Stablemates Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty , both headed for the Nov. 5 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, stayed on schedule with their latest breezes over the training track at Belmont Park Oct. 23.
Uncle Mo covered six furlongs in a relaxed 1:13.22 and Stay Thirsty worked five furlongs in 1:01.01. Trainer Todd Pletcher expressed satisfaction with both colts following their penultimate breezes for the Classic.
Owned by Mike Repole, Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty are scheduled to depart for Churchill Downs Oct. 24 along with the rest of trainer Todd Pletcher’s New York-based Breeders’ Cup contingent, including Stopshoppingmaria and Finale, who also worked Oct. 23.
Pletcher said that in addition to the Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), Stopshoppingmaria is being considered for the inaugural Juvenile Sprint. The filly went five furlongs in 1:01.41 in company with Windsurfer. Finale, who is bound for the Juvenile Turf (gr. IT), worked four furlongs in :48.66.
Going out shortly after the second renovation break under jockey John Velazquez, Uncle Mo’s breeze was the first since last week’s five-furlong bullet :58.64 move. That was the first workout for the son of Indian Charlie since he returned to the winner’s circle on Oct. 1 with a victory over older horses in the Kelso Handicap (gr. II).
“We broke him off at (6 ½ furlongs) just to get him off in a relaxed fashion,” said Pletcher. “It worked out well. Last week, there was another horse (in front of him) that he had as a target. Today he had a nice open track with no distractions.
“I liked the way he did it,” added the trainer. “We were looking for a kind of longer, steadier, more relaxed first part. I thought he broke off really kindly. Johnny had a nice hold of him. He was relaxed, and doing it settled. It was a good, rhythmic breeze where he settled into a nice stride. He kind of kept clicking them off exactly the way we’d be looking to do in the Classic, so I thought it was perfect.”
Travers (gr. I) winner Stay Thirsty, most recently third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I), had Javier Castellano in the irons. The son of Bernardini went in company with Caixa Eletronica.
“I thought Stay Thirsty worked really, really well,” said Pletcher. “Historically he’s not as eye-catching a work horse as Uncle Mo. It was a very, very good, solid, aggressive work. He finished up well and galloped out great. It seemed like he was very willing throughout. It was set up to be a more serious work (than last week), and it was.”
Pletcher said that while he thought Stopshoppingmaria’s drill was good, he was not impressed with the way she galloped out.
“I thought it was a little lackluster,” he said. “Mike (Repole) and I talked about it a little bit after the work, and it might open up the option of the Juvenile Sprint. We might pre-enter her in both races, and take a look. We won’t make a decision until she breezes at Churchill.
“I thought in the Frizette (gr. I) she ran well (second as the favorite) but it was not as good as we expect her to run,” added Pletcher. “I’m not sure if that had anything to do with the distance, or maybe she was a little flat. We’ll maybe rethink it.”