Better Talk Now - Better Talk Now jogged and galloped a mile under exercise rider Lisa Davidson at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning. The 7yo gelding, who will be making his third start in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf, had arrived by van from Keeneland Monday afternoon.
Trainer Graham Motion, who is scheduled to fly to Louisville early Wednesday morning after spending Halloween with his children, will send Better Talk Now to the track after the break.
"I might gallop him on the turf tomorrow, but definitely Thursday and Friday," said Motion, whose veteran grass performer pulled off an upset in the 2004 Turf at Lone Star Park before checking in seventh in last year's Turf at Belmont.
Motion said he wasn't particularly concerned about the condition of the Churchill Downs grass course on Saturday.
"Better Talk Now's won on soft turf and he's won on firm turf," he said from his barn at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland. "It does seem that he improves on soft turf the last couple years, but, then again, he won the (2005) Man 'O War on a turf course that was like a road."
The son of Talkin Man, who has earned nearly $3 million during his 36-race career, won the Dixie Stakes on a firm Pimlico turf and the Sky Classic on a yielding Woodbine turf this year.
Cacique - The Irish-bred horse jogged on the main track after 9 a.m. Tuesday with regular exercise rider Jose Cuevas doing the honors. Trainer Robert Frankel indicated his ultra-steady 5yo would go back to galloping Wednesday.
"He fires his shot every time," the Hall of Fame conditioner offered. "His races in this country (he has six U.S. starts after 11 outings in England and France) - he got beat on the square once in the United Nations (by a half-length by English Channel). His other races, he could have won them all. You never saw a horse race wider in your life than his first start here (Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita Mar. 6). He had trouble in the other races he lost, too.
"One good thing about him, he likes to run on the soft grass. And this course should be that way Saturday. They had rain here and more is supposed to happen today and that course is not going to be hard on Saturday.
"This will be his last race - he's going back to England to be a stud horse next to his full brother Dansili. What a family that is - those two and Banks Hills, Heat Haze and Intercontinental; all Grade I winners. That mare (Hasili) might be the best broodmare of all time."
English Channel/Go Deputy/Icy Atlantic - The Todd Pletcher-trained English Channel, a two-time Grade I winner on turf this season, galloped at Belmont Park Tuesday as did Turf hopefuls Go Deputy and Icy Atlantic.
Honey Ryder - See Filly & Mare Turf
Hurricane Run - The well-traveled 4yo cleared quarantine Monday night and was out on the track for some exercise Tuesday morning, getting in a steady 5f canter around the dirt oval.
Andre Fabre trains the son of Montjeu, who has raced in Ireland, England and France this year. Hurricane Run, winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe last year, will be ridden Saturday by Christophe Soumillon, who was aboard in the colt's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in July.
Fabre is not expected to be on hand for Saturday's race.
Red Rocks - The handsome Irish-bred colt cleared quarantine Monday night and went out to the track Tuesday morning for some light exercise in company with David Junior, trainer Brian Meehan's starter in the Classic.
Red Rocks trotted once around the dirt oval under the supervision of Jane ***, Meehan's assistant. The trainer is scheduled to arrive in Louisville Tuesday evening.
"Red Rocks will probably jog on the turf track later in the week," *** said. "Brian will make that decision when he comes."
The 3yo son of Galileo will be looking for his first graded stakes victory in the Turf Saturday. Frankie Dettori, who was aboard in the colt's maiden score in April, has the mount.
Rush Bay - The Tom Amoss trainee was in "good shape" Tuesday morning, following a 5f breeze over the Churchill turf course on Monday. Rush Bay remained in the barn and walked the shedrow.
Amoss is doing double duty this week, splitting his mornings between his normal training routine and serving as a racing analyst for the Television Games Network's morning "Works" program.
"I'm tired," said Amoss, when asked how he was holding up. "I do think working for TVG gives me an advantage in handicapping the races, but being able to see the preparations of the horses is a great advantage to anyone."
When asked if he's measured up the competition for his two Breeders' Cup runners, Amoss replied, "It's still early. I'm waiting to see all the out of town horses when they arrive."
Scorpion - A dual Group I winner last year, Scorpion was part of the five-horse contingent from Aidan O'Brien's Ballydoyle yard that left Shannon Airport about 9 a.m. Kentucky time on Tuesday. The non-stop flight was due in Louisville about 5 p.m. with the horses expected at Churchill Downs around 6:30 after their blood was drawn for testing by the USDA.
The turnaround is roughly 24 hours on the tests, which are done at the USDA facility in Ames, Iowa, so, if negative, Mrs. John Magnier's 4yo could go to the track Thursday morning. O'Brien is expected in Louisville Wednesday evening, according to the International Racing Bureau.
Michael Kinane, whose only previous ride on Scorpion resulted in a 10th-place finish in last year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, will be in the irons Saturday
Silverfoot - The homebred gelding from Stephanie Clark's Chrysalis Stables had a routine morning Tuesday, galloping 1 ½m and making a visit to the Churchill Downs paddock for schooling.
Although Silverfoot has not had as much success as he did in 2005, when he won three of five starts before finishing sixth in the Breeders' Cup, trainer Dallas Stewart said it made sense to enter the Turf again because the son of With Approval is unbeaten in four races on the Churchill grass course.
"Stephanie is very competitive and very sporting," Stewart said. "It's not cheap. She's putting up a lot of money to run him in there, but we're hoping the home-court advantage will give us some kind of an edge, maybe help him step his game up a little bit."
This year, Silverfoot has won one of six starts, capturing the Louisville Handicap. He wrenched his right front ankle while running fifth as the favorite in the Kentucky Cup Turf on Sept. 26, but Stewart said the 6yo has made a full recovery.
T. H. Approval - The gray horse by With Approval went trackside just after 7 a.m. under exercise rider Edmundo Cedeno for a 1 ½ m gallop around Churchill Downs. Trainer Eduardo Inda had his charge out a bit earlier than usual to be sure he got his business done prior to an impending rain storm that was scheduled to hit Louisville at some point Tuesday.
The 5yo distance specialist galloped stronger as he went along, then came off in frisky fashion after the exercise.
"He's a good-feeling horse," Inda offered. "He's playful around the barn and on the track. But put a horse next to him and he wants to compete; he gets right on the muscle."
Inda said owner Tadahiro Hotehama would be on the scene Wednesday. He also noted that he'd probably try to gallop his horse on the turf course Thursday and Friday.
T.H. Approval has won stakes on the turf at 11, 12 and 14 furlongs and figures to be right at home traveling the 12 furlongs of the Turf Saturday. Alex Solis will be in the irons.