Barn Notes From Churchill Downs
Fusao Sekiguchi's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner and Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) contender Fusaichi Pegasus continued Friday to leave a favorable impression in his morning training at Churchill Downs, the site of the 17th running of the Breeders' Cup Championship on Saturday, Nov. 4.
The Neil Drysdale-trained son of Mr. Prospector, who won the one-mile Jerome (gr. II)) for three-year-olds on Sept. 23 at Belmont Park in his only start since a runner-up finish in the Preakness, trotted a mile and galloped a mile over a "fast" surface Friday morning. Regular exercise rider Andy Durnin was aboard for the effort, which came very late during the four-hour training session. Fusaichi Pegasus left the track and returned to his barn about 10 minutes before the official close of training at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).
Drysdale said he continues to play the colt's work schedule by ear and left open the possibility that he could work this weekend. He said that Fusaichi Pegasus would likely head to the track in the early minutes of training hours if the decision is to work him this weekend.
Meanwhile, Drysdale may have added another contender to his strong Breeders' Cup hand which already includes the Derby winner and Mile (gr. I) contender War Chant. Stonerside Stable, LLC's recent acquisition Freefourracing, a daughter of French Deputy, scored an impressive 3 1/2-length victory in the $82,525 Indian Summer Stakes at Keeneland in her American racing debut.
The filly had raced four times in England and notched three wins that included a victory in Group 3 company at Goodwood. She overcame considerable traffic problems under jockey Pat Day in her debut on the main track to break clear along the rail in mid-stretch and drew away impressively.
Drysdale said Freefourracing is now a strong candidate for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
"I think so -- provided she comes out of the race in good shape," said Drysdale. "We'll discuss it Monday with the McNairs (Stonerside owners Robert and Janice McNair) and racing manager John Adger. But I thought what I saw was very encouraging."
Day was behind a wall of horses with Freefourracing on the turn in the six furlong race, but waited patiently for a hole to open. The filly quickened immediately when called on and appeared to win with something left.
"She settled well, got dirt in her face and went up on the rail, had to wait and then came through a small opening," Drysdale said. "You couldn't have asked for a better prep." Freefourracing is now 4-0-0 in five races with lifetime earnings of $108,489.SURFSIDE, STRONACH HOPES SHINE IN FRIDAY WORKS
-- Overbrook Farm's Surfside, a 3-year-old daughter of Seattle Slew, who was a contender for the Kentucky Derby before she was sidelined by bone chips in her ankles in April, turned in a sharp five furlong breeze Friday at Churchill Downs as she prepares for a run in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I).
Surfside, who finished second in the seven-furlong Raven Run at Keeneland earlier this month in her first start since a loss to colts in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) in early April, breezed the distance in 1:00 4/5 over a "fast" track.
The D. Wayne Lukas-trained filly is the daughter of Flanders, winner of the 1994 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Churchill Downs and the champion 2-year-old filly of that season.
Stronach Stable's Cup Juvenile hopeful Macho Uno breezed five furlongs. Macho Uno, a Holy Bull colt who is a half-brother to 1998 Classic winner Awesome Again, covered the distance in 1:00 4/5. (More, Orseno Names BC Jockeys
Also working Friday was Fayette Breeders' Cup (GIII) winner Jadada, who is listed as a longshot chance for the Classic by Churchill Downs-based trainer Mitch Shirota.
The likely favorite for the Distaff, Aaron and Marie Jones' Riboletta, galloped on the Churchill Downs oval with exercise rider Jose Cuevas in the saddle. The winner of the Ruffian (gr. I) and Beldame (gr. I) in her last two starts is expected to be made a supplemental entry to the Distaff by the Joneses and trainer Eduardo Inda.WORK TAB
(Track: FAST) -- Robert and Beverly Lewis' Straight Man, winner of the Winnercomm Handicap (gr. II) on Kentucky Derby Day, breezed three furlongs in :36 1/5...Multiple stakes winner Illiquidity worked five furlongs handily in a sharp :59 -- the fastest time of 35 works at the distance...1998 Indiana Derby winner One Bold Stroke breezed a half-mile in :48 2/5 for trainer Jim Baker...Stakes veteran Premier Mark breezed four furlongs in :49 for trainer Bobby Barnett...Ultimate Warrior worked five furlongs handily in :59 3/5 for trainer Bernie Flint...Dixieland Sham breezed six furlongs in 1:15 -- the second best of four moves at the distance.