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Updated on 09/17/2011 11:36PM
Bruise delays Rock Hard Ten's trip
ELMONT, N.Y. - Rock Hard Ten, the winner of the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap and one of the leading contenders for Saturday's $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Belmont Park, has a bruise to his left front foot that will delay his travel to New York, trainer Richard Mandella said Saturday.
Instead of traveling as scheduled on Sunday, Mandella said Rock Hard Ten, and stablemate Laura's Lucky Boy, would wait until Wednesday to fly to New York.
"I think we're in fine shape, other than having to wait from Sunday until Wednesday," Mandella said from Santa Anita, where Rock Hard Ten is based.
The bruise was discovered after Rock Hard Ten worked Thursday. Mandella said the shoe was pulled and will remain off until Rock Hard Ten travels. Despite that, Rock Hard Ten galloped as scheduled Saturday morning at Santa Anita. Mandella said he put a bandage over the bare foot in lieu of the shoe.
"It ain't like something we haven't dealt with before," Mandella said. "I just decided to wait because I didn't want to ship while we're dealing with this."
First Samurai will run first-time Lasix
First Samurai, the undefeated winner of the Champagne, will race on Lasix for the first time in the $1.5 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile, trainer Frank Brothers said.
First Samurai, who has not raced on Lasix for the first four races of his career, worked on Lasix Saturday at Belmont Park and went a strong five furlongs in 1:00.16 over a sloppy Belmont main track, according to Daily Racing Form. Track clockers caught him in 59.19 seconds.
"In the Champagne, he bled slightly, enough to warrant Lasix," Brothers said. "He worked on Lasix today; he's going to run on Lasix. Sometimes Lasix can dull horses, but he wasn't flat this morning by any means. He was aggressive in his work. As you can see, we're walking him with a chain over his lip. He's not dull."
Under Jerry Bailey, First Samurai broke from the five-furlong pole and worked in between the second and third set of orange traffic cones, set up to keep horses off the inside part of the track. First Samurai had been working in company before the Champagne. He worked by himself Saturday, and although First Samurai lugged in slightly the last 100 yards, Bailey said he was thrilled with the move.
"He's more aggressive now," Bailey said. "He used to always have to have a target to get enthusiastic, but he carried me pretty well through the last part of the work."
Brothers said he had considered moving the work to the training track, but wanted to keep First Samurai in a familiar setting. First Samurai had worked and run over the main track since he got here four weeks ago.
"Jerry elected to work him inside the dogs, which I think was the best going," Brothers said. "I thought the work was good. We were shooting for a minute, and he galloped out decent. Jerry thought it was his best work. He was aggressive and willing. He was under him the whole way and he finished up nice."
At Santa Anita, Norfolk winner Brother Derek worked six furlongs in 1:15.40 under jockey Alex Solis. According to trainer Dan Hendricks, Brother Derek started behind the 2-year-old filly Sorority Bid and went by her easily while getting his last three-eighths in 36 seconds.
At Churchill, Lane's End Breeders' Futurity winner Dawn of War worked five furlongs in 1:05.60 over a sloppy Churchill main track.
Leo, one of three European-based horses for this race, arrived at Belmont from England late Friday afternoon and was to be released from quarantine Sunday morning. Also, Jose Santos has picked up the mount on Dr. Pleasure.
Folklore, Ex Caelis work at Churchill
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas sent out both of his Juvenile Fillies contenders for workouts Saturday morning at sloppy Churchill Downs. Folklore, the Matron winner who could vie for favoritism with Adieu, went six furlongs in 1:14.60. Ex Caelis, the runner-up in the Alcibiades, went five furlongs in 1:01.80.
Lukas announced that Rafael Bejarano would ride Ex Caelis, replacing Edgar Prado, who rode her in the Alcibiades but is on Folklore in the Juvenile Fillies.
Lukas said he wasn't looking for anything major from Folklore, who worked six furlongs in 1:13 on Oct. 14.
"She had a good three-quarters last week," he said. "He took a little off it this week."
Regarding Ex Caelis, Lukas said, "She's improving. She's a big, strong filly who could probably run every two weeks."
At Santa Anita, Diamond Omi worked five furlongs in 59 seconds, the fastest of 76 works at the distance.
