10/23/2015 2:17PM

Isotherm will try dirt again in BC Juvenile

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Barbara D. Livingston
Isotherm (left), winner of the Grade 3 Pilgrim Stakes, will target the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Though his connections listed the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on Friday as his first preference, Isotherm will be entered Monday for Saturday’s $2 million Juvenile on the dirt, trainer George Weaver said Friday.

Isotherm is 2 for 2 on turf, including a victory Sept. 26 in the Grade 3 Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont Park. He finished fourth in his only dirt start, a six-furlong race at Saratoga.

Weaver and owner Matthew Schera are concerned about the prospect of less-than-firm turf at Keeneland, host site for the Breeders’ Cup. Rain is in the forecast midweek in Lexington, Ky.

Weaver also said he wasn’t as happy with Isotherm’s work over a less-than-firm Oklahoma turf course Thursday at Saratoga as he was with a dirt work Isotherm put in Oct. 15.

“We think our horse likes dirt,” Weaver said by phone from Saratoga. “There’s a lot more to gain. The purse is twice as much. If you can win it, it secures your stallion value. We talked about trying dirt in the future at some point.”

Weaver said he thought the Saratoga main track “was dead” in Isotherm’s first start on dirt, which came with Jose Lezcano aboard.

“When you watch the race visually, all the horses were staggering down the stretch,” Weaver said. “Lezcano said at the quarter pole he thought he was going to win by 10. He was chasing a half in 45 and then bottomed out.”

Lezcano will ride Isotherm in the Juvenile.

Riker and Ralis also were pre-entered in both the Juvenile and Juvenile Turf. Their connections confirmed Friday they will run in the Juvenile. Hollywood Don, also pre-entered in both races, is pointing to the Juvenile Turf, trainer Peter Miller said.

Isotherm’s defection from the Juvenile Turf allows Conquest Big E to get into the field. On Friday at Churchill Downs, Conquest Big E worked a half-mile in 48.40 seconds. Conquest Big E is trained by Mark Casse, as is Siding Spring, who worked a half-mile in 47.60. He is three deep on the preference list and unlikely to crack the Juvenile field.

At Keeneland, four Juvenile hopefuls put in workouts, led by Champagne winner Greenpointcrusader, who went four furlongs in 46.48 under Joe Bravo, according to Daily Racing Form clocker Mike Welsch. That move came four days after he went five furlongs in 1:02.44. Friday’s work was moved up a day due to rain in the weekend forecast.

“He did it really nice,” Bravo said by phone from Keeneland. “All the way around the turn he had his ears pricked, just waiting for the signal. He switched leads turning for home, and he finished really good. I knew he was moving. I was letting him work, but if you watch the replay, I tapped him at the wire. He got up underneath me and wanted to go more. I love the way he’s getting over the track.”

Ralis, the Grade 1 Hopeful winner, worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 with Kieren Fallon aboard. Trainer Doug O’Neill said Fallon told him Ralis “would have done anything I wanted.”

“He’s a talented, mature colt,” O’Neill said.

O’Neill, who was in California, was scheduled to work Nyquist prior to Friday’s first race at Santa Anita.

Also working Friday at Keeneland were Juveniule pre-entrants Cocked and Loaded (four furlongs in 49.41) and Sticksstatelydude (four furlongs in 47.35).

Brody’s Cause and Unbridled Outlaw, both trained by Dale Romans, were scheduled to work Saturday at Churchill Downs. Romans confirmed Mike Smith would ride Unbridled Outlaw in the Juvenile.