Domestic Dispute and Royal Regalia, contenders for Saturday's NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), took to the grass at Lone Star Park Monday and both found it very much to their liking.
The turf course was labeled good and it was obviously playing faster than Saturday, the last time any horses worked on turf following heavy rains the day before. The rail on the turf course was placed about 10 feet out from inside rail and the works took place outside of cones that were placed out about another 10 feet.
There was a brief scare on the track before the turf works that followed the track maintenance break, when an exercise rider was thrown by Waupaca, who then ran off to top of the chute on the main track. The rider re-boarded and worked the horse in :51 4/5 for a half-mile, with the Breeders' Cup horses unaffected by the incident.
Domestic Dispute, a 4-year-old son of Unbridled's Song
cross-entered in the Mile and the Sprint, (gr. I) was timed in 1:02 1/5, much to the delight of Mickey Brennan, the assistant to trainer Patrick Gallagher who was aboard for the work.
"He feels great and he's moving very well over the track," Brennan said. "He was nice and relaxed and galloped out in the lane."
Owned by David Bienstock, Paul Mandabach, and Charles Winner, Domestic Dispute has won three of 20 lifetime starts, including the Strub Stakes (gr. II) earlier this year, and earned $413,428. In his only grass start, the colt finished fourth in last year's Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT).
With exercise rider Holly Dapp aboard, Royal Regalia, a gelded son of Cozzene
, went five furlongs in 1:03 2/5.
"I thought he worked very well," said trainer Justin Nixon. "He finished up well and galloped out (six furlongs) in 1:13 and change. He did it just as nice as he wanted."
With the Mile oversubscribed, Nixon and owner Frank Stronach, the chairman of Magna Entertainment which owns Lone Star Park, are hoping for a defection that would allow Royal Regalia to draw into the field. Trainer Neil Drysdale, who conditions Mile pre-entry Musical Chimes, has indicated the horse will not run, opening the door for Royal Regalia.
"We're here and we're training like we're in," Nixon said.
Bred in Kentucky by Stronach's Adena Springs Farm, Royal Regalia was produced from the Miswaki
mare Pookette and is a half-brother to Canadian champion 2-year-old and sire Talkin Man. The colt was a late-bloomer who finished unplaced in his first career start, at age four. Since then, he has won five of 12 starts, with third-place finishes in Woodbine's Atto Mile (Can-I) and the Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT). At Saratoga.