Eight Breeders’ Cup World Championships contenders and hopefuls worked during a brisk, frosty morning at Keeneland Oct. 30.
The quickest five furlongs among the eight were run by Harlan's Ruby, a contender in The Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), and Rogue Romance, who will be entered in The Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I). Both worked together in :59 2/5 over Keeneland’s main track. They are trained by Kenny McPeek and will both be ridden by Julien Leparoux.
Harlan’s Ruby, by Harlan's Holiday —Smiling Eyes, by Saint Ballado, is owned by Shawnee Racing Stable and was bred by Hopewell Investments. She comes into the Breeders’ Cup off a second place in the Oct. 8 Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.
Rogue Romance, by Smarty Jones —Lovington, by Afleet, is a homebred for Runnymede Farm owner Catesby Clay. The colt has made all three of his starts on the grass but the colt’s breeding, his conformation, and his training while up at Saratoga showed Clay that he was suited to racing on dirt. Rogue Romance comes into the Juvenile off an impressive victory in the Bourbon Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland.
Two entrants in the five-furlong Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IIT) also turned in solid works. Top contender Silver Timber worked five furlongs on Keeneland’s main track, though his official time for the work is over four furlongs. Trainer Chad Brown said the 7-year-old gelding by Prime Timber, out of River Princess (by Alwuhush), got a slow start so the clockers timed him over the shorter distance. His official time for the work is :48 2/5, while Brown said he got him in 1:01 for five furlongs.
Brown said he chose to work Silver Timber over Keeneland’s Polytrack main track instead of the turf because it mirrored his training up to the Churchill Downs Turf Sprint (gr. IIIT) in which he set a five-furlong turf course record of :55.45 on April 30.
“It is a tough call,” Brown said. “He’s been training well on the Polytrack, so I didn’t want to change anything.”
Silver Timber was breezed by Leparoux, who’s ridden him six times out of his last eight starts. Leparoux was in the irons Oct. 9 when Silver Timber won the 5 1/2-furlong Woodford Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland. The gelding is owned by Michael Dubb and High Grade Racing Stable.
The other serious Turf Sprint contender to work was McPeek’s Bridgetown, who worked on the Keeneland turf with Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf contender Kathmanblu. They worked five furlongs around the dogs in 1:00 4/5. Bridgetown was ridden by Dean Mernagh, while Leparoux was on Kathmanblu.
“They were good, solid maintenance works,” McPeek said. “We just wanted to get some air into them. All systems are go.”
Bridgetown is a 3-year-old Eugene Melnyk homebred colt by Speightstown —Ellesmere, by Tabasco Cat. He will be ridden in the Turf Sprint by Elvis Trujillo. Kathmanblu is by Bluegrass Cat —Abba Gold, by Devil's Bag. She is owned by Five D Thoroughbreds and Wind River Stable and was bred by Five D Thoroughbreds.
Trainer Michael Stidham worked two contenders in the one-mile Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IIT). Rough Sailing, ridden by Joe Sharp, and Willcox Inn, ridden by Hilary Pridham, worked five furlongs together on the turf course in 1:01 2/5.
Rough Sailing, by Mizzen Mast —Moussica, by Woodman, is owned by Jack Smith III and was bred by Palides Investments NV. The colt broke his maiden on the Arlington Park turf and followed up with two starts on the artificial surfaces at Arlington and Keeneland. His best finish is a second in the Arlington Washington Futurity (gr. III).
Willcox Inn is a long-striding son of Harlan's Holiday —De Aar, by Gone West, who is owned by All In Stable and was bred by Dr. John Chandler. The colt is coming into the Breeders’ Cup off a third-place finish in the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland.
Other works at Keeneland included Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf pre-entrant Hot Cha Cha, who worked four furlongs in an easy :50 3/5 for trainer Phil Sims. Hot Cha Cha is a homebred owned by Nelson McMakin. She is a daughter of Cactus Ridge out of Reduced Sentence, by Broad Brush.
Also working was Juvenile Turf also-eligible hopeful Silver Medallion, who clocked five furlongs in 1:00.