Champagne d'Oro – Champagne d'Oro walked the shedrow for the second straight morning on Monday following her bullet 4f drill in 47 2/5 Saturday morning at Churchill Downs. Assistant trainer Luis Quinteros, speaking for his boss, Eric Guillot, noted that the 3yo filly was doing well as she moves toward her date in the Sentient Jet Filly & Mare Sprint.
The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro has registered victories in New York’s Acorn and Test stakes already this year, and has earned her role as a serious contender in Friday’s race.
Miguel Mena, who handled the bay Kentucky-bred in her last three outings, including her win in the Test at Saratoga Aug. 7, will once again be aboard in the Breeders’ Cup.
Derwin's Star – Fourth on the preference list just one day before the draw, trainer Steve Klesaris expressed doubt that Derwin’s Star, a 3yo filly he owns in partnership with Puglisi Racing LLC, would get into Friday’s Filly and Mare Sprint.
“I don’t think it’s going happen,” Klesaris said. “I’ve been told by racing officials that Unrivaled Belle is almost certain to go in the Ladies’ Classic, but they only carry two horses on the also-eligible list. It’s also highly unlikely that two horses would scratch the morning of the race.”
Should a last minute development occur, Klesaris indicated that Derwin’s Star would van to Churchill from Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland on Tuesday.
“It’s disappointing, but that’s the way it goes,” Klesaris said of his likely exclusion.
Dubai Majesty – The Bret Calhoun trainee galloped 1 1/2m at Churchill on Monday leading up to a start in Friday’s Filly & Mare Sprint.
“She galloped very aggressively and she’s been in good form all year,” Calhoun said of the 5yo daughter of Essence of Dubai. “She ran one of her best races here earlier in the year on this surface and she’s thriving going into the race.”
Dubai Majesty won the May 31 Winning Colors Stakes at Churchill and hasn’t been off the board since. In her last outing, she took the Oct. 9 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland, and even though she has made recent starts at Calder Race Course, Monmouth Park and Presque Isle Downs, she has been based at Churchill all summer long.
While the Filly & Mare Sprint is a dirt race, Calhoun worked his starter on the turf on Oct. 26, her final move in preparation for the race.
“She just really loves it and enjoys it, and she comes out of her works a lot better on the turf,” the trainer said. “We’re just keeping her happy for now, she’s doing good and she’s ready.”
Calhoun will attend Tuesday’s post position draw and said he’d like to see Dubai Majesty in the seven or eight hole, a little further to the outside.
“That gives us better options with her and she’s got tactical speed,” he said.
Jockey Jamie Theriot gets the call.
Evening Jewel – The 3yo filly, whose last trip to Churchill Downs ended in one of the closest nose losses in Kentucky Oaks history, is back to try to rectify that result in Friday’s Filly & Mare Sprint. Trainer Jim Cassidy made the race choice Monday for the filly, who was pre-entered in the Ladies’ Classic.
Evening Jewel arrived at Churchill Downs from Keeneland Sunday and galloped once around the track Monday.
Regular rider Victor Espinoza retains the mount.
First Passage/Jessica Is Back –First Passage and Jessica is Back will board a 10 a.m. flight from South Florida on Tuesday bound for Churchill Downs so they both can compete in the Filly & Mare Sprint on Friday, although First Passage will likely run in the Chilukki Stakes on the day’s undercard.
“I really wanted to run her (First Passage) in the Breeders’ Cup race, but it is looking more likely that she’ll go in the Chilukki,” said trainer Marty Wolfson. “Right now, I’m not sure.”
First Passage, who worked 4f in 48 flat at Calder on Sunday, is currently ranked seventh on the preference list so it seems unlikely that she will draw in, although her trainer was getting the 4yo daughter of Giant’s Causeway primed just in case.
“After she arrives, she’ll walk on Wednesday and then go to the track to gallop a mile-and-a-half on Thursday,” Wolfson said. “She is a little high strung so she only goes to the little training track we have down here at Calder. She’s a handful.
“In contrast, Jessica is Back doesn’t do anything wrong. She worked (4f) in 48 3/5, which is her norm, at Calder on Saturday. Once she’s at Churchill, she’ll jog a mile on Wednesday and will gallop a mile-and-a-half on Thursday.”
First Passage will be ridden by Garret Gomez no matter which race she enters while Jessica is Back, a 6yo Florida-bred, will have Abel Castellano Jr. in the irons.
Gabby's Golden Gal – The 4yo filly jogged 1m at Hollywood Park Monday under exercise rider Jorge Alvarez.
"She's a Grade 1 winner and I expect her to run well fresh," trainer Bob Baffert said of the filly, making her first start since winning the 7f Santa Monica Handicap at Santa Anita in January. "Just a lot of little things kept her out: this and that."
Gabby's Golden Gal is a special horse to owner-breeder Arnold Zetcher.
"She gave us our first Grade 1 win in the Acorn last year and she is out of our first stakes winner, Gabriellina Giof," said Zetcher.
Gabby's Golden Gal will be flown to Kentucky Tuesday and will be ridden by Martin Garcia.
Informed Decision – The defending Filly & Mare Sprint champion worked 4f in 47 4/5 at Churchill Downs Monday morning under Julien Leparoux, who will have the return mount on Friday.
“Apparently, it went fine. I couldn’t see anything,” said trainer Jonathan Sheppard. “Julien was happy.”
Informed Decision (photo by Reed Palmer, Churchill Downs) was victorious at Santa Anita last year, edging defending champion Ventura by a little more than a length.
