 over the yielding Belmont turf.
Point of Entry, with exercise rider Jen Patterson, up, worked inside of her company, Reload.
“I thought everything went good. It looked like he was striding out good, happy to be doing it,” trainer Shug McGaughey said.
McGaughey said he gave Point of Entry company on Monday “to put his mind on what he’s doing.”
Point of Entry will work again Sunday before shipping to California on Monday.
Shanghai Bobby leads Pletcher bunch
Shanghai Bobby, the probable favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, breezed a sharp four furlongs in 47.01 seconds Sunday morning, in company with the older horse San Pablo.
“The work went a little bit quicker than we set out for. San Pablo set a little faster pace,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “I think the horse is doing super. I thought that breeze today was probably the best I’ve ever seen him breeze.”
The 4-year-old mare Turbulent Descent and the 2-year-old filly Kauai Katie worked five furlongs together in 1:00.81. Afterward, Pletcher said that Kauai Katie would be pre-entered in the Juvenile Fillies and Juvenile Sprint. He said further discussions would take place between him and the Stonestreet camp before deciding where to run.
For Turbulent Descent, it was the second consecutive solid work since her fourth place finish in the Gallant Bloom at Belmont on Sept. 22.
“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.”
Dreaming of Julia, Pletcher’s top prospect for the Juvenile Fillies, worked four furlongs in 48.02 seconds in company with Maristar on Sunday
Watch out for Turbulent Descent.. She looks good and will be overlooked after her last race!!!
Corporate Jungle will be in my top 2-3 picks for the Turf sprint