Asi Siempre – With jockey Julien Leparoux in the saddle, Asi Siempre worked 5f in 59 3/5 on the Polytrack at Keeneland Tuesday morning.
“Good. She ran good,” said trainer Patrick Biancone.
The 4yo filly will ship to Churchill Downs Thursday afternoon with Biancone’s other three Breeders’ Cup starters: Her Majesty, Gorella and Mauralakana.
Baghdaria – The Indiana Oaks Breeders’ Cup winner jogged at Churchill Downs on Tuesday morning prior to the renovation break. The 3yo filly is scheduled to gallop Wednesday morning.
Balletto – Darley’s Balletto, one of the favorites in the Distaff, breezed five furlongs over Belmont Park’s fast main track Tuesday in 1:02 1/5. Exercise rider Simon Harris was aboard for the move that went in splits of 25 2/5, 38 and 1:14 4/5. Balletto will walk Wednesday before leaving for Kentucky.
“Balletto is doing really well,” trainer Tom Albertrani said. “It looks like she is at the top of her game.”
Harris was also pleased with the work.
“She’s doing awesome,” he said. “She warmed up great and breezed nice. She’s smart; she knows exactly where that wire is. The cooler weather helps her a lot. She’s more responsive. She sometimes gets lethargic in the hot weather.”
Bushfire – Ron and Ricki Rashinski’s Bushfire put in a light gallop at Churchill Downs on Tuesday morning. She shipped over from Keeneland on Monday for trainer Eddie Kenneally.
Named for a song from The B-52s’ album Cosmic Thing, Bushfire is the best horse to date for the Rashinski’s Homewrecker Stable.
“I’d like to be inside,” said Kenneally of his preferred post position for Bushfire. “She’s a front-running filly and she’ll be laying real close. The shortest way around a two-turn race is on the inside and that’s what we’re looking for.
“She has shown that she’s legitimate by winning two Grade Is at Belmont. She’s back on her track now at Churchill Downs where she ran so well in the (Kentucky) Oaks.”
Bushfire finished third in the Oaks but was disqualified for interference near the sixteenth pole and placed sixth. Despite having won three Grade I events, the filly has never been the post-time favorite in 10 lifetime starts.
Fleet Indian/Pool Land/Spun Sugar – Fleet Indian, who will likely go favored in the Distaff for trainer Todd Pletcher, galloped at Belmont Park Tuesday.
Pool Land, winner of the Ruffian for Pletcher, galloped at Belmont Tuesday.
Spun Sugar, winner of the Go for Wand at Saratoga, galloped at Belmont Park Tuesday.
Happy Ticket – Stewart Madison’s Louisiana-bred star Happy Ticket jogged after the break at Churchill Downs on Tuesday morning.
“Just a little jog to loosen her up,” said trainer Andrew Leggio Jr.
Thinking about Wednesday’s post position draw, Leggio said, “If I had my choice, she’d be in the middle of the pack. The last time she drew the rail and couldn’t go anywhere the whole trip. Wherever she breaks from, we’ll just let the jock (Garrett Gomez) work his way through after that.
“Her running style is versatile,” he explained. “I’ve sent her to the lead, but she can come from last if need be. It all depends on what happens after the (starting) bell rings.”
When asked about whom he feared among the competition, Leggio said, “How’s about the 13 other ones? It’s a real deep field and anybody can win. The sad thing is, somebody’s going to run last.”
Leggio said that Madison would be at Churchill Downs for the post position draw on Wednesday.
“So will his good friend, Paul Case, the man who Happy Ticket is named for. He goes to the track and buys a bunch of (mutuel) tickets and hands out the winning ones to complete strangers and says, ‘Here’s your happy ticket.’ ”
Healthy Addiction – The Boston Harbor mare boarded a 5 a.m. Tex Sutton charter in Ontario, Calif., Tuesday and jetted to Louisville International Airport and the subsequent short ship to Churchill Downs. Her trainer, John Sadler, is scheduled to join her in Kentucky Wednesday via a flight from Los Angeles.
Victor Espinoza will ride the 5yo Healthy Addiction in the Distaff Saturday.
Hollywood Story – The mare, who’ll be making her 27th start in Saturday’s $2-million Distaff, galloped 1 1/2m on the Churchill Downs main track Tuesday morning under exercise rider Michelle Jensen.
Hollywood Story has raced once before in Louisville, finishing fifth behind Ashado in the 2004 Kentucky Oaks. She finished eighth of 13 in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff in New York, a race won by longshot Pleasant Home.
The 5yo daughter of Wild Rush will be joined by stablemate Giacomo – the 2005 Kentucky Derby winner and an entrant in this year’s Classic – Tuesday afternoon and by her trainer, John Shirreffs, on Wednesday.
David Flores rides Hollywood Story in the Distaff Saturday.
Lemons Forever – Trainer and part-owner Dallas Stewart said Tuesday that his confidence level in the 3yo filly is “excellent” as she prepares for the race.
“I just feel like she is doing awesome,” Stewart said. “She had two good works since the last race. She looks good. Her hair coat is good. She trains wonderfully here. She had a great morning this morning. I just feel like she’ll run her race.”
Lemons Forever, whose racing style is to come from off the pace, is winless in her four starts since winning the Kentucky Oaks at odds of 47-1 on May 5. In her last start, the Spinster at Keeneland on Oct. 8, her effectiveness was compromised by slow early fractions. She finished fifth, beaten 2 ¾ lengths.
The Distaff will be Lemons Forever’s final start for the ownership group of Stewart and his longtime clients, Willis, Leon, Terry and Cam Horton, who operate as Horton Stable. She is scheduled to be sold at auction at Keeneland on Nov. 7. Lemons Forever was purchased as yearling for $140,000 and has earned $546,345 in 10 career starts.
Pine Island – Phipps Family’s Pine Island, the nation’s top 3yo filly, jogged over Belmont’s main track Tuesday for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey. Pine Island has come to hand nicely over the last few months, scoring Grade I victories in the Alabama and Gazelle.
Although most handicappers believe Fleet Indian is the horse to beat in the Distaff, McGaughey – himself a three-time winner of the Distaff – has a different take on the race.
“I think Balletto is the filly to beat,” he said. “I think all of her races have been good and she’ll probably get a good pace scenario and she’s a good closer.”
Pine Island is similar to Balletto in that they are both closers that do their best running late. But while Balletto has four weeks between her last race and the Breeders’ Cup, Pine Island has a bigger gap, 56 days between the Gazelle and Distaff. McGaughey, however, says lack of fitness won’t be an issue.
“We’re fine in that department,” he said.
Pine Island leaves for Kentucky Wednesday.
Round Pond – The Fox Hill Farm filly jogged 2m at Churchill Downs Tuesday.
Trainer Michael Matz said Round Pond also was schooled in the paddock.
Round Pond breezed at Keeneland Sunday and was shipped to Chuchill Downs later in the day. She walked Monday.
In 10 career starts, the daughter of Awesome Again has compiled a record of 6-2-2. Four of those victories have been in graded stakes.
Sharp Lisa – The 4yo daughter of Dixieland Band jogged 1m and galloped 1m Tuesday at Churchill Downs as she moved a day closer to Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
Regular exercise rider Antonio Romero was in the irons for the exercise.
The Distaff might be Sharp Lisa’s final race. She is catalogued for sale Sunday night at the Fasig-Tipton breeding sale. The filly has earned $658,100 for owners J. Paul Reddam, Suarez Racing and Mark Schlesinger.
Summerly – Despite the fact that it is looking less likely by the minute that the 2005 Kentucky Oaks winner will make the final Distaff field, trainer Scott Blasi sent the 4yo filly to the track for a 4f in 49 3/5.
Summerly sits first on the Preference list and would need a defection before Wednesday morning’s post position draw to make the field.
“The work was super,” said Blasi. “It was exactly what I wanted. It’s just a shame. I can’t believe she’s on the outside looking in.”
If Summerly does not start in the Distaff she will be retired. She is scheduled to be sold at the Fasig-Tipton sale in Lexington, Ky.