Happy Ticket, U D Ghetto Work at Churchill

(from Churchill Downs notes)
Stewart Madison's homebred Happy Ticket put in her final major preparation for the $2 million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) as she worked five furlongs in 1:03 4/5 on Saturday morning at Churchill Downs.

Trainer Andrew Leggio Jr. brought the pride of Louisiana to the track after the renovation break for the work over a surface that was labeled "good" following steady overnight rain. Jockey Fabio Arguello Jr. was in the saddle for a move that ranked as the day's ninth fastest of 16 at the distance.

"I thought it was a very good work," Leggio said. "We wanted a nice maintenance work out of her. We let her run slow down the backside and around the turn and then let her run a little bit down the lane and she responded well."

Leggio said Happy Ticket would walk the next two days, return to the track to jog on Tuesday, and then gallop up to her second appearance in the Distaff.

"She's as fit as we can get her, and we will just go from there," said Leggio, who has lined up Garrett Gomez to pilot Happy Ticket in the Distaff. "I think she is coming into this year's race better than last year. She has been training forward for about a month since her last race (the Oct. 8 Spinster at Keeneland)."

Happy Ticket ran 11th in last year's Distaff at Belmont Park. Leggio thinks this year's renewal is deeper than the 2005 field.

"There are 14 in there and any one of them can win this race," Leggio said. "I think that any jock that gets the best breaks in the race is gonna get the money. These fillies are very, very equal and very competitive. It's going to be very hard to pick a winner. This is a stellar field, and I think everybody is probably going to be 4-1 or 5-1 except for Fleet Indian."

Also on Saturday's work tab, Lucky Seven Stable's U D Ghetto completed his major preparation for the $2 million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) by working five furlongs in 1:01 under jockey Corey Lanerie.

U D Ghetto worked after the renovation break over a track labeled "good," and his clocking was the second-fastest of 16 at the distance.

Trainer Tony Reinstedler, a Louisville native who has never saddled a Breeders' Cup starter, was happy with the move by the son of Honour and Glory.

"I like the way he breezed," said Reinstedler. "He's done everything right and has trained super here. I thought the track was in great shape this morning for as much rain as we've had the past two days."

U D Ghetto enters the Breeders' Cup off a 1 ΒΌ-length score in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile (gr. III) at Turfway Park Sept. 30. Jockey Mike Smith will ride U D Ghetto in the Juvenile. Smith has 10 victories in Breeders' Cup races, the third-highest total in the history of the event, and also ranks fifth in total earnings with $10,505,760.

"I know I'm taking a shot, and I know I'll be an outsider, but I feel good with the way he is training into the race and that is why I am running," said Reinstedler, who has not scouted out the Juvenile field. "I'm not worried about the field, I'm worried about my horse. I don't get into all of that. I just try to prepare my horse the best that I can for the race and let the chips fall where they may."

U D Ghetto will walk Sunday and return to the track Monday morning.