At Woodbine, Knights Templar went six furlongs in 1:14.80 over what trainer Danny Vella called a deep, cuppy racetrack.
Coa to ride Super Frolic, Yolanda B. Too
Eibar Coa on Saturday picked up mounts on Super Frolic in the Breeders' Cup Classic and Yolanda B. Too in the Breeders' Cup Distaff.
Super Frolic, the Hawthorne Gold Cup winner, had his final workout on Saturday at Santa Anita in preparation for the Classic, going six furlongs in 1:12 with jockey Joy Scott.
"He went very well," said Vladimir Cerin, who has been Super Frolic's trainer since late July. Super Frolic was fifth in the Pacific Classic before winning the Hawthorne Gold Cup.
Victor Espinoza rode Super Frolic in the Hawthorne Gold Cup, but committed to ride Choctaw Nation in the Classic.
"Coa rides well in New York, and he's ridden other horses for Mr. Parra," Cerin said, referring to owner Ro Parra.
Coa rode Super Frolic, 5, three times at Calder from December 2002 to January 2003. "Yes, that's why we got him," Cerin said, joking.
Several other Classic runners had workouts Saturday. At Belmont Park, Sir Shackleton covered five furlongs on a muddy main track in 1:01.71. At Woodbine, A Bit O'Gold was timed in 1:02.40 on a fast main track. At the Churchill Downs training center, Perfect Drift worked five furlongs on a sloppy track in 1:01.20, the best time of eight at the distance.
At Churchill Downs, A.P. Arrow breezed five furlongs in 1:01. A.P. Arrow is the second alternate in the Classic. He needs two defections from the main body of the field by entry day Wednesday to get in.
In addition, Jack Sullivan and Starcraft arrived at Belmont after a flight from Europe.
Healthy Addiction braves the mud
Healthy Addiction, the winner of the Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap, was the first horse to work after the break on Saturday and traveled six furlongs on the muddy track in 1:15.12. Her trainer, John Sadler, worked the older sprinter Hasty Kris on the training track earlier in the morning and said he thought about returning there with Healthy Addiction, but decided the main track was suitable later in the morning.
"You can't come all this way and be a chicken," Sadler said as he surveyed the muddy surface during the renovation break.
Several other Distaff runners worked Saturday. At Belmont Park, In the Gold covered six furlongs on the muddy surface in 1:12.62. At Saratoga, Pleasant Home was timed in 50.36 seconds on the Oklahoma training track, which was listed as fast. At Santa Anita, Island Fashion worked a half-mile in 48 seconds. And at Hollywood Park, Hollywood Story drilled six furlongs in 1:15.20.
Pletcher works three on yielding turf
Todd Pletcher worked all three of his Breeders' Cup grass hopefuls over a yielding turf course Saturday, but indicated he would likely wait until Monday before breezing his five main-track Breeders' Cup entrants.
Because heavy rain fell early Saturday morning and more precipitation was in the forecast for the remainder of the day, Pletcher said, he decided to move up Sunday's scheduled works for Host, Limehouse, and English Channel.
Host and Limehouse are pre-entered for the Breeders' Cup Mile, and English Channel is among the key contenders for the Breeders' Cup Turf.
"I just thought with more rain expected the course would be better today than on Sunday," said Pletcher. "I probably could have waited until Monday, but who knows if the turf would have been any firmer by then. And I guess it's better to work them seven days out from the race rather than five."
Limehouse and English Channel worked five furlongs, and Host worked a half-mile. All three breezed in company with other members of the Pletcher stable. Limehouse worked with Stormina, English Channel with Brazilian, and Host with Willard Straight.
"All three horses worked about the way I expected," said Pletcher. "When working on grass we always try to go off easy and finish strong. It's hard to gauge the works or the times when the course is soft and the dogs are out, but I thought all three went within the window we were looking for."
Pletcher said he would have preferred to work all his horses Sunday, but felt Monday would be a better option for his five remaining Breeders' Cup contenders, considering the weekend forecast. That group consists of Ashado and Capeside Lady (Distaff), Flower Alley (Classic), Adieu (Juvenile Fillies), and Lion Tamer (Sprint).
- additional reporting by David Grening and Mike Welsch