Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Nov. 5-6
$2 Million Grey Goose
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Grade I)
1 1/16 Miles
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Biondetti – Trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni sent the Bernardini colt out for a 1½ m gallop Thursday morning. The unbeaten 2yo owned by Godolphin galloped 3m on Wednesday.
“It was a good gallop,” Al Zarooni said. “That was the last piece of work before the race. (Friday) will be very easy.”
Bionedetti is 3-0 with two victories on turf and one on a synthetic surface. He won the Gran Criterium at San Siro in Italy in his most recent start. In the Juvenile, he faces the unbeaten Murjan, who won his races in Peru, and North American runners with a total of six Grade 1 victories on their resumes. Al Zarooni said his horse, who drew the rail, is a contender.
“I believe that every horse in the race has a chance, even the ones on the outside,” Al Zarooni said. “I believe that anything could happen in the race. Our horse has the ability. If everything goes all right, I think he has a chance.”
Boys At Tosconova – Last year at this time, Rick Dutrow Jr. was hopeful his Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile contender D’Funnybone would overcome his sprint pedigree and prove successful over a route of ground. Instead he finished last of 13.
Dutrow enters this year’s edition with a similarly profiled horse in Boys At Tosconova, by Officer out of the Coronado’s Quest mare Little Bonnet, but is confident a different story will be told.
“He’s got to go out there and do it, but with the way he’s trained, his stalking style and the way he galloped out (in the Hopeful), I just don’t see two turns being a problem,” Dutrow said. “He’s already got a solid race over that Churchill track (second in the Kentucky Juvenile in April) and it’s all good. We’re all good.”
J P's Gusto – The son of Successful Appeal, a winner of four of his six starts, went to the track at 9 a.m. for a 1 ½ m gallop under exercise rider Martin DeRubin. Trainer David Hofmans oversaw the exercise at Churchill Downs and declared all well with his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile entrant.
“He stood in the gate, too, and all is good,” the veteran California conditioner said. “We beat the Zenyatta rush, so we were OK.”
Hofmans and his horse are just a few stalls down the shedrow from Breeders’ Cup Classic favorite Zenyatta, currently racing’s star of stars, and she has drawn a massive audience for her trips from Barn 41 to the racetrack shortly after 9 the past two mornings. But J P’s Gusto was out and doing his business before the commotion got going Thursday.
J. B.'s Thunder – The Juvenile contender galloped 1½ m, schooled in the paddock, and stood in the gate on Thursday, passing each test with flying colors.
“He’s great, he’s an old-school horse that loves his job,” trainer Al Stall said. “He’s ready at all times.”
Stall has been saying all week that his horse does not necessarily need the lead in the Juvenile, although both of the 2yo Thunder Gulch colt’s previous victories were wire-to-wire under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan.
“He’s never been tested in his life, he’s always just won with straight-forward ears,” Stall said. “I keep saying, ‘He just ‘out-athleted’ them, if that’s a word. But who knows. If we leave on our toes from the three-hole, we may be there. That’s the instructions: just take what they give you, Shaun.”
Jaycito – The son of Victory Gallop took another 1 ½ m turn around the Churchill Downs track Thursday and trainer Mike Mitchell continues to be pleased with his charges.
“He has such a great way of going,” the veteran trainer said. “He feels great and he’s acting great.”
The colt was scheduled to school in the paddock with the horses running in Thursday’s fourth race.
With the historic Twin Spires forming a perfect backdrop for all the Breeders’ Cup runners, it would seem natural for Mitchell to ponder what might be a few months from now on the first Saturday in May for his juvenile runner. Asked about that, the trainer said, “We’re not looking forward yet, but after this race, I’ll give this colt probably a couple of months off and then decide on what to do in his 3-year-old year. If we go forward (toward the Kentucky Derby), he probably wouldn’t race more than twice before that race – maybe only once.
“We know what he have already. Depending on what he does here, I’ll know what I have to put under him (for the Derby). If I’m going to go to the Derby, I want a fresh horse.”
Murjan – Trainer Darrin Miller galloped Murjan 1 1/2 m and let him stand in the gate.
Riveting Reason – Maria Ayala, assistant to owner-trainer Myung Kwon Cho, was pleased Thursday morning after Riveting Reason returned to the barn with exercise rider Mario Uribe aboard.
“He galloped very strong this morning,” Ayala said. “The rider said my colt just pulled him around. He was so strong.”
Rogue Romance – Trainer Ken McPeek sent his Smarty Jones colt to the track for a 1 ½ m gallop on Thursday in preparation for the race.
“It was a regular gallop, nothing complicated,” said McPeek, who said earlier in the week that he was going to be a boring interview because he’s letting his horses do the talking.
Stay Thirsty/Uncle Mo – Both of the Repole Stable colts galloped 1 ¼ m around the Churchill Downs main track Thursday morning and will be schooled in the paddock on Friday, according to trainer Todd Pletcher.
“He (owner Mike Repole) is very excited,” Pletcher said. “Having this opportunity to have two colts of this caliber in one crop is terrific and he’s enjoyed every minute of it. I’d love to win it.”
Stay Thirsty will be playing second fiddle to his favored stablemate, but Pletcher is high on both prospects.
“He (Stay Thirsty) ran a big race in the Hopeful, and this was coming back three weeks after breaking his maiden,” Pletcher said. “It wasn’t ideally what we wanted to do. Unfortunately the Futurity doesn’t exist anymore at Belmont. We had his stablemate pointing for the Champagne, so it sort of put us in a position where we had to run him back a little sooner than we wanted to. We’ve had plenty of time from that race to this race.”
Pletcher admitted he’s tempted to think about what might be on the first Saturday in May here in 2011.
“With a colt by Bernardini that’s a half-brother to a horse that was second in the Belmont (Andromeda’s Hero), you would think he was dying to stretch out,” Pletcher said.
Javier Castellano rides Stay Thirsty for the first time from post 6. He is 8-1 on the morning line.
Stablemate Uncle Mo is the colt most everybody is talking about, and he’s the 7-5 morning-line favorite.
“He’s a special colt,” Pletcher said. “To break his maiden the way he did at Saratoga was eye-catching to say the least. You’re always concerned about coming back and stretching out in distance and stepping up in class, and then he comes back in the Champagne and runs a mile in 1:34 and change and was very impressive doing it. I liked the way he finished the mile and I liked the way he galloped out.”
Pletcher has never won this race, but hopes this Indian Charlie colt can end that streak.
“He’s been a real intelligent colt to train and we’re excited about him,” he said.