In a move faster than trainer/exercise rider Helen Pitts would have liked, Stronach Stables’ Einstein tuned up for the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) with a half-mile workout in a quick :47 4/5 at Santa Anita Nov. 1. The move was the sixth fastest of 46 horses working that distance over the artificial surface.
"The only one I have to yell at is me," Pitts said. "He likes this surface and gets over it easily. I didn’t really move on him. I was hoping not to go that quick. But they say good horses will breeze fast."
Pitts that she had a difficult time gauging how quickly the horse was moving over the track. The trainer said she has a better handle on Einstein when he goes through his paces at his home base of Churchill Downs.
"On a dirt surface, it is easier to tell how fast you’ve gone," she said. "It’s harder to tell on this surface. He’s as deceiving as much as the track is. I was looking to just get a nice easy breeze. I just wanted to let him stretch his legs today. He just likes this track a little too much. He came out of it great. The hard part is done."
That 7-year-old Einstein will be entering the Classic off a two-month break should pose no problem for the son of Spend a Buck, said Pitts.
"He runs well fresh," she said. "He’s 7 years old. He’s danced every dance. What’s he have to prove? He has had a big year and runs well fresh. It’s the biggest race of his life and I didn’t want him coming in as a tired horse."
Pitts said Einstein has aged well, gaining in maturity while maintaining his fitness level.
"Fitness-wise he hasn’t changed a lot," she said. "He’s just matured a lot in his behavior. He had a lot of play to him. He’s grown up over the years. He hasn’t changed a lot. He and I know each like the back of our hands."
Bred in Brazil Einstein has won 11 of 28 lifetime starts, with seven additional placings, and earned $2,903,324. Included among his victories have been the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) at the same distance and over the same track as the Classic, and the Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill.