Trainer Bobby Frankel worked three of his top Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship contenders at Belmont Park on Saturday morning, and Gary Stevens made it official, saying that he is riding Macho Uno in the Classic (gr. I), after working the horse for trainer Joe Orseno.
Aptitude worked five furlongs over a fast track in 1:00 4/5 in company with stablemate Sumitas. He broke off three lengths behind Sumitas and the pair finished on the wire together. Frankel had told Aptitude's exercise rider Rudy Rodriquez to work in 1:01 and gallop out in 1:13, and that's almost exactly what he did. Jockey Edgar Prado was aboard Sumitas.
"Sumitas is a very good work horse," Frankel said. "The last time he worked with You (probable favorite in the Breeders' Cup Fillies), and You couldn't keep up with him. This work was perfect. It was just what I was looking for."
Frankel sent leading Distaff (gr. I) contender Flute out for a five-furlong work under exercise rider Anna Hollander. The daughter of Seattle Slew worked alone, getting the distance in :59 1/5. "It was a little faster than I wanted, but she did it very easily and I still have a week to adjust," said Frankel.
Edgar Prado was aboard You, who worked five furlongs in :59 3/5, in company with another member of the Frankel stable, breaking off several lengths back and finishing four or five lengths in front. "She's really sharp right now," said Frankel. You, a daughter of You and I, won the Frizette Stakes (gr. I) Oct. 6 to solidify her favoritism in the Juvenile Fillies.
All three came out of their works in excellent shape, Frankel said.
Macho Uno originally was given a time of 1:15 3/5 for six furlongs by official clockers, but they changed the work to five furlongs in 1:04. Trainer Joe Orseno and several other clockers timed the 2000 Juvenile (gr. I) winner in 1:03. The son of Holy Bull broke off five lengths behind a work mate and finished 10 lengths in front at the wire under Stevens. After the work, Stevens said he "definitely" will ride Macho Uno. "He felt great today, just like he did before the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. III)," he said.
Last year's Classic winner Tiznow left Ontario airport at 4 a.m. (PDT) Saturday morning and was expected to arrive between noon and 1 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. He'll be stabled at the barn of trainer Shug McGaughey. Trainer Jay Robbins is expected in later Saturday.