Marylou Whitney's Birdstone had his first gallop over the Lone Star Park track Sunday after arriving Saturday afternoon on a private charter from Albany, N.Y. that also brought three other Nick Zito-trained horses.
Birdstone, who has not run since his victory in the Aug. 28 Travers Stakes (gr. I), is expected to be one of the choices for the $4-million Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
With exercise rider Maxine Correa aboard, Birdstone had an easy mile and an eight gallop, traveling smoothly throughout.
"He was looking around a bit, which horses tend to do their first time at a new track, but he handled the track beautifully," Correa said.
Birdstone was still sporting the remnants of a skin rash that had begun to break out four days after the Travers. The colt arrived with several noticeable bald spots on his hind end, but they seemed to have filled in during the short time he's been at Lone Star. The rash is similar to the one contracted by The Cliff's Edge a few months ago.
"All I knows is that he's doing great and training great; as good as I've seen him," said assistant trainer Reynaldo Abreu, who said Zito is due to arrive on Monday.
Also out on the track Sunday was the Zito-trained Sun King, who runs in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) for owner Tracy Farmer. The son of Charismatic, who had a horse galloping outside him, was aggressive and feeling good throughout the gallop, bouncing off the track. Sun King is coming off a third-place finish in the Champagne Stakes (gr. I).
Another Breeders' Cup hopeful, In the Gold, who runs in the Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) was scheduled to arrive late Sunday morning. The daughter of Golden Missile
finished third, beaten a head, in the Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II).