“Everyone arrived in excellent order,” said assistant trainer Michael McCarthy, who oversees the Churchill Downs barn for trainer Todd Pletcher. “They all look great.” Pletcher is expected to be on hand for training hours Oct. 25.
Uncle Mo, the 2010 champion 2-year-old colt, returned to the Churchill Downs backstretch for the first time since missing this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) because of an unusual liver ailment. The colt will enter the Classic off a dominating performance in the Kelso Handicap (gr. II) Oct. 1 at Belmont Park.
Stay Thirsty, winner of the Jim Dandy (gr. II) and Travers (gr. I) stakes at Saratoga this summer, finished third behind Flat Out and Drosselmeyer in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) in his first try versus older horses.
Other Pletcher trainees that arrived at Churchill Oct. 24 were Repole’s Stopshoppingmaria, who will pre-enter the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) or the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint following a runner-up performance in the Frizette Stakes (gr. I), and Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor’s Finale, winner of the Summer Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine who is pointing toward the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IIT).
Pletcher hasn’t finalized his training plans for the horses while they are at Churchill.
Meanwhile, unbeaten Frizette winner My Miss Aurelia led five Steve Asmussen-trained contenders for the World Championships in morning works. My Miss Aurelia, owned by Stonestreet Stables and George Bolton, breezed five furlongs on a fast track in 1:01 2/5.
“We’re extremely pleased with her,” Asmussen said. “She has been very special at every stage, and has looked the part and has come through. Her talent was obvious, but the races that she has run have shown another dimension.”
The other Asmussen workers were Dirt Mile (gr. I) contenders Tapizar (five furlongs in 1:00 2/5) and Wilburn (five furlongs in 1:00 4/5); Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) hopeful Sabercat (five furlongs in 1:01 1/5 in company); and Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint (gr. I) contender Seeker (five furlongs in 1:00 1/5).
Asmussen said Kirk and Judy Robison’s She Digs Me is no longer being considered for the Juvenile Sprint and was not pre-entered for that race.
Also at Churchill Oct. 24, Switch, second in the 2010 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I), worked five furlongs in 1:01 1/5 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14 2/5. She could race in Filly & Mare Sprint or the Ladies’ Classic, trainer John Sadler said.
“Both of them worked well,” Lukas said. “I was pleased with both.”
Hamazing Destiny finished second in last year’s Sprint. “He is doing as well as he can be and he is coming up to the race great,” Lukas said. “He has an affinity for this track.”
Trainer Mark Casse sent out three Breeders’ Cup-bound horses. Prospective (Juvenile) went five furlongs in 1:02; Northern Passion (Juvenile Fillies or Juvenile Fillies Turf) worked five furlongs in 1:02; and Spirited Miss and Sky High Lady worked five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 and 1:02 2/5, respectively, in company. The latter two are being pointed to the Juvenile Fillies or Juvenile Fillies Turf.