Life At Ten, who will take a six-race winning streak into the Personal Ensign Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 29 at Saratoga against Rachel Alexandra, worked five furlongs over the track for trainer Todd Pletcher Aug. 22.
The 5-year-old Malibu Moon mare, winner of the Delaware Handicap (gr. II) July 17, worked in company with Stopspending Maria and covered the distance over the sloppy track in 1:02.82. NYRA clockers caught her galloping out three-quarters of a mile in 1:15 3/5.
Life At Ten is owned by Cynthia DeBartolo and was bred in Kentucky by Nickelback Farm. She is out of Rahrahsixboombah, by Rahy. She became a grade I winner June 12 with a 2 3/4-length triumph in the Ogden Phipps Handicap at Belmont Park and has won all four of her starts in 2010.
“We were looking for a little more from Life At Ten because she is running 1 ¼ miles,” said Pletcher. “She not only worked well, but galloped out extremely well.
“She’s in very good form right now, and she’s obviously on a winning streak,” he added. “I think her races this year have been better than some have given her credit for, but I also think it’s a very, very tall order to take on Rachel Alexandra.”
Pending track conditions, reigning Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra is scheduled to work out Aug. 23 at 6 a.m. for what will be her final move prior to the Personal Ensign.
“She galloped in the mud this morning,” said trainer Steve Asmussen. “We’ll plan on going tomorrow and see if we can do it. If not, we’ll try the next day.”
The Personal Ensign will be Rachel Alexandra’s first race at the Spa since winning last year’s Woodward Stakes (gr. I) over Labor Day weekend.
Pletcher also sent out Discreetly Mine , expected to head the field in the King's Bishop (gr. I) on the Travers Stakes undercard Aug. 28, and Quality Road , expected to run in the Sept. 5 Woodward.
Discreetly Mine, an 8 ¾ length winner of the Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II) at the Spa in his most recent start Aug. 2, went an easy half-mile in :52.32 in preparation for the seven-furlong King’s Bishop.
“Most of them, we were just looking for routine maintenance,” said Pletcher. “Discreetly Mine is obviously very fit, and we were looking for a nice, easy half. He got over the ground well.”
Quality Road, who suffered his first loss of the year to Blame in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) Aug. 7, also went a half-mile, covering the distance in :51.86, with opening splits of :13.50 and :26.50. He came home the last quarter in :23.85.
“I was looking not to get off schedule with him,” said Pletcher. “He seemed to handle everything well, and came back well. The track was sloppy, but safe, and we caught it very early. It was either go, or not go, and we went.”
Malibu Prayer, winner of the Ruffian Handicap (gr. I) Aug. 1 at the Spa, went a half in :49.91 as Pletcher and owner Edward P. Evans mull her next start. Among the possibilities is the Ballerina Stakes (gr. I) on the Travers undercard at seven furlongs, said Pletcher.
“I will speak with Mr. Evans in the next couple of days and make a decision,” he said.