Areyoutalkintome/Thor's Echo – The Doug O’Neill stable hands were still all smiles Tuesday morning over the fact Areyoutalkintome made it into the Breeders’ Cup Sprint after being at the top of the Preference list of horses not drawn into the body of the race at pre-entry time.
Assistant trainer Leandro Mora said, “We’re so happy we got in the race. You know, we gave up a race in California (the Cal Cup Sprint) hoping we could get into this race. Luckily, we did.”
The Cal-bred sprinter galloped 1 1/2m for exercise rider Antonio Romero at Churchill Downs on Tuesday.
Thor’s Echo, a California-bred son of Swiss Yodeler put in his normal 1 1/2m gallop Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs under regular exercise rider Romero.
O’Neill said Tuesday that Corey Nakatani will ride on Saturday.
Attila's Storm – Barry Schwartz and partners’ Attila’s Storm walked the shedrow at Belmont Park Tuesday morning since he had a 4f work there on Monday. He is due to fly to Louisville on Wednesday. His trainer, Rick Schosberg, flies to Kentucky Tuesday afternoon.
Schwartz is formerly the CEO of Calvin Klein Inc. and more recently the CEO of the New York Racing Association (NYRA) from 2000-04.
Schosberg describes Attila’s Storm disposition: “He has more self-confidence than any other horse I’ve seen. He wants to eat you up. Even the pony is terrified of him. It’s not that he’s mean, he just sends out an aura. He thinks he can beat any horse on Earth.”
When it comes to the Sprint, post positions can be critical and Schosberg said, “Like everybody else, I’m hoping for somewhere between three and nine. My preference between the extremes, I’d rather have the one than the 14.
“He has tremendous speed coming out of the gate. He’ll be close, he’s a very fast horse. So is Bordonaro. He has a good turn of foot. He’ll have to be quick to beat us out of the gate, though.”
Bordonaro – Fred Carrillo and Daniel Cassella’s Bordonaro went to the track Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs before the renovation break with regular exercise rider Chris Aplin up.
“We took him to the paddock and schooled and then went to the gate and schooled and then jogged and galloped once around next to the pony,” trainer Bill Spawr said.
The schooling is part of Bordonaro’s normal routine.
“He needs the schooling because he gets a little washy in the paddock,” Spawr said. “We will do the same thing Wednesday and then maybe one more time depending on how he does tomorrow.”
Patrick Valenzuela, who counts 1987 Sprint victor Very Subtle among his seven Breeders’ Cup victories, has the call on Bordonaro.
Dubai Escapade – Tuesday was a routine, quiet morning of walking for the Ballerina winner, who turned in a bullet workout (5f in 59 3/5) Monday.
“She is super,” trainer Eoin Harty said. “She came back great, ate everything and is feeling fine this morning.”
Harty was scheduled to drive to Lexington Tuesday to talk with other Darley Stable officials about whether to enter the filly in the Sprint. Dubai Escapade has won six of eight starts, but the Sprint would be her first race against males.
“She’s fit and she’s ready to run,” Harty said. “If they want her to run and we decide it is the right thing for her, then she will run.
“Realistically, she is going to have to run the absolute, ultimate race of her life to beat these guys Saturday. I think all these things have to be weighed out before you commit one way or the other.”
Harty said the ultimate concern is the welfare of the filly.
“She’s done a lot for Darley this year and she’s had some very hard races,” Harty said. “Realistically, if she doesn’t look like she really belongs in there and can win this thing then she probably shouldn’t run. There are other races for her.”
Harty said that he feels that on her best day she belongs in the race.
“However, there is so much speed in there,” he said. “That’s the only thing that concerns me. There has been speed in her races before, but nothing like she’d have to face on Saturday.”
One of the considerations in the decision to race Dubai Escapade in the Sprint is that Henny Hughes is also scheduled to run in the race. Dubai Escapade is owned by Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Stable. Henny Hughes is owned by Zabeel Racing International, which is owned by Sheikh Mohammed’s son, Sheikh Rashid.
“I think if Henny Hughes wasn’t in there, then it would be a no-brainer, that we’d definitely be running,” Harty said. “But Henny Hughes, who is a deserved favorite, has got all the necessary tools to win this thing. He’s got speed. He can also rate just off it. He’s got to a good turn of foot when he’s asked. He’s a legitimate favorite on Saturday.”
Friendly Island – The Todd-Pletcher-trained Friendly Island, a Sprint longshot, galloped at Belmont Park Tuesday.
Henny Hughes – Zabeel Racing International’s Henny Hughes, the possible favorite in the TVG Sprint, is due from Belmont Park into Churchill Downs on the Tex Sutton charter scheduled to arrive sometime before noon Wednesday.
Kelly's Landing – Summerplace Farm’s Kelly’s Landing galloped at Churchill Downs on Tuesday morning for trainer Eddie Kenneally. The 5yo gelding holds the track record for 6f here of 1:07 2/5, set in the 2005 Aristides. He was second in this year’s running, behind the late Lost in the Fog.
Somewhat of a horse for the course, Kelly’s Landing has two wins and two seconds from five starts at Churchill Downs.
