Blame working at Keeneland October 24, 2010.

Blame working at Keeneland October 24, 2010.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Blame Puts in Productive Workout at Keeneland

Leading Breeders' Cup Classic contender drills fast 5 furlongs in company with Apart.

Multiple grade I winner Blame  and his stablemate, Super Derby (gr. II) victor Apart, breezed together at Keeneland on the morning of Oct. 24, going five furlongs in :58 4/5 in preparation for Blame’s start in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) at Churchill Downs Nov. 6.

“He always works well,” trainer Al Stall Jr. said of Blame. “The time was fast, but that’s Keeneland this time of year, so we weren’t too surprised by the time. He was very well within himself, comfortable. It looks like he’s cooling out fine, which is the most important thing. So as we speak right now, I’m happy.”

Bred and owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider, Blame worked for the second time since finishing second to Haynesfield in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) Oct. 2. The work for Apart, who races for Dilschneider, was his third at Keeneland since his Super Derby victory in September. Apart's next appearance is expected in Churchill's Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) Nov. 5.

“They both run around the same time, they both needed good works, and they’ve worked together numerous occasions so this is old hat to (Blame),” Stall said. “It’s a luxury we have right now.”

Dell Hancock of Claiborne Farm was on hand for Blame’s work.

“I thought he worked as good as he could work,” Hancock said. “He’s such a fun horse to watch because he does it so easy, and I thought he worked great.”

Clockers caught Blame and Apart in fractions of :23 4/5 and :47 before they hit the five-furlong evenly and galloped out six furlongs in 1:11 3/5. The five-furlong time was the second fastest of 16 horses at that distance.

“They just took us around,” said Casey Chavez, who was aboard Blame for the breeze. “It was as easy as it can get. Just relaxed enough, not dragging us, just comfortable all the way.”

The work marked Chavez’s final time breezing Blame, who is scheduled to have jockey Garrett Gomez aboard for the colt’s final work before the Breeders’ Cup. Chavez has been aboard Blame every morning since the horse returned to his Keeneland base in August from Saratoga.

“He looks like he’s getting better if you ask me,” Chavez said. “He’s in good form, as good as you can really ask for. I’m really happy. I can’t get the smile off my face. Except I’m a little sad there, that’s the last time I’m going to be working him.”

Blame, a 4-year-old son of Claiborne stallion Arch, is out of the Seeking the Gold mare Liable. He has won or placed in all 12 starts and has earned $1,668,214.

Jerry O’Dwyer, regular exercise rider for Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) contender J. B.'s Thunder, was aboard Apart for the breeze.

“They come back after their breeze like they do after a gallop. Nothing worries them,” O’Dwyer said. Apart, a homebred son of Flatter , has won three of six starts in his career.

Stall said he is still undecided on whether Columbine Stable’s J. B.’s Thunder, who won the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland Oct. 9, will run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile or the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot (gr. III) in Louisiana.

“He’s in a rare spot --rare for me, rare for him,” Stall said. “He’s an undefeated grade I winner at two. If he happens to win the Juvenile, he’d be a 2-year-old champion. I don’t really want to deny him of that, but if there’s 14 horses, and he would draw (an outside post) where your odds (of winning) are diminished … We just want it as easy as we can on him.”

Stall said Blame, Apart, J. B.’s Thunder and maiden winner Aide are scheduled to ship to Churchill Oct. 27. They will have their final workouts before their next races Oct. 31, the trainer said.