09/22/2012 1:33PM

Little Mike and Dullahan put in works at Churchill Downs

Four-Footed Fotos
Little Mike runs next Saturday in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park.

The Dale Romans army of stars was out en masse Saturday morning at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., for key breezes toward their final prep races leading to the Nov. 2-3 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.

Most notably, Little Mike went an easy five furlongs in 1:03.40, while Dullahan went the same distance in 1:02.20 over a track playing noticeably slow.

“I’m just trying to keep them all fit and happy,” Romans said later in the morning.

For both Little Mike and Dullahan, it was their third work since they posted huge victories: Little Mike in the Aug. 18 Arlington Million in dominating wire-to-wire fashion, and Dullahan in rousing come-from-behind style in the Aug. 26 Pacific Classic at Del Mar.

Little Mike will run next Saturday in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park against the likes of Point of Entry and other 1 1/2-mile turf specialists.

Dullahan will wait until one Saturday later, Oct. 6, to run against fellow 3-year-olds in the Jamaica on the Belmont turf. All of the Romans shippers will be flown Thursday to New York from Louisville International Airport. Romans said Dullahan will have one more work at Belmont before the Jamaica.

In other Saturday works at Churchill for Romans, Silver Max, pointing to the Oct. 6 Shadwell Mile at Keeneland, went a half-mile in 48.20 seconds, while Finnegans Wake, also pointing to the Hirsch Turf Classic, went six furlongs in 1:15.80.

One other Romans star, Shackleford, was to work Sunday at Churchill. He also is scheduled to run next Saturday, in the Grade 2 Kelso at a mile on the dirt against To Honor and Serve.

Groupie Doll has first work back

Saturday at Churchill, Groupie Doll had her first workout since an impressive comeback victory, breezing a half-mile in 48.80 with John McKee aboard.

“I told John to just go 48 and change, so he covered that pretty good,” said trainer Buff Bradley. “He said he never turned her loose. The filly really is doing great right now.”

Groupie Doll, with regular rider Rajiv Maragh up, won the Grade 2 Presque Isle Masters by nearly four lengths on Sept. 8 and will make her next start Oct. 6 in the Grade 2, $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland. Bradley means for the six-furlong Polytrack race to serve as a prep for the Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, a seven-furlong dirt race for which Groupie Doll is the leading contender.

“We’re on target for the Keeneland race,” said Bradley. “She’ll work a half-mile again next Saturday, and if we could just have this same work again, I’d be thrilled.”

18-year-old rides first North American winner

Newly arrived jockey Juan E. Enriquez scored the first victory of his career in North America when guiding Divine Ambition to an eight-length triumph for trainer Eric Reed in the ninth race Friday night at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky.

Enriquez, 18, is the son of journeyman jockey Juan C. Enriquez, a regular on the Ohio-Kentucky circuit. The family hails from Lima, Peru. Turfway reported that the younger Enriquez won 170 races in his native country before recently coming to the United States.The elder Enriquez has ridden sparingly in the U.S. since 2004, winning 126 races.