Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) winner Fairbanks worked five furlongs in 1:00 over the main track at Santa Anita Oct. 19 in preparation for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Barry Irwin, president of owner Team Valor, said the 5-year-old son of Giants Causeway is on track for the Breeders’ Cup and has shown his affinity for the artificial surface at the Southern California track. In his first Santa Anita work Oct. 12, Fairbanks was timed in 1:00 2/5 for five furlongs.
“He is doing super,” said Irwin, who witnessed the workout alongside trainer Todd Pletcher. “The exercise rider said the first time he breezed over the track, he reached out.”
Considering the unique Pro-Ride surface, which like other artificial surfaces some horses like and others do not, that was a positive sign to Fairbanks’ connections.
While Fairbanks’ fitness does not appear to be a question, it is unknown whether he will run in the 1 ¼-mile Classic or the 1 ½ Marathon. Irwin said he prefers the Classic, but that a final determination would be made based on how much early pace they anticipate will be present in the Classic. With a running style in which he is on the lead or close to the leaders throughout, a lack of front-runners in the field would be best suited to Fairbanks.
“We want to go in the Classic, but things have to go our way,” Irwin said.
Fairbanks has six wins and four seconds to his credit in 18 starts, with earnings of $879,768.