Looking for a live longshot for the NetJets Breeders' Cup (gr. IT)? Look no further than Green Fee, who is listed at 50-1 on the morning line and was the last horse to draw into the 14-horse field. "I thought he'd be the first one that didn't get in, or the last one to get in," said trainer Dan Peitz. "We were on the bubble." Now that he's in, he'll break from post 6 under John Velazquez.
Friday morning, Green Fee was looking fit and feeling full of him self after his morning jog, his first tour of Arlington Park. "He's fresh," said Peitz as he worked hard to hold Green Fee for a bath outside Barn 16. "That jog didn't do him any good today."
While Peitz said he usually hand-walks his runner on race day, he said he might have to do more Saturday morning. "Usually the plan is to walk him tomorrow, but I might jog him a couple of miles to get the edge off."
Green Fee is a tall chestnut son of Green Dancer, out of the Rahy mare Raska. While he is a half-brother to swift 2-year-old stakes winner Posse, injury and ailments have caused him to come to hand more slowly. "He's had an ankle, feet, he had a year off for a curb, splints," Peitz said. "He's had everything over the years."
However, Green Fee has put it all together this year. After starting his campaign at the $75,000 claiming level, Robert and Lawana Low's runner has earned his way to the Breeders' Cup off a victory over Forbidden Apple in the Kelso Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park on Oct. 5.
"He's gotten good at the right time," Peitz said. "The Kelso was set up for him. He loves a mile and he loves Belmont Park. He jumped up and ran the race of his life. If it wasn't, then it was pretty close to it. It's like in basketball, in the NCAAs, you only have to be great for a couple of weeks."
Peitz admitted his longshot status. "In this race, for us, everybody looks tough," he said with a laugh. "If Rock of Gibraltar runs his race, he's the one to beat. But a lot fast horses have come from Europe and have gotten beat. If I were a bettor, I wouldn't take even-money on him."
Green Fee has won seven of 28 starts and has earned $470,895. All but two of his starts have come on turf. On soft turf, Green Fee has a 1-2-3 slate from nine starts.
In other Mile developments, even-money morning line favorite Rock of Gibraltar got his first look at the Arlington track. While his stable lads were wearing new bright red jackets with "The Rock" embroidered on the back. Coolmore stable jockey Mick Kinane didn't pilot the horse, but did offer his assessment: "He's had a long hard year, and I hope he has one more in him."