Await the Dawn, St Nicholas Abbey – St Nicholas Abbey and Await the Dawn, trained by Aidan O’Brien, are housed in the quarantine barn and will be out on the track Friday.
“We always dreamed of Await the Dawn being a Classic horse but because he got so sick after York (in August) and we nearly lost him, he has done great to be here. We felt that it would be the easier option to start him back on the grass and we will be happy if he runs a nice race,” O’Brien said.
He also reported St Nicholas Abbey to be in good form.
“He has done well since the Arc and we feel he has been progressing all the time, and because we lost him when he was 3(yo), we have been very conscious to take things steady with him.” St Nicholas Abbey ran only once at 3 in 2010, finishing sixth in the 2000 Guineas.
Brilliant Speed – The Blue Grass Stakes winner jogged 1m and galloped 1m under Dave Wallace Thursday morning at Churchill Downs.
The son of Dynaformer, who finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby last spring, has impressed his trainer with his development.
“He’s maturing all the time. He’s sharp as a tack right now. I can see him going out and running a big race,” trainer Tom Albertrani said. “I know this is the first time against older horses and it will be a bit of a challenge for us, but I like the way he’s training up to this race. He’s never looked better.:
John Velazquez has the mount.
Dean’s Kitten – Kitten’s Joy has turned out to be quite a sire for Ken and Sarah Ramsey. The 2004 Eclipse Award turf champion was second in the Turf that season, and now his son Dean’s Kitten will go to the post in the same race on Saturday.
Kitten’s Joy will be represented by five runners during this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships. He is the sire of five previous Breeders’ Cup starters, but has yet to father a winner. Dean’s Kitten was sixth in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
Midday – Juddmonte Farms’ 5yo mare won the 2009 Filly & Mare Turf, run at 1 1/4m at Santa Anita and finished second by a neck in the 2010 Filly & Mare Turf, run at 1 3/8 m at Churchill Downs. She is competing in the 1½ m Turf on Saturday.
“She didn’t quite get to run her race last year,” Juddmonte’s racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said. “But she has bounced back. She’s had a very productive season again this year. She’s shown us that she still wants to do it. We couldn’t be happier the way she is. She travels well, her attitude is excellent. She’s just a charming and lovely filly to be around.
“Last year, the race had sort of a lack of pace. We know she stays the mile and a half,” he said. “She’s won two Grade 1’s over that (distance) in Europe, so that’s not going to be a problem. She travels well in these races and has got a turn of foot. This is a race well worth winning.”
Sarafina – The morning-line favorite for the Turf cantered once around the Churchill Downs main track on Thursday morning.
Sea Moon – The 3yo’s planned 4f breeze was canceled when the course was closed just before turf works were to begin at 9:30 a.m. because of rain.
Three other European horses, Farraaj, Strong Suit and Elusive Kate also were scheduled to go on the turf course.
Jockey Ryan Moore was at the gap with Sea Moon ready to walk onto the dirt track when trainer Michael Stoute was notified that the turf course was closed. Stoute asked Churchill Downs to reconsider and he and trainer John Gosden, who handles Elusive Kate, walked down the track to the entrance to the turf course to make their case.
Sea Moon stayed on the dirt, walking and jogging on the backstretch for about 30 minutes before Stoute decided to send him back to the barn.
“We came all the way from England and paid a fortune to come,” Stoute said. “Here we are just trying to get a nice final workout before the race, 10 drops of rain and he closes the track.”
Sea Moon won the Great Voltigeur and was third in the St. Leger in his last two starts.
Stately Victor – A longshot at 30-1 in the morning line, Tom and Jack Conway’s 4yo son of Ghostzapper has just one win and one third from seven lifetime turf starts, and he’s never performed over Saturday’s 1 ½m distance, but trainer Mike Maker is encouraged by his recent performances.
“In the Durham Cup (third on Oct. 2), he broke well for once, but was forced to steady a bit,” Maker said. “He ran a decent race that day, and seems to have found a level of consistency lately. Mike (Smith) has gotten to know him. We think he’ll put in a good stretch run.”
Teaks North – The 4yo son of Northern Afleet jogged 2m the wrong way under exercise rider Joan Amaya at Churchill Downs Thursday.
The United Nations winner has settled in nicely after shipping from Belmont Park on Tuesday, said trainer Justin Sallusto.
“He’s the coolest horse you could ever have. It doesn’t matter if you put him on roller skates or a plane, nothing bothers him,” Sallusto said.
Teaks North was gelded when he was younger.
“He’s an aggressive type of horse. I guess he was kind of rough as a baby,” Sallusto said. “It’s too bad (he was gelded) because he’d be worth a lot of money now.”
Javier Castellano has the mount.