Updated on 11/01/2011 10:47AM

Breeders' Cup Clocker: Flat Out, Royal Delta outshine Uncle Mo

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Barbara D. Livingston
Flat Out, one of the prime contenders for the BC Classic, looked good Sunday morning, working a half-mile in 46.50 seconds.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -   Sunday morning at Churchill Downs was pretty much a carbon copy of Saturday with the temperature barely breaking the freezing mark but the action on the racetrack red hot as more and more Breeders’ Cup contenders put in their final works prior to the big event, which is now less than a week away.

The main track was fast and appeared slightly faster  for the opening session , which began at 6 a.m.,  then after the renovation break. The turf course was again listed as firm and definitely had less give to it than the previous morning.

Works of the day (main  track)

Royal Delta  (four furlongs in 47.59 seconds): Royal Delta put an exclamation point on a great week of training with a nearly flawless half-mile breeze in 47.59 during which she completed her final quarter- mile in 22.63 while in hand and going so effortlessly it was hard to believe she was going that fast down the stretch. Better yet, she continued very strongly into and around the turn, galloping out five-eighths in 1:00.26 and pulling up six furlongs in 1:14.80. She could not be doing any better heading into Friday’s Ladies’ Classic.

Flat Out  (four furlongs in 46.50): It was hard to believe any horse could equal or better Royal Delta’s performance but that was the case with Flat Out, who zipped a half-mile in  46.50 while never asked for any speed by her regular exercise rider Greta Kuntzweiler. The best was yet to come as Flat Out continued like a freight train into the turn and back around to the five-furlong pole, galloping out five-eighths in 59.02 before pulling up three-quarters of a mile in an eye-catching 1:12.51 in a manner somewhat reminiscent of Street Sense’s final prep prior to his victory in the 2007 Derby. Like Royal Delta, Flat Out has had a great week.   

Work of the day  (Turf )

Finale (four furlongs in 49.82): Although his final time matched that of workmate Sidney’s Candy, Finale gets extra credit as a 2-year-old holding his own against an older runner with a history of being a very proficient work horse. With jockey John Velazquez aboard, Finale broke a length behind Sidney’s Candy and was able to match strides to the wire and through a nice gallop out of 49.82 under just a modicum of encouragement from his rider. The lone knock against the 2-year-old was the fact he did switch back to his left lead approaching the wire.  

The remainder of the morning’s Breeders’ Cup works in the order in which they occurred:

Havelock  (four furlongs in 49.39) Nothing more than a maintenance work for a member of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint field over the main track.

Satans Quick Chick (four furlongs in 48.99):  Not much to like here as she was rank going to the pole and had to be strongly encouraged to finish her final quarter in 24.83 while appearing to drift some coming to the wire before galloping out in an uninspiring 1:03.46.

Aikenite  (four furlongs in :47.66):  Sprint hopeful went in company with stablemate Shared Heart and while he went fast, had all he could handle from the filly,  who was a short neck in front at the wire under similar if not slightly less pressure. Shared Heart also maintained a slight advantage through a gallop out in 1:01.

Ask the Moon  (four furlongs in 49.80, according to track clockers):  Nothing more than a maintenance move for the former claimer turned Grade 1 winner , who was going easily throughout.

To Honor and Serve  (five furlongs in 1:00.19) : Working without the one-cup blinker he had worn during training  this week, To Honor and Serve was hitting on all cylinders, completing his final quarter-mile in 23.71 while in hand throughout and going straight as a string down the stretch. Galloped out a strong six furlongs in 1:13.98 and like Royal Delta gives every indication he’s coming into the Breeders’ Cup on top of his game.

Daddy Nose Best  (three furlongs in 37.16): Another easy maintenance work under a loose rein for a filly who has shown more of an affinity for grass than dirt thus far during her 2-year-old campaign.   

