Trainer Chad Brown sent out undefeated Awesome Feather Oct. 21 at Belmont Park for her penultimate morning work prior to an expected start in the 1 1/8-mile Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I). The 4-year-old Awesome of Course filly was caught by NYRA clockers in 1:12.34 for six furlongs over the main track, the only work at the distance.
"I was very pleased with her work," Brown said as Awesome Feather approaches her Nov. 2 target at Santa Anita Park. "She went in 1:12 and I got her out in 1:24 and change for seven-eighths, all by herself, nice and easy. I'm very, very happy with the way she was moving. She galloped out super, and came back to the barn good."
A perfect 10-for-10 with earnings of $1,912,746 for owner Stronach Stables, Awesome Feather has two grade I victories to her credit — the 2010 Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs and the 2011 Gazelle at Aqueduct Racetrack. Tendon issues over the past two years have restricted the filly to a light racing schedule, and she exits a victory in the Nasty Storm overnight stakes Sept. 20 at Belmont Park, her second start of 2012.
"Fingers crossed, if we can keep her happy and healthy, we're in good shape," Brown said. "I'm going to come back and hopefully work her next Sunday, on the 28th, and if she checks out good on Monday morning we'll put her on the plane and bring her to Santa Anita."
In addition to Awesome Feather, Brown plans to send a sextet of turf horses to Santa Anita for various Breeders' Cup events. Sunday morning, the trainer worked turf miler Corporate Jungle a half-mile over the main track (:47.45, handily) as he prepares for a start in the 6 1/2-furlong Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IT).
Brown has turf works planned Monday for 2011's grade I Diana winner Zagora (Filly & Mare Turf, gr. IT ), Watsdachances, Flashy Gal (both Juvenile Fillies Turf, gr. IT), Balance the Books , and Noble Tune (both Juvenile Turf, gr. IT).
"I worked Corporate Jungle today (on dirt) because it didn't really benefit me to wait until tomorrow," Brown said. "He doesn't really appreciate soft turf, and he works well enough on the dirt, that's why I chose to do it that way. He started off a little strong the first eighth of his works — he's a very headstrong horse — and I thought my rider did a good job to get him to settle. He'll come back and work next Sunday also, another easy half, and then we'll run him down the hill in the turf sprint. I think he's doing great, and he's right on schedule."
All four of Corporate Jungle's victories have come at a mile, including the Appleton Stakes (gr. IIIT) March 31 at Gulfstream Park. Brown feels he'll be able to manage the cut back in distance and the downhill course in the turf sprint.
"With the hill configuration and crossing the dirt and things like that, it's a tricky race," Brown said. "But I worked out in California for awhile for Bobby (Frankel) and we ran a lot of milers on the cutback down the hill. Bobby did it successfully a lot. Hopefully Corporate Jungle is one of those horses that can cut back from a mile to the 6 1/2 and do it effectively. To me, he fits the profile of a horse that would be OK at the trip, if he can handle it mentally."
Brown, who won the inaugural edition of the Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2008 at Santa Anita with Maram, said he was looking forward to running both Corporate Jungle and Zagora over what will most likely be a firm course.
Elsewhere at Belmont Sunday, trainer Todd Pletcher sent out a quartet of Breeders’ Cup hopefuls, including undefeated juvenile stars Shanghai Bobby , Dreaming of Julia, and Kauai Katie.
Shanghai Bobby, whose victory in the Foxwoods Champagne (gr. I) ran his record to 4-for-4, breezed a half-mile in :47.48 over the Belmont training track as he prepares for his role as the likely favorite in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
Frizette (gr. I) winner Dreaming of Julia covered the same distance in :48.02 preparing for the Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies. Kauai Katie, under consideration for the Juvenile Fillies or the Juvenile Sprint, worked five furlongs in company with grade I Filly and Mare Sprint-bound Turbulent Descent.
NYRA clockers caught Turbulent Descent in 1:00.85 and Kauai Katie in 1:00.87.
The quartet is scheduled to depart for California Oct. 30 to join the rest of Pletcher’s Breeders’ Cup contingent including Love and Pride, Turbo Compressor , Tara From the Cape, Bridgetown, In Lingerie, and Doubles Partner.