Mott, Brown horses get out of New York; Pletcher's flight delayed
Mott said that the cut should not jeopardize the champion filly's ability to compete Friday.
"From my standpoint and her standpoint, I don't think it will be an issue," he said. "It's no different than a hockey player getting a little cut on his forehead and getting stitched up. They're athletes."
The other New York-based trainers with horses on the flight were Chad Brown, Shug McGaughey, Michael Hushion, Michael Trombetta and Diane Alvarado. The flight stopped in Louisville, Kentucky, to pick up horses trained by Tom Amoss and continued on to LA/Ontario Airport.
The horses traveled by van from LA/Ontario to Santa Anita Park.
The flight was originally scheduled to leave from McArthur Airport in Islip at 9 a.m., but was switched to the upstate airport as the hurricane moved up the East Coast.
Trainers with horses booked on this flight from New York include Todd Pletcher (Dreaming of Julia, Kauai Katie, Turbulent Descent, and Shanghai Bobby), Tom Albertrani (Brilliant Speed and Belle of the Hall), Kathy Ritvo (Mucho Macho Man), Tony Dutrow (Grace Hall) and Barclay Tagg (Jersey Town) from New York. The flight will then stop in Louisville to pick up Wise Dan for trainer Charles Lopresti and Fort Larned for trainer Ian Wilkes before proceeding on to Los Angeles.
The undefeated Shanghai Bobby, a top contender in the Juvenile, tweeted the news about his flight status.
"I changed it up a bit and just walked today," said Wilkes, who usually takes his horses back to the track a day after a work. "Most likely he'll train tomorrow before he leaves, but I am not sure about the plane situation because of the weather in New York."
Morton Fink's Wise Dan, the top U.S. candidate for Saturday's Mile, galloped on the training track at Keeneland Monday morning.
Wise Dan, who will be on the same flight as Fort Larned, is likewise in a holding pattern about his travel schedule.
"I could just keep training him here at Keeneland, but I want to get him out there and get him on the turf one time to look around and school in the paddock," said Lopresti, who initially was going to fly to California Monday.
An early morning phone call to Ballydoyle confirmed that all of the Aidan O'Brien Breeders' Cup entries were on schedule for a 9 p.m. arrival at Los Angeles International airport Monday.
Foremost amongst them is Breeders' Cup Turf defending champion, St Nicholas Abbey, who will again have Joseph O'Brien, the trainer's son, in the saddle. Also in the team is leading Breeders' Cup Mile hope Excelebration, who will be hoping to continue his winning streak having recently won the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.
The rest of the shipment consists of Fame and Glory (Marathon), George Vancouver and Lines of Battle (Juvenile Turf), Infanta Branca (Juvenile Fillies Turf), Treasure Beach (Turf), Up (Filly & Mare Turf) and Starspangledbanner, who rounded off his preparation for the Turf Sprint with a fourth place in a stakes at Dundalk on Friday.
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