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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Daily Cup Update: Turf, Monday, Nov. 1


Al Khali – New rider Julien Leparoux took the 4yo ridgling onto the Churchill Downs turf course shortly after its 9:30 opening and posted a 5f breeze in 1:01 2/5, the third-fastest of only four works that included two other Breeders’ Cup entrants.

“He was very good,” said Leparoux, who will be the fourth jockey in seven starts for the son of Medgalia d’Oro. “He was comfortable out there.”

Sold for only $15,000 at the 2007 Keeneland sale, the former Todd Pletcher trainee is 0-for-3 at the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf distance of 1 ½m, but missed by less than a length in his last start in the Canadian International at Woodbine on Oct. 16 for trainer Bill Mott.

“It looked like he was on the bridle most of the way,” said Mott, who took over the training last summer for Brous Stable and Wachtel Stable. “If you look at him, you’d know he’s the type of horse who’s going to get better as he gets older.”

Behkabad – The 3yo colt, who arrived Saturday with the main European contingent, was expected to clear quarantine Monday afternoon and will be out on the track for the first time on Tuesday.

Trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, Behkabad will again be ridden by Christophe Lemaire, who was aboard when the son of Cape Cross won the Prix Niel in September and was fourth in the Arc de Triomphe last out on Oct. 3.

Behkabad, who has also won the Grand Prix de Paris and Prix de Guiche this season, is owned by H.H. Aga Khan, who won the very first Breeders’ Cup Turf with Lashkari in 1984, and won the race at Churchill Downs in 2000 with Kalanisi.

Champ Pegasus – 4yo colt galloped 1m on the main track at Hollywood Park Monday after working 5f on turf Sunday.

“He's got tomorrow off to ship and I didn't want to give him two days off,” explained Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. “He's a late-developing horse. I'm amazed he's gotten this far this fast. He's beaten who we've asked him to run against, and we're going to ask him to beat some tougher ones.”

Asked to compare Champ Pegasus with former Breeders' Cup Turf winners Kotashaan and Johar, Mandella replied, “We knew we had a good horse going in with Kotashaan. With Johar, I had the feeling he would be going at the end. Champ Pegasus is a little bit the same as Johar that way. He's beaten some nice horses, and you never know unless you try.”

Mandella, who flew to Kentucky Monday afternoon, celebrates his 60th birthday Friday.

Dangerous Midge – Brian Meehan trainee Dangerous Midge, winner of the Arc Trial in his last race, is expected to clear quarantine by 5:00 p.m. Meehan is expected to arrive on Wednesday.  

Meehan’s assistant Paul Burns will be on a pony taking horses in two sets on Tuesday, one set just before the break and one just after. Meehan will be on the pony on Wednesday.

Debussy – Princess Haya of Jordan’s Arlington Million winner cleared quarantine and made his first visit to the track at 10 a.m. Monday.
The 4yo Diesis colt trained by John Gosden went out for some light exercise on the main track with two other European-based horses that cleared quarantine, Delagator and Biondetti.

Debussy has won five of 15 career starts. In his most recent race, he finished third, beaten 2½ lengths in the Champion Stakes on Oct. 16 at Newmarket.

Paddy O'Prado – see Classic

Plumania – see Filly & Mare Turf

Red Desire – see Filly & Mare Turf

Telling – In his final major preparation for Saturday’s Turf, Alex and JoAnn Lieblong’s Telling breezed an adventurous 5f on Saturday over a fast main track at Churchill Downs in 1:01 3/5.

“We were just starting to break off in company when a pair of (trainer Ken) McPeek horses just whipped around us and covered my horses in dirt,” trainer Steve Hobby said.

“Then (Breeders’ Cup Sprint contender) Smiling Tiger came from behind that and they really hooked up and made McPeek’s horses go faster than they probably wanted to go. Telling’s not a big work horse anyway, he’s just going to do what he’s going to do, but he didn’t need to go eat all that dirt.”
Hobby confirmed that Javier Castellano, who rode Telling to a seventh-place finish in last year’s Turf, will have Saturday’s call.

Winchester – Multiple Grade 1 winner Winchester turned in his last serious pre- Turf workout Sunday at Belmont Park, going five furlongs over the inner turf in 1:03 2/5.  

Jockey Cornelio Velasquez has the call in the Breeders’ Cup aboard a horse that owns a pair of Grade 1 wins on the season: the Manhattan and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic.  Winchester will ship to Kentucky on Tuesday.

“He’s doing great,” trainer Christophe Clement said.  “He’s had the best year of his life and the Turf Classic was the best race of his life.”

Workforce  – Workforce, winner of the Epsom Derby and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, is expected to clear quarantine by 5:00 p.m. Trainer Michael Stoute will be at Churchill Downs on Tuesday. Stoute’s assistant Stuart Messenger is here with the Juddmonte Farms homebred, who arrived Saturday.

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