Classic Contender Improbable Leads Sunday Breeders’ Cup Works
By LATT Staff/Press Release
Breeders’ Cup Classic hopeful Improbable, riding a three-race win streak heading into next Saturday’s $6 million main event at Keeneland, bullet worked six furlongs in 1:11.40 at Saturday morning at Santa Anita and will ship to Kentucky on Tuesday. The Bob Baffert trainee is riding a three-race win streak – The Hollywood Gold Cup (GI), Whitney Stakes (GI) and Awesome Again Stakes (GI) – heading into Racing’s Championship Day.
“I think he went just as smooth as he always does,” Baffert told TVG’s Christina Blacker. “He’s a beautiful moving horse and he left the pole relaxed and that’s the key to him this year, he’s been very relaxed, he’s matured and he picked up the further he went and I got him in :59 and change and out in (1:11) and change and out in (1:24) and change without even effort at all.
“The really good ones, they’ll do that, just like (fellow Classic runner, Kentucky Derby winner) Authentic, so I think, you know, coming into this race I can’t really see that he hasn’t gone backwards; all you can do about it is the class that they’ve had this year and if they’re breezing like that it means they haven’t lost any conditioning or fitness and they’re looking great, so I really don’t have any excuse for him, I think he’ll run a huge race.”
Also on the worktab at Santa Anita before departing for Kentucky was the Mark Glatt-trained Collusion Illusion who blew out a bullet three furlongs in :34.60 in pepaation for the Sprint.
At Keeneland, all four of Hall of Famer Bill Mott’s Breeders’ Cup runners were put through their final works. Frank’s Rockette, pre-entered for both the Filly & Mare Sprint and regular Sprint, went a half-mile in :49 under Neil Poznansky. Tacitus, headed to the Classic, and
Channel Maker, entered in the Turf, went five furlongs in 1:00 and a half-mile in :47.40, respectively in company. Then Horologist worked in a half in :47.40, also under Poznansky.
“She went nice and easy,” Mott said of Frank’s Rockette. “She went smooth and was really relaxed. I was very happy. She was very typical of when she works by herself. I will speak with the connections later today, but I am leaning toward the Sprint. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. The Sprint will be a tough race, but we know she is good at six furlongs. The Sprint probably will have a full field, probably 14 horses, whereas the Filly and Mare
Sprint will probably have no more than 10. That does come into the equation. The seven-eighths of mile in the Filly and Mare Sprint comes into the equation as well.
“Tactitus and Channel Maker went very good. Tacitus was tracking Channel Maker. We
went just a half-mile with Channel Maker. He was nice and sharp and doing it the right way. Tacitus tracked him a couple of lengths back and joined him in the stretch. We had Tacitus go out another furlong afterward and then gallop out.”
Trainer Steve sent out his entire nine-runner Breeders’ Cup battalion for Sunday works at Keenland.
Likely TVG Juvenile favorite, Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, Jackie’s Warrior went half-mile in :48.80 over a fast main track. The undefeated son of McLean’s Music won the Saratoga Special (G2), Runhappy Hopeful Stakes (GI) and Champagne Stakes (GI) in his last three starts.
“He had a nice, easy half-mile,” Asmussen said. “Thought he moved well over the racetrack. The circumstances were excellent today. We’re very excited about running him on Friday.”
“I think what gave us the most confidence was his Champagne, two brilliant races at Saratoga and for him to carry that (talent) over to another surface – and he looked brilliant doing it. This will be his first two-turn race. He is very speed-influenced in his pedigree but physically and mentally he is doing exceptional.”
Asmussen’s other Juvenile contender, Calibrate, also worked four furlongs in :48.80.
Lightly raced Nashville, who will make his stakes debut in the Breeders’ Cup, Yaupon and Echo Town – all Sprint contenders, though Nashville was also pre-entered for the Dirt Mile – each turned in three-furlong blowouts. Yaupon posted a time of :36.80, Echo Town went in :37.40 and Nashville logged :36.40.
Nashville wore his Sprint saddle towel for training Sunday, but in addition to the $2 million Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI) he is nominated to Saturday’s Perryville Stakes on the Breeders’ Cup undercard.
“Everything’s on the table.” Elliott Walden, President/CEO and Racing Manager for owner WinStar, said. “He’s an extreme talent. He’s only three. He’s only run twice. It seems like a big ask to run against the accomplished sprinters that he would have to run against. Not that he wouldn’t be capable.
“I think he’ll go a mile. I think he’ll use his speed to stretch out as well naturally. We’ll see how it goes. Great problem to have. Blessed to have him. He’s got a cool name: Nashville.”
The other Asmussen workers were Thoughtfully (Juvenile Fillies), who went furlongs in :49.40; County Final (Juvenile Turf Sprint) and Cowan (Juvenile Turf Sprint), who both went three furlongs in :39.20 and 38.80, respectively. Archidust (Turf Sprint) worked three furlongs in :38 over a turf course listed as “good”.
Come Dancing breezed three-eighths of a mile in :36 and galloped out a half-mile in :48 on a fast track in preparation for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (GI) on Saturday. She was sixth in the race at Santa Anita a year ago.
“The clockers got her in all :12s (seconds),” trainer Carlos Martin said. “I looked at the weather forecast and it is supposed to be 24 (degrees) (Monday) morning and feel like 18, so the track may be frozen. I didn’t want to get caught Tuesday or Wednesday not having been able to breeze.”
Del Mar Handicap (G2T) winner Red King, pre-entered for the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (GIT) wored five furlongs in 1:04 over a turf course labeled good.
Royal Approval (Juvenile Fillies Turf) and Rockingham Ranch’s Gypsy King (Juvenile Turf) were timed in 1:05.20 and 1:05.60, respectively, over the good turf for trainer Wesley Ward.
Trade Deal (Juvenile Turf Sprint) and M Racing Group’s Into the Sunrise (Juvenile Turf), went in 1:06.20 and 1:07.20, respectively, on the grass.