Todd Pletcher sent out five of his Breeders’ Cup hopefuls Oct. 30 at Churchill Downs, including his Ladies’ Classic (gr. I) duo of Cynthia DeBartolo’s Life At Ten and Edward Evans’ Malibu Prayer.
Life At Ten, working for the first time over the Churchill Downs surface, worked four furlongs in company with Colizeo, a 3-year-old colt who won the Northern Dancer (gr. III) in June. She covered the distance in :48 1/5, starting a length back of her workmate and finishing a head back on the outside of Colizeo at the finish.
“To make sure that Life At Ten gets a good honest work, we put her in company,” Pletcher said. “She generally does a little better in company and I thought this work went very smoothly. It was her first work here and I thought she got over the track very well.”
Malibu Prayer, who won the Chilukki (gr. II) at Churchill last November and the Ruffian (gr. I) this year, worked a half-mile in :49. Malibu Prayer covered her first quarter in :25 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.
“I thought Malibu Prayer was typical of herself, as she’s generally a very genuine work horse,” said Pletcher. “I had her going :48 and change with a last quarter in :23 and change. She had a good finish with a good gallop out and we’re very pleased with the way she was getting over the ground.”
Another Breeders’ Cup hope turning in her first work over the Churchill track for Pletcher was E. Paul Robsham Stables’ R Heat Lightning, who is bound for the Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). The winner of Saratoga’s Spinaway (gr. I) breezed four furlongs in :48 2/5 and covered the distance in fractional splits of :12 2/5, :24, and :36. She galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.60.
“I thought R Heat Lightning worked well, which she usually does,” Pletcher said. “She’s a very tricky filly to ride. She’s a little bit difficult going to the pole, but once she set off in her work I thought it was very smooth with a good finish and a good first eighth gallop-out. It was just what we were looking for.”
The most eventful moves of the morning for horses from the powerful Pletcher camp came on the Matt Winn Turf Course, where Bobby Flay’s More Than Real, bound for the Juvenile Fillies Turf, worked in company with stablemate, Team Valor’s Pluck, a colt bound for the Juvenile Turf.
The pair hit the finish together in :49 4/5 over firm footing with the dogs up on the one-mile course. But the Pletcher duo found themselves outside of Arch Support, who is also pre-entered for the Juvenile Fillies Turf, in a three-way training move.
“It’s amazing that there were probably only four horses on the track and we managed to end up in company with another one,” Pletcher said. “But it seemed to go well. There was a little traffic to maneuver through and it kind of set More Than Real into the bridle a little bit and she was full of run throughout, and Pluck kind of got stuck out in the middle of the track. But I thought both horses went very well.”
All in all, it was a satisfactory morning for Pletcher’s Breeders’ Cup contenders, with more works scheduled Sunday morning from the horses that will run in the Nov. 6 BC Cup races. That group will include Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) contender Quality Road and Juvenile (gr. I) hopes Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty. Also slated to work are Aikenite (Dirt Mile) and Rose Catherine (Turf Sprint).