11/01/2014 8:26PM

Work All Week gets payday in BC Sprint

Emily Shields
Work All Week, under Florent Geroux, denies Secret Circle a repeat win in the Breeders' Cup Sprint on Saturday.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Work All Week remained perfect on dirt and laid claim to the title of fastest horse in the world after holding off defending champion Secret Circle to register a half-length victory in the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Saturday at Santa Anita.

Work All Week, a son of City Zip, is owned by his breeder, Richard Papiese’s Midwest Thoroughbreds. Midwest is the nation’s leading owner in races won in 2014. Work All Week also was the first Breeders’ Cup starter for both his trainer, Roger Brueggemann, and jockey Florent Geroux.

Brueggemann, who worked as a mechanic for 30 years before taking out his trainer’s license in the late 1980s, is based at Hawthorne and had never won a Grade 1 race coming into the Breeders’ Cup.

The Sprint was Work All Week’s 12th victory in 15 career starts and his 10th in as many outings on dirt. He received a free berth into the Breeders’ Cup by virtue of his victory in the Win and You’re In, Grade 3 Phoenix at Keeneland four weeks earlier.

Work All Week broke alertly under Geroux and stalked the early pace of Fast Anna, who posted splits of 21.19 seconds for the opening quarter and 43.34 for a half-mile over a track upgraded from “good” to “fast” earlier in the day.

Work All Week forged to the lead nearing the eighth pole, edged clear, then withstood a late try from Secret Circle. The defending Sprint champion raced well placed but could not quite reach the winner over a surface that favored speed throughout the afternoon. Private Zone finished another 1 1/4 lengths back in third.   

Despite his perfect record on dirt, Work All Week returned a generous $40.20 after completing the distance in 1:08.28.

“He just does everything we ask, so it’s hard not to be confident in him,” said the modest and soft-spoken Brueggemann. “They kept saying we didn’t beat anybody. I wonder what they’ll say now.”

Geroux, whose father, former rider Dominique Geroux, was in attendance Saturday, said he had the utmost confidence in Work All Week despite the gelding’s humble beginnings. 

“It feels great, it’s like a dream come true,” said Florent Geroux. “To compete in this kind of race and win at the first try is unbelievable. I was very confident in my horse, and he was very sharp today. At the quarter pole, he caught a nice breather, and I knew he would be hard to catch.      

Papiese said Work All Week would be given time off at his farm in Ocala, Fla. He is scheduled to ship out Tuesday.

Trainer Bob Baffert said he was proud of Secret Circle in defeat.

“I knew that post was going to be tough,” said Baffert. “He tried hard. I thought he was going to get there, but he came up short. He ran too good to lose.”

ErnestoErnie93 More than 1 year ago
Excellent call by HRTV's Caton Bredar on selecting Work All Week.
Richard Margherio More than 1 year ago
A well deserved reward to a top notch trainer and an even better person...Roger trained a number of our horses over the years from Fairmount Park to Kentucky to Chicago and is by far the most caring, thorough and able trainer I have ever been associated with...From the early days at Fairmount Park it was obvious to me he was who I wanted taking care of my horses..They couldn't have been in better hands and we often remarked that Roger was a person you could trust with your checkbook. He always put the horse first and even though a man of few words, someone I could call a friend..Congratulations to a most deserving guy and we are all proud of you...Richard Margherio
Ken Wiener More than 1 year ago
A wonderful note!
Rosemarie Cola More than 1 year ago
Congratz to all the connections of Work All Week. Even though I am a big City Zip fan, he wasn't on my radar. Luckily I saw him before the race, did some research and got that nice exacta. Secret Circle always runs his race. Wish there could have been a dead heat. Work All Week better get Sprint Champ after that race.
william More than 1 year ago
I have the same story to tell as Joseph. I have followed Roger since his days at Fairmount Park. He only had a 5 horse stable back then, mostly castaways that he probably picked up for a few hundred dollars. When those horses came under his care, they improved a lot. He'd usually lay them off for a month or two and work the kinks out. I cashed several longshot tickets on the "first time for Roger" angle. When I decided I wanted to claim a horse, Roger was the guy I called. Not only was he a great trainer, I also found out he was very honest, too. I bet on Secret Circle, but found myself rooting for Work All Week to hang on for Roger......I should have played Roger blindly, like the old days. Congratulations on winning and having your horse ready to run his best race on the biggest day. P.S. next time you are interviewed, try not to hog the microphone so much
Joseph More than 1 year ago
Congratulations to the connections of Work All Week. I've had the pleasure of knowing Roger for many years since the early days when he began his training career. When we were looking for a trainer for our very modest stable (one horse) his record stood out among the trainers we considered. From the very beginning it was obvious that he had the horses' well being first and foremost in his mind. As far as we are concerned, you won't find a better trainer that is as honest, dedicated , and humble as Roger. Congrats Roger. It couldn't happen to a more deserving person.
Chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Stallion of the Cups has GOT to go to City Zip.
Rosemarie Cola More than 1 year ago
you got that right Chad. From sprint to route, what a stallion!
william More than 1 year ago
great training job