Celebrity chef Bobby Flay's two Breeders' Cup contenders were on the Oct. 29 worktab at Churchill Downs, as Her Smile turned in a sparkling four-furlong breeze in :48 2/5 and Super Espresso went five furlongs with a workmate in 1:01 4/5.
Trainer Todd Pletcher called Her Smile’s move under exercise rider Annie Finney “the most eye-catching” of his four Breeders’ Cup contenders taking to the track for pre-race works. The Sentient Jet Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) entrant came onto the track at about 7:01 a.m. EDT, jogged the wrong way to the grandstand, then went into a very easy gallop.
Her Smile, a 3-year-old filly by Include , eased over to the rail nearing the half-mile pole and, still galloping easily, was asked to bear down. She worked strongly through the stretch and galloped out well.
“She worked really well, which she’s kind of been doing,” Pletcher said of the Prioress Stakes (gr. I) winner. “She broke off strongly and galloped out great; I was really happy with her.”
Ladies’ Classic (gr. I) entrant Super Espresso made her move in company with stakes winner Alma d'Oro after the break. The duo started together, with Super Espresso on the outside under Finney wearing the same bright yellow and orange blinkers she wears in her races.
Under stronger hand-urging than her workmate, she finished 2 1/2 lengths better and galloped out steadily but not overenthusiastically. Her workmate earned a time of 1:02 2/5.
“I thought she worked well for her; she’s not an overachiever in the morning,” Pletcher said. “Her workmate kind of fell off of her a bit and she lost a little bit of interest when that happened, but in spite of that I thought it was good for her, very solid.”
Super Espresso, a 4-year-old Medaglia d'Oro filly, won the Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (gr. III) at Pimlico Race Course May 21 and was also second in the Ruffian Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga July 31. In her last start on Oct. 9, she ran 10th in the Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (gr. I) on Polytrack at Keeneland.
Ian Tapp contributed to this story.