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DRF Breeders' Cup Clocker Report: Monday, October 24
Monday, Oct. 24
Cloudy, track fast/turf yielding; 51¦
ELMONT, N.Y. - Sunday and Monday are historically the busiest work days in the final week leading up to major events such as the Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup. But after soaking rains on Saturday all but put Belmont Park's main and turf tracks out of commission on Sunday, training hours Monday became a dizzying affair with 26 Breeders' Cup pre-entrants getting in their final major tune-ups at Belmont, and all but four of those works coming after the renovation break.
Work of the day
Stevie Wonderboy - Juvenile, four furlongs in 46.23 seconds: There were several candidates for this honor. Stevie Wonderboy does his best running from behind so it was somewhat surprising to look down at the stopwatch and see the fractions he was cutting out so effortlessly after breaking off at the half-mile pole under a snug hold. Finished strong despite getting an opening quarter in under 23 and galloped out five-eighths in 58.26. Good-looking 2-year-old has made a grand impression since his arrival late last week.
Borrego - Classic, five furlongs in 1:02.24: Made another great appearance on the track and was never asked for speed at any juncture while kept well out in the track throughout what was simply an easy maintenance work. Despite being under cruise control through the stretch, he readily pulled away after being joined by another horse who was all out working along the inside rail.
Flower Alley - Classic, five furlongs in 59.18: This one didn't go exactly as planned. Flower Alley, with Angel Cordero Jr. up, broke off a bit rankly inside stablemate Magna Graduate and was under a firm hold as the pair breezed along at a strong clip. Entering the stretch they were joined by another pair of workers breaking off at the quarter pole. The quartet raced as a team through much of the stretch, with Flower Alley appearing a bit uncomfortable when pinned in a bit tight along the rail. Despite the close quarters he managed to finish up willingly and on even terms with Magna Graduate before galloping out six furlongs under slight urging in 1:11.65.
Lord of the Game - Classic, four furlongs in 46.00, out five-eighths in 59.40, according to track clockers: One of those who slipped through the cracks during the hectic period following the renovation break. Not likely to draw into the field.
Saint Liam - Classic, five furlongs in 1:01.90 at Aqueduct: Broke off slowly, getting his opening quarter in 26 before really picking up the pace once into the stretch. Covered his final quarter-mile in slightly more than 22 seconds before galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.95.
Sun King - Classic, five furlongs in 59.36: Working in blinkers, Sun King broke off 1 1/2 lengths behind a stablemate, drew even while angling three paths wide off the turn, then easily pulled away to hit the wire nearly four lengths in front after going a final quarter in 23 and change without urging. Galloped out under mild urging in a solid 59.36.
Ashado - Distaff, five furlongs in 1:00.32: Working in company with stablemate Rectory Hall with John Velazquez up, the reigning Distaff champion was kept under a snug hold while zipping along effortlessly in fractions of 34:28 and 46.70 for the opening three-eighths and half-mile, then edged three lengths clear at the wire while never put to any urging. Flattened out just a bit in the gallop-out, getting six furlongs in 1:14.28.
Nothing But Fun - Distaff, five furlongs in 59.80, according to track clockers: Never saw this work, which came under the cloak of darkness well before dawn.
Society Selection - Distaff, seven furlongs in 1:26.07: Was full of run down the backstretch under her new rider, Edgar Prado, but labored noticeably through the stretch, her action somewhat impeded when the yoke (a piece of equipment used to help keep a horse's head down) slipped and rubbed up against her right leg through the final furlong, which she completed in a slow 13.41.
Stellar Jayne - Distaff, five furlongs 1:01.51: With Jerry Bailey aboard, Stellar Jayne cruised easily away from the five-furlong pole and was never asked for speed, finishing her final quarter in 24.35 under light urging. Does not have the smoothest action, she hits the ground harder than most, but she covers the ground effortlessly enough and obviously is in peak form.
Sweet Symphony - Distaff, five furlongs in 1:00.43: Went in company at a decent early clip, was angled several paths wide into the stretch, but was readily outfinished by Juvenile Fillies candidate Along the Sea before galloping out in an ordinary 1:14.14.
Dr. Pleasure - Juvenile, five furlongs in 1:00.41: Another early worker, he was quick early but was a bit lackluster to finish, getting his final eighth in 13.06 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.83.
Jealous Profit - Juvenile, four furlongs in 48.51: Came out 30 minutes after Stevie Wonderboy. Working with blinkers he had to be urged along a bit early to post fractions of 23.68 and 35.63 and did not finish with the same energy as his stablemate, covering the final furlong in 12.88 before galloping out five eighths in 1:01.18 under pressure.
