10/28/2017 11:47AM

Firenze Fire sharp in Breeders' Cup Juvenile work

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Barbara D. Livingston
Firenze Fire wins the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Bolt d’Oro is the established horse to beat in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Del Mar next Saturday, but Firenze Fire confirmed that he will be one of the serious challengers in the 1 1/16-mile race with a serious workout Saturday morning at Belmont Park.

Firenze Fire, the Grade 1 Champagne winner, worked a sharp five furlongs in 1:00.12 and galloped out extremely well over the training track Saturday in his final drill for the Juvenile.

Firenze Fire worked at an extremely busy time, right after the 7:45 a.m. renovation break. He started off about four lengths behind a workmate, the 4-year-old gelding Whatstotalkabout, and then picked up another horse to follow when a Gary Gullo-trained runner broke off at the half-mile pole. Firenze Fire went his opening quarter in 24.34 while behind horses, tipped into the 3 path in upper stretch, and finished about three lengths in front of Whatstotalkabout. He wasn’t done as Firenze Fire galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.61 and seven-eighths in 1:27.62.

Henry Argueta, assistant to trainer Jason Servis, said that he wasn’t looking for that fast a work, but “he did it really easy. He come out of it like he didn’t even breeze.”

The breeze was similar in style, though significantly quicker, than his final move before the Champagne, a race in which Firenze Fire settled early and closed strongly.

“He relaxed a little more,” jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said. “Before, he was too rank, he would just break and want to go. Now, he relaxes a little more. You see how he ran last time.”

Firenze Fire is scheduled to ship to California on Tuesday.

Ortiz also was aboard Bar of Gold on Saturday morning as she worked a fast four furlongs in 47.69 seconds over the training track. She got her final quarter in 23.47 and galloped out five furlongs in 59.97.

Afterward, trainer John Kimmel said that Bar of Gold will run in the Filly and Mare Sprint. She is owned by Chester and Mary Broman, who also have Highway Star in the race.

“If Mr. Broman wants to take a chance with her, she certainly breezed well enough to consider doing that,” Kimmel said.

• Disco Partner, preparing for the Turf Sprint, worked a half-mile in 50.79 seconds over the main track for trainer Christophe Clement.

:: BC Workouts: Watch Mike Welsch's video updates from Del Mar