Stablemates Colonel John and Well Armed, both pre-entered for the Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), turned in final works at Santa Anita Oct. 20 for trainer Eoin Harty, who reported he was pleased with both efforts. Both horses are owned by WinStar Farms.
Colonel John, winner of the Travers (gr. I) last out, breezed four furlongs in :49 1/5, while Well Armed, who will enter off a victory in the Goodwood Stakes (gr. I), was clocked at :46 4/5. Well Armed is cross-entered in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and has first preference in that race. Harty said no decision has been made as to which event Well Armed will ultimately opt for.
“They both worked very well,” Harty said from his barn. “They are both plenty fit and didn’t need to do a whole lot. They are both sharp and ready to run.
“We haven’t made a decision on Well Armed yet. We’ll go through the Form again today and figure out what the best spot for him is.”
In regards to possibly entering the speedy Well Armed in the Classic, which on paper does not possess a lot of early pace, Harty said “that certainly weighs in on our decision somewhat, but it’s not the crux of our final decision.”
Colonel John, a 3-year-old son of Tiznow , has notched three wins from five starts this season including two victories at Santa Anita. This will be his first race on the newly-installed Pro-Ride, although he turned in two bullet works over the surface earlier this month. Harty is unconcerned that Colonel John will have more than two months off since winning the Travers Aug. 23.
“He’s an easy horse to keep fit,” Harty said. “The layoff is not a problem, it’s just a matter of whether he is good enough. It’s a very deep field this year, everybody has to be respected. There are an awful lot of group I winners coming over (from Europe). I think they will adapt to this surface just fine."
Well Armed, also a son of Tiznow, will be one of the few horses with a victory over the Pro-Ride – no matter which race he starts in. He won the Sept. 27 Goodwood by a length under Aaron Gryder. The 5-year-old gelding is 3-2-1 from six starts this season.
The post position draw will be held at Santa Anita Oct. 21.