Robert LaPenta, Madaket Stables, Siena Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ Catholic Boy (More Than Ready) tuned up for Saturday’s GI Breeders’ Cup Classic with a five-furlong drill in 1:01 flat (5/40) Sunday at Churchill Downs.
“It was a good work,” trainer Jonathan Thomas said. “It always takes a lot of anxiety out of our lives when these horses have their final works. Really, what was most important to me this morning, was to see he continued doing things the way he has been throughout the year.”
Catholic Boy worked during the window for Breeders’ Cup horses at 7:30 a.m. through splits of :13, :24.80 and :36.80, before galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.60 and seven furlongs in 1:28.20, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.
The GI Travers S. winner has been stabled at Churchill for the last 10 days.
“I just wanted to get him down here early to see how he handled the new surroundings,” Thomas said. “You can see one work from a horse to get a sense if they like the track, but the second work can really tell you a lot of how they’re handling things.”
GI Kentucky Oaks winner Monomoy Girl (Tapizar) led a quartet of Breeders’ Cup workers from the Brad Cox barn to work at Churchill Downs Sunday morning. The likely GI Longines Distaff favorite went a half-mile in :48.40 (19/113) in company with older male allowance level runner Dazzling Gem (Misremembered) under regular rider Florent Geroux. Her splits were :12.20, :23.60 and :36.20 before galloping out in 1:01.40 and 1:15.80.
“Dazzling Gem was aggressive going to the pole,” Cox said. “The plan was for Monomoy Girl to sit right off him, but Dazzling Gem was aggressive. It still worked out well. Florent was able to range up to him and they went head and head. It was what we were looking for. We didn’t want to do as much as we had in the other works. I caught her in :49 2/5 and out in 1:01 4/5, so a solid breeze.”
Also working for Cox Sunday was GI Longines Turf contender Arklow (Arch), who went an easy half mile in :49.60 (73/113) with splits of :25 and :37.20 before galloping out five furlongs in 1:02.80. GI Turf Sprint hopeful Will Call (Country Day), winner of the GIII Twin Spires Turf Sprint S., was caught in :49.40 (64/113) for the half mile. His splits were :13, 25 and :37.20 before galloping out in 1:02.40. GI Filly & Mare Sprint entrant Golden Mischief (Into Mischief) earned the half-mile bullet when she worked in :47 flat. It was the fastest of the 113 half-mile works Sunday. Her splits were :13, :24.60 and :35.80 before galloping out in :59.40 and in 1:13.60.
“She looked fantastic,” Cox said of the 4-year-old, who is coming off a win in the GII Thoroughbred Club of America S. “She broke off nice and easy. Galloped out well. I’m just super pleased with her. She did everything right.”
Raymond Mamone’s Imperial Hint (Langfuhr) found some unexpected company while working four furlongs in :48.80 at Churchill Sunday. The multiple Grade I winner began his half-mile breeze at the three-furlong pole, while trainer Bill Mott’s GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile contender Topper T (Bellamy Road) began his half-mile breeze approximately 10 seconds earlier from the half-mile pole.
“We weren’t really anticipating having company,” said trainer Luis Carvajal, Jr. “I thought it was a very good work for us. I’m sure he could’ve easily gone a second or two faster.”
Iowa Cradle S. winner Topper T completed his half-mile drill in :47.60 (3/113).
Churchill Downs’ all-time leading trainer Dale Romans sent a pair of Breeders’ Cup contenders out to work under the Twin Spires Sunday. GI TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint contender Promises Fulfilled (Shackleford) went a half-mile in :48.40 (19/113), while GI Dirt Mile hopeful Seven Trumpets (Morning Line) went five furlongs in 1:01.40 (12/40).
“It was a busy, but fun morning in the ‘Romans Clocker Stand’,” Romans said. “I thought both horses worked phenomenal. I really like our chances in both of these races. These horses are improving at the right time and training extremely well.”
Promises Fulfilled takes a three-race win streak into the Sprint, most recently winning the Oct. 5 GII Phoenix S. Seven Trumpets was second in the GI H. Allen Jerkens S. and is coming off a third-place effort in the Sept. 22 GIII Gallant Bob S.
Romans added Dirt Mile entrant Dak Attack (Ghostzapper), who worked five furlongs in 1:00 flat, is “on the fence” for Saturday’s race.
Multiple graded stakes winner X Y Jet (Kantharos) will miss Saturday’s GI Sprint, but is expected to return to the races next year. “I didn’t like the way he came out of his last work,” trainer Jorge Navarro tweeted. “To compete at that level, you must be 100% and he’s not there. Horse will remain in training now with the 2019 G1 Golden Shaheen at Meydan as his next main target.” X Y Jet was second in the Golden Shaheen both this year and in 2016.
Also Working at Churchill Sunday:
Channel Maker (English Channel), Turf, 4f :49.00
City of Light (Quality Road), Dirt Mile/Classic, 4f :47.60
Fuhriously Kissed (Langfuhr), F/M Turf, 4f, :50.40
King of Speed (Jimmy Creed), Juvenile Turf, 4f :50.00
Liam the Charmer (Smart Strike), Turf, 5f, 1:05.60
Mia Mischief (Into Mischief), F/M Sprint, 4f :49.00
Miss Sunset (Into Mischief), F/M Sprint, 4f :49.80
Mom’s On Strike (First Dude), F/M Turf, 4f :48.20
Paved (Quality Road), F/M Turf, 5f, 1:05.60
Tight Ten (Tapit), Juvenile, 4f, :50.00
Tracksmith (Street Sense), Juvenile Turf/JT Sprint, 4f :48.60