10/26/2004 11:00PM

Full morning for Japanese star


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - The first local appearance by members of the European contingent for Saturday's Breeders' Cup program, the majority of whom had just cleared quarantine, highlighted training hours at Lone Star on Wednesday.

Only two horses turned in recorded workouts, one on the main track and one on the turf course.


Overcast, low 70's
Main track fast, turf soft

Personal Rush, Classic, five furlongs, 1:01.60 on main track: After a busy day Tuesday, when he galloped two miles and jogged a third, the Japan shipper Personal Rush got down to even more serious business Wednesday morning. Equipped once again in his bright pink blinkers and pink earmuffs, Personal Rush galloped a relatively brisk mile in company with Taconic, a member of locally based Mike Stidham's barn, before breaking off at the five-furlong pole the second time around.

With Taconic kept well to the outside, the pair went a slow opening three furlongs in 38.35 seconds. Upon entering the stretch, exercise rider Ken Ando reached back, pulled the stick out of his pocket, and began putting Personal Rush to extreme pressure, after which Personal Rush readily pulled away from his workmate while covering the final quarter-mile in 23.25 seconds. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.95.

All in all, it was not the kind of work that inspires much confidence in a horse going up against the likes of Pleasantly Perfect and Ghostzapper three days later.

Magistretti, Turf, five furlongs, 1:06.54 on turf: Accompanied by stablemate Ball Four, Magistretti jogged once around the course the wrong way, reversed direction and galloped another turn, then broke off at the five-furlong pole about two lengths behind his mate. The two went along at a slow pace, covering each furlong in splits of 13 and change. They came down the stretch as a team, with Ball Four forced under a tight hold to keep the pair on near even terms at the wire. This may be an indication that Magistretti is not quite at the top of his game at this time.

Clocker's notes

Several others trained over the boggy grass course, including Kitten's Joy, the odds-on favorite for the Turf, who galloped twice around and appeared to handle the course with little trouble. He was joined by Turf rival Better Talk Now, plus Mr O'Brien (Mile) and Moscow Burning (Filly and Mare Turf). Moscow Burning was slated to breeze three furlongs but merely open-galloped the first quarter-mile before blowing out a final furlong in 12.71 seconds.

On the main track, defending Classic winner Pleasantly Perfect was allowed to really stretch his legs after simply jogging the previous morning, and couldn't have looked better. Anyone hoping to find a chink in his armor or looking for an excuse to bet against the reigning champion on general appearances will have to look elsewhere.

It was good to see Birdstone turn in a spirited gallop after a lackluster morning on Tuesday. He took a while to warm up to the task but really picked up the pace during the latter stages, traveling smoothly and becoming a handful to pull up near the half-mile pole.

Runway Model and Singletary, the latter easy to spot in his Chicago Bears saddle towel, also galloped well. It would have been nice to finally see Dynever open up a little more rather than simply jog for a second straight morning.

The European contingent was topped by Ouija Board, the heavy favorite for the Filly and Mare Turf, who did little more than walk once around the track with a brief stop off in the paddock. A smallish but well-made filly, she never turned a hair over the new surroundings.

The most impressive gallop of the day was turned in by German invader Aubonne. A longshot in the Filly and Mare Turf, she was eager to go the moment her rider turned her loose in front of the grandstand. She proceeded to gallop along at better than a two-minute clip with a couple of 13-and-change eighths thrown in for good measure.

Europeans Nebraska Tornado, Whipper, and Diamond Green all walked and jogged in company. Nebraska Tornado had a wide-eyed look and pulled a couple of wheelies her first time past the grandstand. Whipper appeared to get very hot despite the relatively pleasant weather conditions.