Rain Does Not Deter Breeders' Cup Workouts

Despite the driving rain that inundated Belmont Park Saturday morning, trainers continued to work their horses in preparation for next Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.

Included in the group that went to the track before the maintenance break were three Cup horses trained by Nick Zito and the Frank Brothers-trained First Samurai.

The main track workers and their times were:
-- In the Gold (Emirates Airline Distaff), five furlongs, 1:02 3/5
-- Sir Shackleton (Classic – Powered by Dodge), five furlongs, :1:01 3/5
-- High Fly (TVG Sprint), four furlongs (from the gate), :48
-- First Samurai (Bessemer Trust Juvenile), five furlongs, :59
-- Healthy Addiction (Emirates Airline Distaff), six furlongs, 1:15

Following the break, turf specialists trained by Todd Pletcher and Bobby Frankel breezed over the inner turf course softened by rain.

Pletcher worked English Channel, headed for the John Deere Turf, and NetJets Mile contenders Limehouse and Host.

"They started off slowly and finished up good," he said. "They're all horses that have been running fairly consistently except for Host, who is coming back on fairly short rest so we only went a half-mile with him."

Host drilled the half-mile on yielding turf in :51. The five-furlong time for English Channel was 1:03 2/5. Limehouse went 1:04.

Pletcher said the inner turf course was in good shape considering the overnight and morning rains.

"The turf was obviously on the soft side and the cones (dogs) were way out, so I wouldn't have expected the times to be real fast, but I thought they all finished up well and galloped out strongly. I decided to work the turf horses today because I thought we'd get better footing today than we would on Sunday and possibly Monday."

Frankel sent out a pair of his grass hopefuls, Three Valleys (NetJets Mile) and Intercontinental (Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf).

"The course seemed good," Frankel said. "Intercontinental worked well, but I'm not sure about Three Valleys on turf this soft. I don't really want it any softer for the Breeders' Cup than it was today, but I think Intercontinental would be okay."

Intercontinental and Three Valleys worked five furlongs in an identical time of 1:02 3/5.

With the exception of First Samurai, all of the workouts were conducted over the far outside part of the track, outside the orange cones set up to protect that part of the track closest to the rail.

"There was a little dry path early, so I went ahead and sent them out," Zito said. "Sometimes you have got to make decisions and go with them, whether you are right or wrong. But they are all fit and ready anyway."

Zito said Sun King, his other horse pre-entered in the Classic, was scheduled to work Saturday, but that he would postpone it until Sunday or Monday, weather permitting.

Out of town workers included Island Fashion (Distaff, four furlongs in :48 at Santa Anita, track fast), Diamond Omi (Juvenile Fillies, five furlongs in :59 at Santa Anita), Brother Derek (Juvenile, six furlongs in 1:15 1/5), Dawn of War (Juvenile, five furlongs in 1:05 3/5 at Churchill Downs, track sloppy), and Megahertz (Filly & Mare Turf, five furlongs in 1:01 on the dirt at Hollywood Park).