James Tafel’s Street Sense, winner of the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), worked a sharp five furlongs at Churchill Downs Oct. 15 in preparation for the $5-million Breeders’ Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Monmouth Park Oct. 27.
The homebred son of Street Crycovered the distance over a “fast” surface in 1:00.80 under jockey Calvin Borel. The move, which was described as a “maintenance” work by trainer Carl Nafzger, was the final major workout for the 3-year-old Street Sense at Churchill Downs before his departure this week for Monmouth Park.
The work ranked as the second-fastest among 30 at the distance. Churchill clockers caught the Kentucky Derby winner in fractional times of :13, :25.20, :37, and :48.80 and he galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.40.
“We got what we needed,” Nafzger said. “We just need to keep him going. He’s ready. We need to just go up there and get into Monmouth and do our thing.”
Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Curlin, meanwhile, worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 on the Polytrack at Keeneland. Trainer Steve Asmussen said the son of Smart Strike worked well, and he is impressed with what he has seen out of the chestnut colt after he defeated Lawyer Ron in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I).
Asmussen said Curlin is scheduled to breeze Oct. 22 at Keeneland before shipping to Monmouth the following day.
Also on hand to watch what is expected to be the final work for Street Sense was Tafel, the colt’s owner and breeder. The Classic is scheduled to be the final race in his colt’s career, and Tafel is hoping for a big finish that could earn his reigning 2-year-old champion strong consideration for the Eclipse Awards that will honor the champion 3-year-old and Horse of the Year of 2007.
“He’s gorgeous – on top of his game,” Tafel said. “It’s bittersweet, but we’re looking forward to a great race because I think it as tough a Classic as I can remember. Our horse is on the top of his game…I’m very proud as an owner, and particularly proud as the breeder. That’s a pretty good combination.”
Nafzger’s colt is scheduled to leave Churchill Oct. 18 and travel by van to Monmouth. He is set to arrive at the Oceanport, N.J., track Oct. 19.
Street Sense is expected to face a field in the 1 ¼-mile Classic that includes four of his rivals from the Kentucky Derby: Hard Spun (runner-up), Curlin (third), Tiago (seventh), and Any Given Saturday (eighth). Also expected to compete is Lawyer Ron, winner of Saratoga’s Whitney (gr. I) and Woodward (gr. I) and America’s top older horse.
Nafzger’s other Breeders’ Cup hopeful – Bentley Smith’s Alabama Stakes (gr. I) winner and Emirates Airlines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) contender Lady Joanne – is scheduled to work Oct. 16 at Churchill.