Fox Hill Farm’s Havre de Grace turned in a smooth five-furlong work Oct. 24 at Keeneland in preparation for the Nov. 5 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
The 4-year-old filly by Saint Liam took to the Polytrack at about 8 a.m. EDT under jockey Gabriel Saez. Another horse in trainer Larry Jones’ stable was sent out to gallop far ahead of Havre de Grace, who has been stabled at Keeneland for a few weeks.
With the temperature at 50 degrees and a cool breeze blowing, Havre de Grace went :35 3/5 for three furlongs, :47 for a half-mile, and :58 3/5 for five furlongs. She galloped out in 1:12 for six furlongs.
The filly, who is being pointed to the Classic in a bid for Horse of the Year honors, appeared well within herself. She collared her workmate and coasted to the wire.
“It was a very good work,” said Saez, who regularly works Havre de Grace for Jones. “I asked her to run in the last eighth of a mile, and she was doing it easy.
“When she sees another horse in front of her, she puts her ears up and says, ‘C’mon, let’s get them.’ She really picked it up.”
Saez for the workout wore a helmet camera he purchased for personal use. He and Jones’ wife, Cindy, reviewed the work afterward.
Saez said the Polytrack isn’t Havre de Grace’s favorite surface, so he was impressed with her move. He said he looks forward to getting on her when she ships to Churchill Downs, where the Breeders’ Cup will be held.
“I couldn’t have wanted it to go any better,” Larry Jones said. “It’s what we needed. She was blowing a little bit (afterward), but she didn’t drink a whole lot of water. We’re ready. I would like to have run (the Breeders' Cup) ast Saturday. She can’t get any better.”
Havre de Grace has been working steadily and impressively since her last race Sept. 3, when she defeated males in the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. She was working at Delaware Park before Jones shipped the filly to Keeneland with about 40 other horses.