Air Support – The 2yo son of Smart Strike was walked Monday morning after arriving at Churchill Downs on Sunday. Air Support had breezed 4f in 48 2/5 at Belmont Park Sunday before shipping.
“He’ll gallop tomorrow,” said Jennifer Patterson, an exercise rider and assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, who is slated to arrive in Louisville Wednesday.
Rajiv Maragh, who rode Air Support to victory in the Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont Park last month, will have the return mount Saturday.
Banned – Trainer Tom Proctor sent Banned out after the break Monday morning and the 2yo colt breezed 5f on the turf course with the dogs up in 1:02 3/5 under exercise rider Mary Donald.
“He’s doing real good. Everything’s ok,” said Proctor, who named Joel Rosario to ride the son of Kitten’s Joy on Saturday.
Banned and Rosario will partner for the first time in the Juvenile Turf, but that is nothing new for the colt. In his three previous lifetime starts, Banned had been ridden by Garrett Gomez, Edgar Prado, and Jose Lezcano.
Proctor will also run Keertana (Filly& Mare Turf) in this year’s Breeders’ Cup to give him five career starts in the World Championships. In 1994, he scored a huge upset in the Distaff (now called the Ladies’ Classic) when One Dreamer was first to the wire and paid $96.20 to win here at Churchill.
Biondetti – see Juvenile
Deciphering Dreams – New York-bred Deciphering Dreams galloped over Aqueduct’s main track Monday morning. Plans call for Deciphering Dreams to fly to Kentucky Tuesday. Jockey Ramon Dominguez has the mount Saturday.
“He’ll get a little breeze at Churchill,” trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. said. “It might be on the grass, but he works just as good on the dirt. We’re happy with him.”
Dux Scholar – Juddmonte Farms homebred Dux Scholar has walked the shedrow each day since arriving at Churchill Downs on Saturday and is expected to clear quarantine by 5 p.m. Monday.
The son of Oasis Dream will go to the track for the first time Tuesday morning, which is when trainer Michael Stoute is to make his first appearance also.
Madman Diaries – Though a firm decision is yet to be made, trainer Wesley Ward said Monday that he is leaning toward starting Madman Diaries in the Juvenile Turf rather than the Juvenile, for which he also was pre-entered.
Madman Diaries went to the turf Monday for a gallop, as did his stablemate Nina Fever, who will race in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
“Just a leg stretcher,” Ward said from his Florida headquarters.
Major Gain – In his final major preparation for Saturday’s Juvenile Turf, Gary and Mary West’s Major Gain covered 6f over Churchill’s firm turf course on Friday with Michael Baze up in 1:17 1/5, around the “dogs.”
“He has the pedigree for the turf,” trainer Wayne Catalano said. “I talked to the owners, and we decided we would work him on the grass. If he worked well, we’d run him in the grass race. He’s done it twice, and handled it real good. On Friday he was a little slow early on, but he finished up real good and galloped out strong. He came running at the end like he was supposed to.”
Major Gain got his last quarter-mile of Friday’s breeze in 23 4/5 and galloped out 7f in 1:30 4/5.
After much deliberation, Catalano announced Monday afternoon that Robby Albarado would pilot Major Gain in Saturday’s Juvenile Turf.
Mantoba – Manton Racing Partnership’s Mantoba, from Brian Meehan’s Manton yard, will go to the track for the first time Tuesday after walking the shedrow in Barn 42 since his arrival on Saturday along with 18 other European runners.
A winner of two of three races, Mantoba is expected to clear quarantine late Monday afternoon.
Master of Hounds – John Magnier’s Master of Hounds arrived on the European charter to Churchill Downs on Saturday, and has been walking the shedrow the last two days. He is expected to clear quarantine late Monday afternoon, and go to the track for the first time on Tuesday morning.
“He traveled well, and we couldn’t be happier,” said Pat Keating, traveling head lad for trainer Aidan O’Brien.
Pluck – Team Valor’s 2yo son of More Than Ready had a light gallop following his Saturday final breeze in company with stablemate More Than Real over the Churchill Downs grass course. He breezed 4f in 49 4/5, second best of five on the tab that day.
Garrett Gomez will be aboard for the second time, his first start since winning the Summer Stakes at Woodbine in mid-September. The homebred colt is two for three on turf.
Rogue Romance – See Juvenile.
Soldat – Soldat, winner of Saratoga’s With Anticipation in September, galloped about 1 3/8m over Belmont’s main track Monday morning. Shipping plans call for Soldat to arrive in Kentucky Wednesday morning. Jockey Alan Garcia has the mount in the Juvenile Turf.
“We like our chances going forward,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. “I don’t know about the Euros who are coming over, but we do have a colt that has a lot going for him.”
Utley – George Strawbridge’s homebred colt was walked in the quarantine barn Monday morning. He arrived on a flight from Europe Saturday evening, is expected to clear quarantine later Monday and make his first visit to the track Tuesday morning.
The son of Smart Strike is trained by John Gosden. He has won one of three starts, all of which have been run over soft turf. In his most recent outing, he faded in the final sixteenth of a mile to finish fifth in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Oct. 3 at Longchamp in Paris.