Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Nov. 5-6
$2 Million Sentient Jet
Breeders’ Cup Sprint (Grade I)
Three-Year-Olds & Up
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Atta Boy Roy – The Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint contender walked the shedrow Thursday morning after arriving from Trackside Training Center on Wednesday. Trainer Valorie Lund said he would take to the track Friday morning for a brief gallop leading into his Saturday start. The $4,500 Washington Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association yearling sale purchase is Lund's first Breeders' Cup starter.
Big Drama – Trainer David Fawkes sent his Sprint contender out for a 2m jog on Thursday morning and schooled the 2010 Smile Sprint Handicap winner in the paddock with the horses in the second race in the afternoon.
“He looks good – make that real good,” Fawkes said about Big Drama, who is owned by Harold Queen and was bred at Queen’s farm in Ocala, Florida. “He’s a very smart horse and that makes him easy to train. He’s an absolute pro and he does everything right, He always has, even from when he first came to me as 2yo. Harold breaks all of his own horses on the farm and when they sent him to me, he was broke perfect.”
Fawkes, who was accompanied by Mr. Queen at the barn Thursday morning, currently has 65 horses under his care for 70 different owners including partnerships. Since he took out his license in 1979 he has trained a variety of quality runners, including 2000 Smile Sprint Handicap winner Forty One Carats, who set the Calder 6f track record of 1:08 4/5 that day. That record still stands.
“Forty One Carats, now he was a handful,” Fawkes recalled. “Big Drama is easy. I’ve been blessed with some very good horses and I’ve had my favorites, but this one is a little more special to me. Big Drama is near the top of my list.”
Big Drama is the 7-2 second choice in the Sprint despite drawing the inside post in the field of 12. Regular rider Eibar Coa will be in the irons.
Cash Refund – The Petionville gelding galloped 1 ˝ m on Thursday and will walk Friday in advance of his start in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Cash Refund’s most impressive race came at Churchill Downs in an allowance race in April 2009 when he defeated older horses by seven lengths and trainer Steve Margolis thinks he will run back to that race and better. In his only other two races at Churchill, he finished second in the Matt Winn Stakes and third in the Aristides Stakes.
“He’s doing great,” said Margolis. “We’re ready. We just have to hope they run as well as we think they’re going to.”
Girolamo – Out with the first set of ‘Godolphin Americans’ in the company of Dirt Mile runner Gayego, the 4yo son of A.P. Indy jogged 1m and galloped 1 3/8 m under exercise rider Kike Sierra.
Hamazing Destiny – He may be one of the longest shots in the race, but Hamazing Destiny has shown trainer D. Wayne Lukas enough improvement over the past month to encourage the Hall of Famer to believe he is a solid prospect.
“He’s had the best month of his career this past month,” Lukas said Thursday morning. “He’s training brilliantly; I’m very happy.”
The 4yo son of Salt Lake galloped 1 ˝ m Thursday morning in preparation for Saturday’s Sprint.
Kinsale King – Trainer Carl O’Callaghan brought Kinsale King out of Barn 24 at 8:30 Thursday morning to prepare for a 1m jog.
The 5yo Yankee Victor gelding raced at a pair of tracks in England and one in Dubai earlier this year, and was California-based prior to that.
“He’s doing great,” said O’Callaghan. “He’s fit as a fiddle.”
The musical reference was right on in that the Irish trainer’s father – Shamus O’Callaghan – was at the barn after having flown in the previous night for his home in County Clare near Shannon Airport. The senior O’Callaghan is an auld sod musician and his son says he plays a mean guitar.
Kinsale King, who has won five of his 10 starts and more than $1.4 million, will be ridden by Martin Garcia in the Sprint. They’ll start their 6f run from post 7.
Pashito the Che – In nine of his last 13 starts, Tuna Stable LLC and Off the Hook LLC’s Sprint contender Pashito the Che has been involved in a photo-finish (margin of a half-length or less). He won four of those races, but lost the other five.
“He has a tendency to hang,” trainer Scott Lake admitted. “He likes to sit and wait on horses. He’s lost a lot of head bobs because of it, and it’s been frustrating.”
Lake added blinkers in January, but after three tough losses in a row, he removed them.
“We tried blinkers, and it didn’t matter,” Lake said. “He waits either way. This horse has speed, but he’s better off sitting just off the pace and having his jockey time the move just right.”
Abel Castellano Jr. has ridden Pashito the Che in eight of his last 14 starts, and his brother Javier will pilot for the first time on Saturday.
Riley Tucker – Highly regarded as a 3yo while under the care of trainer Bill Mott, Zayat Stables’ Sprint contender Riley Tucker did all of his running in two-turn races. In what would be the final start of his sophomore campaign, the son of Harlan’s Holiday finished 12th and last in the Preakness.
“He’s a very good horse, and the way that he trains, it would be easy to try things with him,” said current trainer Steve Asmussen.
Riley Tucker spent a good portion of his 4yo season under the care of Bob Baffert, and was transferred to the Asmussen barn one year ago. His last 18 starts have come in one-turn races.
“As a sprinter he can stalk the pace and finish,” Asmussen said.
Smiling Tiger – Trainer Jeff Bonde backed up his continued optimism in his 3yo sprinter by saying after a 1 ˝ m gallop Thursday, “He’s been very professional here. He seems to be keeping his edge.”
Despite having three Graded victories in his past four starts, the son of Hold That Tiger is rated at 6-1 on the morning line, and that doesn’t surprise the Northern California-based conditioner, “I was expecting him to be a little long in the race.”
Smiling Tiger was scheduled to be schooled in the paddock with the horses running in Thursday’s first race.
Supreme Summit – Trainer Mike Puype had his Breeders’ Cup Sprint hopeful out for a gallop of 1 ˝ m Thursday morning at 6:30 and afterwards reported that all things were “excellent. He’s ready to run.”
The 4yo Cactus Ridge colt comes into the 6f headliner off a pair of smart efforts in California and the trainer was asked about the adjustment his horse had to make to a weather change of about 50 degrees between the warmth of his home base and the cool of Kentucky.
“All horses like cooler weather,” he said. “They eat better, they train better, they do better. So sure, he’s doing fine. He’s adapted and adjusted right away; he’s probably feeling better about it all.”
Puype noted that Supreme Summit had schooled well in the paddock during the races Wednesday afternoon and would not need to go through that drill again.
Garrett Gomez rides the Kentucky-bred and they’ll start from post 9 in the 12-horse field.
Warrior's Reward – The Ian Wilkes trainee jogged a bit and then galloped about 1 1/8 m Thursday morning after walking the shedrow on Wednesday.
Wise Dan – The Sprint contender and his stablemate, Here Comes Ben, a Dirt Mile contender, are used to shipping to Churchill Downs in the morning, running and being back at their Keeneland base for in time for dinner, so both were a little confused when they arrived yesterday and didn’t run, but they have settled in well, according to trainer Charles Lopresti.
Wise Dan and Here Comes Ben both walked on Thursday and will jog once around the wrong way on Friday.
“We just kept things light today,” said Lopresti. “They’re both great. I couldn’t be happier right now.”
Lopresti is hoping the great luck he had at Keeneland where he won six of 10 races carries over to Churchill and the Breeders’ Cup.
“That was a pretty great feeling,” said Lopresti. “Hopefully things will keep going that way.”