Moontune Missy – Moontune Missy worked 5f in 1:01 under jockey Dean Sarvis at Keeneland on Sunday before taking the short van ride to Churchill Downs, so trainer Eoin Harty only walked her Monday morning.
The 4yo filly’s breeze followed a bullet 6f effort in 1:11 3/5 on the Polytrack at Keeneland one week before (Oct. 24)
“She’s doing fine. She won’t work again before the race,” Harty said.
Alan Garcia will ride Moontune Missy, who missed by only a head in the Gallant Bloom Handicap at Belmont in her last race.
My Jen – The 3yo daughter of Fusaichi Pegasus went to the Churchill Downs track for some light exercise Monday morning.
“She jogged the turn,” said Brendan Walsh, assistant to trainer Eddie Kenneally. “She worked on Saturday (4f in 48 3/5), walked Sunday, and jogged this morning. She’ll gallop tomorrow.”
My Jen, who captured the Gallant Bloom at Belmont in her last start, will be ridden by John Velazquez.
Rightly So – Rightly So, one of three female entrants in this year’s Breeders’ Cup trained by Tony Dutrow, arrived early Monday morning on a Tex Sutton charter flight from Baltimore in a trip that was termed “uneventful.”
Rightly So, a 4yo filly with plenty of early speed, went through her final workout for the race on Saturday at Delaware Park and covered 4f in 47 3/5. Cornelio Velasquez, who partnered with her in her three most recent starts, winning the Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga their last time out, gets the return call.
Havre de Grace (Ladies’ Classic) and Joyful Victory (Juvenile Fillies) are Dutrow’s other starters in this year’s edition of the Breeders’ Cup.
Rinterval – Trainer Eric Reed, who has a barn at Keeneland, has given Rinterval two works at Churchill Downs in preparation for the Filly & Mare Sprint. She covered 4f in 49 2/5 on Oct. 23, and then covered the same distance on Oct. 30 in 49 flat.
“Her works at Churchill were slower than we’re used to seeing with her, because she’s been at Keeneland on Polytrack,” Eric Reed said on Monday morning. “They don’t have me jumping for joy, but they’re all right.”
Rinterval is due at Churchill Monday evening.
“She is currently at the vet and the chiropractor is giving her a ‘once-over’ before the race, because we don’t want to change anything at this point,” Reed said. “She gets acupuncture, too, and this is her regular routine. (Owner) Jerry (Jamgotchian) likes to have an evaluation of his horses before and after every race.”
The 5yo daughter of Desert Prince will gallop 1 1/2m Tuesday morning with Reed there to oversee. Rafael Bejarano will be her jockey on Friday.
Sara Louise – Assistant trainer Rick Mettee reported that Sara Louise, part of the Godolphin contingent that had been based at Belmont Park over the summer and fall had departed from Belmont Park early Monday afternoon.
“They pulled out of Belmont about 1 p.m.,” Mettee said. “No problems whatsoever. Everything is on schedule.”
Secret Gypsy – The Sea of Secrets mare jogged 1m on Monday at Churchill and was doing much better than her trainer, Ronny Werner, who was sporting several stitches in his forehead after being kicked by another one of his charges on Sunday.
“It’s just a matter of keeping her happy now,” said Werner. “She had two excellent works over the track and schooled well in the paddock the other day.”
Secret Gypsy enters the Filly & Mare Sprint riding a three-race win streak, which includes a length victory in the Endine Stakes at Delaware on Sept. 11. Werner believes that coming from the deeper Delaware track will be to her advantage when racing on the “tighter” Churchill surface.
“You’re usually pretty golden when a horse comes from a surface like Delaware to a surface like the one here,” Werner said.
Jockey Jamie Theriot, the mare’s regular jockey, has the mount on Friday.
Sweet August Moon – The Malibu Moon mare Sweet August Moon went to the track under exercise rider and assistant trainer Colleen Hartford at 8:30 Monday morning at Churchill Downs and skipped through a 3f drill in 35 4/5 as her final major prep for Friday’s Filly & Mare Sprint.
Trainer Brian Koriner watched the move from the second level of the clocker’s stand on the backstretch and said he liked what he saw.
“She’s doing good,” he said, “and her work was fine. The ‘boys’ put the knock on her work here last week (1:00 4/5 Oct. 26), but it was fine. We’ll see what they think about this one.”
The Pennsylvania-bred 5yo has won seven of 18 starts, including a pair of stakes this year in Southern California. Victor Espinoza, who has ridden the dark bay or brown filly in her last three outings, including stakes scores at Hollywood Park and Del Mar, will once again get a leg up for her Breeders’ Cup run.
Switch – The Quiet American filly was first out of trainer John Sadler’s barn Monday morning at Churchill Downs, jogging a mile under the trainer’s long-time exercise rider Jose Alferez.
Switch has won three races and finished in the top three in seven of her nine starts, including her latest outing when she ran into the champion mare Zenyatta, the likely favorite for Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, in Hollywood Park’s Lady’s Secret Stakes Oct. 2. Switch looked like a possible upsetter of her older and much larger rival deep in the stretch, but fell a half-length short at the end of the race.
Switch will be handled by jockey Joel Rosario in the Filly & Mare Sprint.
Tidal Pool – Trainer D. Wayne Lukas watched from his pony Monday as Tidal Pool galloped 1m as she moved ahead on her preparation for Friday’s Filly & Mare Sprint. He said her major work is finished in the form of a sharp 4f workout Friday in 46 2/5.
She’ll gallop up to the race, the trainer said. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has the call on the 3yo filly.
Unrivaled Belle – see Ladies’ Classic