(from Churchill Downs)
Stronach Stable’s Einstein, one of the top American hopes for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) at Oak Tree at Santa Anita, zipped a fast five furlongs at Churchill Downs on Oct. 25 in the veteran star’s final pre-race training move over his home track.
Jockey Julien Leparaoux was aboard the 7-year-old son of 1985 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Spend A Buck as he covered the distance over a “fast” track in :59.80 under jockey Julien Leparoux. The work by the Brazlian-bred star was the fastest of 54 at the distance and was accomplished in the company of a pair of 2-year-old stablemates from the barn of trainer Helen Pitts.
Einstein was timed in fractions of :23.80 and :36, and galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.80. After he passed his workmates Einstein took aim on another horse that happened to be working in front of him during his run through the stretch.
“We started about three or four lengths behind, but I caught them at the three-eighths pole and he finished very strong to the wire,” said Leparoux. “It was perfect. It was a very nice breeze. He is strong and he’s going to be ready for the Breeders’ Cup.”
“I just wanted to give him something to keep him interested,” said Pitts of her decision to send Einstein out with workmates. “He works good on his own, but he gets bored doing it. He likes being able to run at something in the mornings – he likes clocking something and running past them. I thought he would get a better work out of it, and it gives him a lot more interest. When he gets to about the quarter pole he loves bearing down and running by somebody.”
Pitts said Einstein would leave for California on Oct. 27 and would have only one major work over the synthetic Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita. The 1 1/4-mile Breeders' Cup Classic is Nov. 7.
“I just wanted him to have a good, fun, happy breeze today,” Pitts said. “When he gets out there he’ll just have an easy half. The hard part is done now.”
The versatile Einstein won the prestigious Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) over the Pro-Ride footing earlier this year.
Einstein, who was purchased this summer by Stronach Stables, will attempt to snap a three-race losing streak in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He was edged by Richard's Kid in the recent Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar.
“I’m excited about it,” said Pitts. “Why not take a shot at it? He likes that track out there and who knows? Every grade I in this country is tough, let alone the Breeders’ Cup, but if anybody deserves a shot, he does. I think he’s tough right now. He’s matured a lot and I think he’s doing great now.”
Einstein has a career record of 11-4-3 in 28 races and has earned $2,903,324.
“He loves the game – he loves to run,” Leparoux said of his Classic mount. “He’ll always give 110 percent – that’s one of the great things about riding him.”