Announce – Juddmonte Farm’s 4yo homebred filly cleared quarantine Tuesday and went out to the track for the first time at 8:45 a.m. for some light exercise in her preparations for the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
Trained by Andre Fabre, Announce has won five of 10 lifetime starts. Most recently, she won the Prix Jean Romanet by a neck and finished second by a nose to fellow Filly & Mare turf contender Nahrain in the Prix de l’Opera on Oct. 2 at Longchamp in Paris.
Aruna – The 4yo daughter of Mr. Greeley galloped 1 3/4 m on grass under Heather Craig Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs in preparation for a start in the Filly & Mare Turf.
Trainer Graham Motion had also pre-entered Aruna to the Ladies’ Classic, but opted for the 1 3/8 m turf race following a workout over the main track on Saturday.
“Ultimately I felt more confident about her getting the distance on the turf than I did about how she was going to handle the dirt,” Motion said. “She had a perfectly good workout. I thought she worked fine, but I’m not sure it told me anything.”
Aruna has yet to run beyond 1 1/8 m in seven starts since leaving France last year to join Motion’s stable.
“I talked to (jockey) Ramon (Dominguez) about it, and he was very confident that she could handle the distance,” said Motion, whose filly had won twice at 1 1/8 m this year. “I don’t need to be afraid of anybody, and if she handles the distance, she’ll be very competitive.”
Cambina – Following what has become a pattern, trainer Jeff Bonde called for a day off on Tuesday for the 3yo filly Cambina, according to racing manager Mersad Metanovic. The Irish-bred daughter of Hawk Wing walked the shedrow.
Dubawi Heights – Riding a record of five victories in eight starts since coming to the United States in 2010, the 4yo filly took to the Churchill Downs main track Tuesday to jog 2 m under exercise rider Peter Barry for trainer Simon Callaghan.
“She’s doing great,” Barry said, “And she loves the track.”
Despite modest form while racing in England, Dubawi Heights has won four of five starts this year after breaking her maiden in her final 2010 start in November.
“She’s a different horse now,” Barry said.
Harmonious – The 4yo Dynaformer filly galloped about 12f for the second straight day as trainer John Shirreffs looked on from the six-furlong gap. The 2010 Queen Elizabeth II Cup winner has drawn post 3 in the 12-horse field for Friday’s $2 million Filly & Mare Turf.
“The post is good,” Shirreffs said. “And I learned something when I ran her here last year in this race (she finished 10th). I didn’t run her with toe grabs last year because I didn’t think the turf course was going to be wet at all. But the night before the race they watered it and she had a hard time getting a hold of it.
“This time I had my ‘shoer’ in California put the grabs on before we came. And with talk of rain here Thursday, she will no doubt need them.”
Martin Garcia will ride Harmonious Friday.
Misty For Me – Misty For Me went to the track for the first time Tuesday morning but did nothing more than a slow canter.
Nahrain – Newmarket-based first season trainer Roger Varian was at Churchill Downs for the first time to see Prix de l’Opera winner Nahrain go out on to the track. The daughter of Selkirk walked a circuit of the track before heading back to the stables.
“She has improved with every step she has taken and I am happy at this stage at where we are,” Varian said.
Shared Account – The defending Filly & Mare Turf champion galloped 1m under exercise rider Muffy Trimmer Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs.
Shared Account closed with a late run to win by a neck at Churchill last year at 46-1 odds, and the 5yo mare figures to be a long price again on Friday after going winless in two starts this year, but she hasn’t shaken trainer Graham Motion’s confidence.
“I feel very good about her coming into this race,” Motion said. “It’s been our goal for the whole year. The fact that Shared Account hasn’t won is really only a matter of circumstances. She had a tough go of it early in the year and it took her a long time to get over it. The last race in Canada (the Canadian), I thought she handled it well, but a mile and an eighth going around one turn really isn’t her game.”
Shared Account’s upset victory last year was a breakthrough of sorts for her trainer.
“It’s funny, I always felt I was a little jinxed at Churchill and then here we win a Breeders’ Cup and then a Derby within a space of however many months. It’s amazing. I’m very fortunate,” said Motion, who saddled Animal Kingdom for a 20-1 upset in the Kentucky Derby last spring.
Edgar Prado will once again be aboard Shared Account Friday.
Stacelita – Trainer Chad Brown sent the 2-1 morning-line favorite out for a routine 1 3/8m gallop Tuesday morning.
“I’m very happy the way she went,” Brown said. “Her energy level is good. She’s getting over the track good. She’s her normal self.”
With the Filly & Mare Turf as the objective, owner Martin Schwartz moved the 5yo mare from her native France to the U.S. earlier this year. She finished third in her first U.S. start, the United Nations for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget before being turned over to Brown. In two starts for the 32-year-old Brown, she has won two Grade 1 races, the Beverly D. and the Flower Bowl.
Stacelita came out of the Flower Bowl with an injured left eye. Brown has protected the eye during training with a clear plastic cup and may have her wear the covering in the Filly & Mare Turf.
“A couple of days after the race the eye was a little puffy and had some inflammation in it and ended up having a little ulcer on the eye,” he said. “We’ve been treating that and cleared it up, but it’s not quite at 100 percent yet. These kinds of things take a while to get perfect. It’s a tough area of the body to heal for anybody, horse or human.
“Because I feel that it is still sensitive, I don’t want to take any chances with this filly. If something was to hit it, while the eye is not at full strength, it could really harm her. We don’t want that to happen. I want to keep the eye shield on her during training all week and I’m even going to think about possibly running her in it. I’m not sure yet. It’s going to depend on how I think her eye is.
“She’s been training in it for a couple of weeks now and she’s been training super in it; no change in training. She’s very comfortable with it on and Ramon Dominguez breezed her with it on last week and thought she went perfect.
“It’s not something that I’m going to really worry about too much. I’m just going to continue to work on her eye, take care of the filly and come race day we’ll make a decision if we’ll run her in it.”