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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Daily Cup Update: Turf Sprint, Monday, Nov. 1


Bridgetown – The Speightstown colt, runner-up in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, jogged 1m and galloped 1m on Monday at Churchill Downs. He enters the race off a fifth-place finish in the 6f Neartic Stakes at Woodbine on Oct. 16 and trainer Ken McPeek believes returning to the shorter 5f distance in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint will play to Bridgetown’s strengths. He holds two stakes victories at the 5 ½ f distance this year.

“The five furlongs is definitely better for us,” said McPeek. “This will be a good race for him.”

Jockey Elvis Trujillo has the mount.

California Flag – California Flag went trackside at 9:45 Monday morning and crossed over to the turf course for a 3f breeze under exercise rider and assistant trainer Colleen Hartford. The Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint defending champion worked in 36 2/5 far out in the middle of the course around the “dogs” set up to preserve the inner racing portion of the course.

Trainer Brian Koriner clocked the drill on his own from the second level of the clockers’ stand on the Churchill Down backside.

“It was a good move,” he said. “I think he got a hold of this course well today. I’m expecting that he’ll show up (in the 5f Turf Sprint this Saturday). It was unsettling not to see him really try last time (Woodford Stakes at Keeneland Oct. 9 where he finished 11th and last). He just couldn’t seem to get a hold of that course over there. But if he ‘gets’ this one, he’ll be back in the game.”

Victor Espinoza, the California-based veteran who has ridden the California-bred gelding twice before, has the call Saturday.

Central City – The Shakertown Stakes runner-up galloped 1 ½ m on Monday at Churchill Downs. The City Place colt will gallop the rest of the week and will have at least one more schooling session in the paddock after “being pushy” on Sunday, according to trainer Ronny Werner.

Jockey Robby Albarado has the mount.

Chamberlain Bridge – The Bret Calhoun trainee galloped 1 ½ m Monday morning, back on track after an abscess in his right front foot caused him to miss a work that was scheduled for Oct. 30. A 6yo gelding, he's still targeting a start in the Turf Sprint in spite of the abscess that was discovered Oct. 29 and treated over the weekend.

“He went back to the track yesterday and jogged a mile the wrong way,” Calhoun said. “He just got through galloping this morning and everything’s good; I think we’re back close to that 100 percent. Missing the work doesn’t bother me at all. The main thing is having that foot 100 percent for Saturday and it looks like we can get that done.”

In his last start, the son of War Chant ran fourth in the Oct. 9 Woodford Stakes at Keeneland after missing the break. He had strung together a three-race win streak before that, with victories in the June 26 Arlington Sprint at Arlington Park, the July 31 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup Handicap at Penn National, and Sept. 6 Turf Monster Handicap at Philadelphia Park.  

“He turned his head when they kicked them and he was late behind the last horse,” Calhoun said. “He had to go wide and make up a lot of ground and I thought it actually was a pretty good race; he was fourth beaten only a length and a half. (Jockey) Jamie (Theriot) really didn’t ask him to run down the lane because we knew we had this race coming and we really weren’t going to win that one after getting left at the gate. So I was disappointed that he got himself left which caused him to get beat, but overall it was a pretty good race.”

Calhoun said he feels his horse is ready for a start, regardless of the minor foot issue.

“He didn’t need the breeze, he’s fit and ready, we’re not worried about that at all,” he said. “It probably would have made me feel better than him. We were unlucky that the abscess happened but we were lucky that it was far enough out and abscessed quickly instead of brewing in there and not coming out. It could have been a real issue but we had enough time to get over it.”

Due Date – The El Prado colt walked the shedrow of trainer Steve Margolis’ barn on Monday, two days after working 4f in 49 over the Churchill Downs turf course.

“It was a good work,” said Margolis. “Garrett Gomez was on him and he never even moved.”
Gomez also will be aboard in the race.

Grand Adventure –The 4yo Grand Slam colt, second in the Nearctic Stakes at Woodbine last out, is vanning down from Canada and will arrive at Churchill Downs on Tuesday, along with trainer Mark Frostad.

Owned by Sam-Son Farms, Grand Adventure gained the lead briefly in the 6f Nearctic on Oct. 16, but was passed late by Serious Attitude. He has won two of seven starts this year, taking the 1m King Edward in June and 7f Connaught Cup in May.

Patrick Husbands, who has been the colt’s regular rider most of the season, will be on hand for the mount on Saturday.

Kinsale King – see Sprint

Rose Catherine – It was a quiet day in the shedrow a day after her final breeze for the Paul Pompa Jr. runner, the 3yo filly trainer Todd Pletcher will send against the boys for the first time.

“I thought she worked very well (4f in 49 3/5 on the grass) and seemed to come out of  it in good order,” said Pletcher, who trained her sire Speightstown to a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint in 2004. “I’m pleased with where we’re sitting.”

Rose Catherine  has won five of six starts this season, but she will be seeking her first graded stakes score. She was second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita last year under current rider Javier Castellano.

Stradivinsky – The speedy Stradivinsky breezed 4f over Aqueduct’s main track Monday in 47 3/5.  Exercise rider Michelle Nevin was aboard for the move.  Stradivinsky went the first quarter in 23 4/5 and galloped out 5f in 1:02 according to the Aqueduct clockers

“He’s so strong. He always wants to do a bit too much,” Nevin said.  “He really got around there well.”

Stradivinsky won a $50,000 claiming race in his last start over the Churchill Downs turf course.  Jockey C.C. Lopez has the mount Saturday and Stradivinsky will ship Tuesday to Kentucky.

“He’s already won on that grass course,” trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. said.  “We figure that’s a little bit of an advantage.”

Tropic Storm – A decision on which race the 6yo Stormy Atlantic gelding will tackle will be made at entry time Tuesday morning, trainer Craig Dollase said Monday. Dollase will be at Churchill Downs Tuesday to make that decision.

Tropic Storm, who was pre-entered in the Dirt Mile and the Turf Sprint, comes to the race from a third-place finish in the Oak Tree Mile.

David Flores has the call for whichever race the trainer chooses for the gelding.

Unzip Me – The California-bred 4yo filly galloped 1 1/4m on the training track under exercise rider Paddy Dalton Monday at Hollywood Park. Trainer Marty Jones expects the multiple stakes-winning runner to show her usual zip.

Jones hopes his second Breeders' Cup starter performs better than his first.

“Hugh Hefner, my first Breeders' Cup starter, didn't run very well in the (1999) Juvenile,” recalled Jones.

Unzip Me and Jones are both scheduled to fly to Kentucky Tuesday. Rafael Bejarano has the call.

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