Superfly - Juvenile, five furlongs in 59.96: A work of the day candidate. One of the first Breeders' Cup horses to work shortly after dawn, he began four lengths behind a stablemate and just blew away that rival through the stretch to hit the wire some seven lengths in front under very mild urging and while trying to lug in slightly inside the sixteenth pole. Galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.24.
Adieu - Juvenile Fillies, five furlongs in 1:01.83: Out at the crack of dawn, she was restrained early by Cordero to get an opening quarter in 24.77 and three-eighths in 36.62 but never really leveled off while remaining on her left lead throughout the stretch. Did gallop out willingly enough, but perhaps showed a hint of vulnerability to anyone looking for a reason to bet against the likely favorite.
Along the Sea - Juvenile Fillies, four furlongs in 47.81: A work of the day candidate. Equipped with blinkers, which she will wear in a race for the first time on Saturday, she began with a couple of 12-second quarters but really picked up the pace once turning into the stretch. Hugging the rail she joined in with a team that included once-beaten Distaff contender Sweet Symphony and easily pulled away from that pair with an 11.82 final furlong without need of urging. Galloped out five furlongs in a strong 1:00.40. Could be an indication she's sitting on a big race.
Keeneland Kat - Juvenile Fillies, three furlongs in 37.40 with Joe Bravo up: With so many horses working at the same time some just get lost in the shuffle. This was one I did not see.
Gygistar - Sprint, four furlongs in 47.06: The last of the work of the day candidates. Old-timer zipped along through fractions of 11.46, 23.12, and 35.30 while in hand and aching to stretch out and do more. Completed his final eighth in 11.76 from the wire to the 1 3/8-mile pole, then galloped out around the turn in 59.20. Loves the track. Might be a sleeper with the home-court advantage.
Lion Tamer - Sprint, four furlongs in 49.04: Went alone, unlike most of Pletcher's Breeders' Cup workers, and was not asked for any speed in an easy maintenance work.
Silver Train - Sprint, five furlongs in 58.40 at Aqueduct: Zipped along without pressure down the backstretch and around the turn, bore out several paths into the stretch, and was given a slight nudge nearing the wire to finish before galloping out six furlongs in a quick 1:11.42.
Wildcat Heir - Sprint, four furlongs in 46.07: Only got to see the last part of this very fast work, which came with jockey Stewart Elliott aboard. Was asked to finish leaving the sixteenth pole and during his gallop-out as he continues to play catch-up, having made just one start over the last 11 months.
Riskaverse - Filly and Mare Turf, five furlongs in 1:03 on turf, according to track clockers: Worked in draw reins in an attempt to curb her enthusiasm, but the severe equipment was not enough to keep her from rolling along during the early stages. That strenuous effort, along with a boggy turf course, took its toll as she labored badly through the latter stages of a somewhat disappointing prep.
Sundrop - Filly and Mare Turf, five furlongs in 1:01, according to track clockers: Longshot worked over the main track. Another of the workers who got lost in the madness after the renovation break.
Wend - Filly and Mare Turf, five furlongs in 1:03.91 on turf: Does not appear as comfortable over soft ground, especially in comparison to Wonder Again, finishing in 25.01 after an opening three-eighths in 38.90.
Wonder Again - Filly and Mare Turf, four furlongs in 50.39 on turf: Loves the soft going and showed that affinity with an efficient work during which she went a very slow opening half in 26.66 before finishing full of run, getting her final quarter in less than 24. Looks sharp and will be especially dangerous if the course is anything less than firm on Cup day.
Leroidesanimaux - Mile, four furlongs in 51.84 on turf: Favorite went in company with stakes-winning stablemate Ay Caramba, who beat Leroidesanimaux when the pair raced in Brazil during the summer of 2003. Trainer Bobby Frankel had the front-running Leroidesanimaux break off a half-length in front of his mate and the pair went along as a team through easy splits before finishing up in a rousing 12.58 over the soft going. Lone caveat was that Leroidesanimaux worked with bar shoes in front.
Sand Springs - Mile, four furlongs in 48.06: The final worker of a long morning, she took her time warming up before finally breaking off at the half-mile pole on a main track that had become well chewed up by late in the morning. Breezed along swiftly, especially around the turn, tossing in a pair of sub-12 second middle splits before bearing out slightly into the stretch. Finished up in only 13 and galloped out another 13.20 eighth, albeit well in hand.
Shakespeare - Turf, five furlongs in 1:04.18 on turf: Jockey Jerry Bailey was not about to let this horse do too much over unfamiliar ground, but the undefeated Shakespeare seemed to handle the soft course without much trouble, finishing up strong after being allowed to test the going through an opening three-eighths in 40.40. Turned in the best final furlong clocking, 12.10, of the morning's five turf workers.
All times at Belmont clocked by Daily Racing Form unless otherwise noted.