Uncle Mo (five furlongs in 1:01.18):  The first to work following the renovation break with John Velazquez aboard, Uncle Mo showed the same high energy level he had all week as he made his way around to the pole but relaxed nicely once beginning his breeze. The early splits were reasonable, a quarter in 24.48 and three-eighths in  36.58 but he just didn’t level off as readily as he had in several of his works I had seen this past summer at Saratoga, needing a little light encouragement from Johnny V. approaching the wire and again around the turn to complete his final quarter in an average 24.60 and  gallop out five-eighths in 1:14.81. “Mediocre” might be the best word to describe this move.

Switch (five furlongs in 1:00.17): Began her work right behind Uncle Mo, appeared rank leaving the pole and never really settled into a comfortable stride while put to the stick several times through the stretch making her final clocking somewhat misleading. She also shut down a bit during the gallop out, pulling up five-eighths in 1:14.40. This was a visually unimpressive work with the caveat that she finished second in the 2010 Filly and Mare Sprint following a similarly disappointing final prep.

Take Charge Indy  (three furlongs in 35.20, according to track clockers): This was a very encouraging move from a 2-year-old who has raced exclusively over artificial tracks as he hugged the inside rail coming out of the turn and was in hand to the wire. Looked like more than a gallop out than straight work around to the seven-eighths pole , where he completed four furlongs in 48.20. Left one wondering if he might be even better over dirt. 

Stay Thirsty  (five furlongs in 1:00.46):  The Travers winner worked in company with the multiple Grade 1 -placed and Dirt Mile pre-entrant Rule (five  furlongs in 1:01.29) and was clearly the better of the two, breaking off a couple of lengths behind and finishing a similar margin in front while widest of the pair and under no pressure to finish despite posting a solid  35.78 opening three-furlong split. Stay Thirsty left a much more favorable impression than his more heralded stablemate Uncle Mo this morning.

Caleb’s Posse  (four furlongs in  48):  Took a pretty good run to the pole but settled well enough, going his opening quarter in 24.26 and shading  24 to the wire although he needed one left-hand tap of the stick and some additional  encouragement through the final furlong. The gallop out was nothing special, five-eighths in 1:02.58. Still awaiting a decision on whether he’s heading to the Sprint or Dirt Mile.

Irrefutable  (four furlongs in 47.60,  according to track clockers): This was another work where the final time may have been a bit misleading as he was under a fair amount of pressure through the final furlong while also switching back to his left lead nearing the wire. Galloped out five-eighths in 1:00.80.

Ann of the Dance  (four furlongs in 50.82): This was a carbon copy of her stable mate Ask The Moon’s work a couple of hours earlier, simply an easy maintenance drill.

Prospective  (five furlongs in 1:01.20, according to track clockers): Floated well wide off the turn, readily pulled away from an overmatched stablemate while under a strong hand ride from the eighth pole to the wire.

Turf

Cambina (four furlongs in 52.00): Was not asked for speed around the dogs under jockey Julien Leparoux and did lose a little momentum when switching back to her left lead near midstretch.

Grand Adventure  (four furlongs in 50.51):  Veteran was relaxed through an easy opening quarter in 27.19, then finished strong down the stretch (final quarter in  23.32) while under no pressure.

Sidney's Candy (four furlongs in 49.82):  As noted above, Sidney's Candy broke off a length in front of his younger stablemate Finale and was well within himself while maintaining that advantage throughout the entire work and gallop out. An okay, maintenance type move but from a speedster who turned in a 57 and change masterpiece work over the Saratoga turf 12 weeks ago. Wondering if he's a little past his peak at this time.          

Coalport  (four furlongs in 50.27): Did not finish particularly well when put to urging down the stretch, galloped out poorly and did not appear comfortable over the course.

Holiday for Kitten  (five furlongs in 1:03.28): Finished willingly enough, shading 24 for her final quarter, but looked a little stronger in her previous work over Keeneland turf earlier in the week.

Country Day  (four furlongs in 49.86): Veteran turf sprinter looked okay finishing in 23.14 but didn’t gallop out quite as strong as some of the others pulling up five-eighths in 1:04.82.