Considering post positions, Kenneally said, “Anywhere in the middle for him. I see a lot of speed in this race, obviously, and the first half-mile is going to be run very fast. I hope that’s the case, because he will stalk behind the leaders and then come with his run. If it’s quick early, it will help his closing kick.”
Lewis Michael – See Mile
Malibu Mint – John and Martha Jane Mulholland’s Malibu Mint galloped at Turfway Park in northern Kentucky on Tuesday morning where trainer James Chapman is stabled. He has not indicated when he would ship the 4yo filly to Churchill Downs.
Chapman’s wife Carolyn owned Malibu Mint up until the time they sold her to the Mulhollands just after the Winning Colors at Churchill Downs on May 27 with Chapman remaining the trainer. Chapman has always thought highly of the filly, who earlier in her career, was ridden by his daughter, jockey Kristi Chapman.
“On Derby Day, I put up $15,000 of my money to put her in the Humana Distaff. She lost her rider (Julien Leparoux) and grabbed a quarter. She walked for ten days after that. Her next race, the Winning Colors, she was maybe a little short.”
She missed winning that race at Churchill Downs by a neck.
“I have no trouble running against the boys,” he added. “She’s a big hefty filly. Every night after she races, she’s never left an oat (in the feed tub). She’s real easy on herself and most mornings I have to ask her to get up.”
Regarding strategy in the Sprint, Chapman said, “I’m not too concerned with the post position; we’ll take what we get. She can be wherever she needs to be. She’ll be off the pace, but not sitting too way back.”
Nightmare Affair – Timber Side Stable’s (Ron Borgese) Nightmare Affair jogged a half-mile and galloped 1 ½ m at Churchill Downs on Tuesday morning for trainer Manuel Azpurua.
A native of Venezuela and a trainer since 1948, Azpurua secured the services of jockey Edgar Prado for Nightmare Affair in the Sprint. Interestingly, it was 20 years ago that Azpurua arranged for a young Prado to come to the United States from Peru to ride for his stable.
“He was riding in Peru and he showed me that he was a good rider and also a very nice guy,” Azpurua recalled Tuesday morning. “I brought some really good riders from Peru: (Jorge) Chavez, Prado, (Julio) Pezua…”
Pomeroy –Silverleaf Farms’ (David Hutson) Pomeroy galloped at Calder Race Course on Tuesday morning and will board a charter flight from Miami, Fla. this afternoon headed for Louisville.
He will be accompanied by Miesque’s Approval, contender for the Mile, and Prospective Saint, who will run in a stakes at Churchill Downs this week.
Hutson bought Pomeroy after the 2005 Vosburgh Handicap from Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith as a stallion prospect, but he chose to continue his racing career after surgery to remove chips in his left ankle in December.
“Pomeroy was going to be retired last year,” said trainer Marty Wolfson. “It’s a real feat that we got him to the Breeders’ Cup. After the surgery, we took 90 days just to jog him. Then he started galloping, but it was tough to get back going. I tried breezing him from the pole, but he just wouldn’t do it. Going from the gate, he’s been unreal and he’s gone to the gate ever since.”
Pomeroy has had just two starts in 2006. “I think Eddie (Castro) rode him terrific in the Smile,” said Wolfson of Pomeroy’s first race back after an eight-month layoff where the horse finished second behind another Breeders’ Cup Sprint contender, Nightmare Affair.
“He broke from post 12 of 13 in there and just tracked them around. He does rate. I don’t want anything inside for him (post position), anywhere from six to ten would be good.”
Siren Lure – Stuart Kesselman and Tony Melkonian’s Siren Lure jogged a mile before the renovation break at Churchill Downs under exercise rider Saul Velasco.
Alex Solis will have the mount in Saturday’s Sprint, Siren Lure’s first start since the Pat O’Brien Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 20.
“He likes time in between his races and it just wasn’t the right timing,” trainer Art Sherman said of the 76-day break. “He is coming off two seven-furlong races and I wanted to give him time to freshen up since I am cutting back to a little bit shorter distance and I want him as fresh as he can be. He likes to run fresh, but there was nothing out there (in California) that would have been in the five-week range.”
Too Much Bling – The Carry Back winner spent much of Tuesday traveling from Southern California to Kentucky on a Tex Sutton flight.
A total of nine Breeders’ Cup horses were on the flight.
Bob Baffert trains the Rubiano colt for Stonerside Stable and Blazing Meadows Farm. Too Much Bling has four wins and a second in five starts this season. The Sprint will be his first race since he won the Carry Back Stakes on Calder’s Summit of Speed card on July 15.
War Front – War Front geared up for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint by firing bullet in 45 flat under exercise rider Winston Ellis during a 4f workout at Belmont Park Tuesday morning.
“It was a good work,” pronounced Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens from his Belmont Park barn.
War Front won the 6f Vanderbilt Breeders’ Cup at Saratoga in his second 2006 start before finishing second to Pomeroy in the 7f Forego at Saratoga and second behind Henny Hughes, the likely Sprint favorite, in the 6f Vosburgh at Belmont Park.
War Front will be shipped to Louisville on Wednesday.