10/27/2010 4:35PM

Secret Gypsy drills on a slow day for Breeders' Cup works


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A very quiet morning on the Breeders’ Cup front at Churchill Downs on Wednesday with only one worker to report. The racetrack still had some moisture in it from Tuesday’s brief but severe midday storm and was officially called muddy when opening at 6 a.m. The strip dried out enough to be upgraded to fast after the renovation break, although it could have easily been deemed “good” considering there was still a little standing water in spots. The turf course was surprisingly open for business, although there were no takers as trainers obviously wanted no part of the softened strip and were inclined to wait for firmer ground later in the week.

Secret Gypsy (Filly and Mare Sprint, four furlongs in 47.40 seconds): The morning’s lone Breeders’ Cup worker came out shortly after the renovation break with jockey Robby Albarado aboard. Showing her usual speed, Secret Gypsy zipped through an opening quarter and three-eighths in 23 and change and 34 and change, although she did tire some through a final furlong in 12.70 and during an ordinary gallop-out when pulling up five-eighths in 1:02.55. As noted earlier, although the track was listed as fast for the work there was still some moisture in it; Secret Gypsy’s only two off-the-board finishes on dirt came on wet tracks, raising the question as to whether she might have finished stronger today over a little firmer ground.

CLOCKER ARCHIVE: Get Mike Welsch's previous workout reports from Churchill Downs

Trainer Todd Pletcher’s contingent of New York-based runners who shipped to town on Tuesday made their first visits to the racetrack Wednesday morning, led by Quality Road, who went out immediately after the course opened under regular exercise rider Patti Krotenko. He was followed in the second set by Life At Ten, who trained fairly aggressively with her head cocked outward as usual. Uncle Mo and Malibu Prayer were among those who galloped after the break.

As promised, trainer Bill Mott sent Unrivaled Belle to the paddock on Wednesday for the first of what figures to be several schooling sessions. She was joined on her visit by Turf contender Al Khali.

Espoir City made a little better appearance galloping this morning than he had on Tuesday, switching leads and travelling a lot smoother than he did 24 hours earlier.

Thursday’s schedule is also a light one for Breeders’ Cup entrants, with only Smiling Tiger (Sprint) confirmed to work locally. Get Stormy (Mile) and Here Comes Ben (Dirt Mile) are scheduled to breeze at Keeneland.

Hollywood Park

The Usual Q.T., the winner of the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes in July and a pre-entrant for the Breeders' Cup Mile, worked six furlongs on the Cushion Track synthetic surface at Hollywood Park in 1:13.60 on Wednesday.

Trained by Jim Cassidy, The Usual Q.T.'s time equaled the second-fastest of six recorded works at the distance. The Usual Q.T. worked alone, according to Hollywood Park clocker Russ Hudak.

The Usual Q.T. has won 8 of 17 starts and $1,207,240. A five-time stakes winner, The Usual Q.T. was second in the Woodbine Mile in Canada in his most recent start on Sept. 19.

Wednesday's weather was clear with temperatures in the mid-60s.

- Steve Andersen