Choctaw Nation, breezed at Santa Anita prior to the first race Sunday.

Choctaw Nation, breezed at Santa Anita prior to the first race Sunday.


Island Sand, Artie, Happy Ticket Work at Belmont; Singletary, Choctaw Nation on West Coast

(edited Belmont, Oak Tree notes)
Grade I winner Island Sand, likely for the $2 million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), breezed five furlongs over Belmont's fast main track Sunday morning in 1:01 3/5.

Island Sand, a daughter of 1994 Belmont Stakes winner Tabasco Cat, won the Acorn (gr. I) at Belmont last summer. So far she is one for eight this season with a victory in the Delaware Park Handicap (gr. II) July 17. Island Sand last raced at Belmont Oct. 1, finishing last of seven in the Beldame (gr. I). Four horses that finished in front of Island Sand that day – Ashado, Happy Ticket, Society Selection, and Sweet Symphony – are expected to run back in the Distaff, too.

"She worked well, and we're planning on running (in the Distaff,)" trainer Larry Jones said. "She had a major excuse in the Beldame because of a reoccurring breathing problem. We think we've got it corrected. She didn't have surgery; we treated it with antibiotics."

Jones said jockey Terry Thompson would ride Island Sand in the Distaff.

Suave Works at Churchill
Suave, runner-up to Borrego in Belmont's Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I), breezed five furlongs over a 'fast' track at Churchill Downs this morning in 1:02 4/5. The colt is bound for the $4 million, 10-furlong Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I).

"I thought he did really good," trainer Paul McGee said. "I got him just under a minute and two."

Suave, a son of 1992 Belmont Stakes, Breeders' Cup Classic and Horse of the Year winner A.P. Indy, will ship to New York Oct. 25 according to McGee. Jockey Edgar Prado has the mount for the Classic.

Even though Borrego was very impressive in winning the Jockey Club Gold Cup, McGee thinks his horse can turn the tables on him in the Breeders' Cup.

"We didn't have as good a trip as Borrego," McGee said. "He moved at the three-eighths pole while we were pinned. He ran great, but I think we can beat him under different circumstances."

Suave will enter the Classic in the best form of his life. Prior to running second in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Suave won the Aug. 21 Saratoga Breeders' Cup (gr. II), defeating eventual Meadowlands Cup (gr. II) winner Tap Day.

Artie Schiller Breezes Toward B.C. Mile
Artie Schiller, one of America's top turf milers, breezed a half-mile over Belmont's 'fast' training track Sunday in :51 3/5 under jockey Richard Migliore.

Artie Schiller is running next in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) for trainer Jimmy Jerkens. He was the beaten favorite in the Mile last year at Lone Star Park, checking in 12th after a traffic-filled trip.

"I wanted him to do something leisurely, but I would've liked him to go a tiny bit faster," Jerkens said. "He's okay. Richie said he was pulling so hard to the pole that he was afraid he'd run off if he turned him loose. We're in good shape."

Migliore has the mount on Artie Schiller in the Mile.

Happy Ticket Hits Training Track
Happy Ticket, the Louisiana-bred who has won 10 of 12 starts, breezed five furlongs over Belmont's training track Sunday in 1:00. Happy Ticket, winner of Saratoga's Ballerina (gr. I) over the summer, last ran second to Ashado in Belmont's Beldame (gr. I). The fillies will rematch in the Distaff.

Happy Ticket, a filly by Anet, is trained by Andrew Leggio Jr. Before hitting the road this summer, Happy Ticket went undefeated in eight starts in Louisiana.

Lost in the Fog Due on Saturday
Undefeated sprinting superstar Lost in the Fog, originally scheduled to ship to New York from Golden Gate Fields on Tuesday, may now ship on Saturday instead, according to trainer Greg Gilchrist, who is prepping the colt for the $1 million TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at six furlongs.

"I need to get one more work into him," said Gilchrist, who trains the 3-year-old colt for Harry Aleo. "With all the rain in New York last week, I feel more comfortable working him at Golden Gate where I know the weather will be good, and he'll have a fast track."

The only obstacle for Gilchrist and Lost in the Fog in coming to New York Saturday is travel arrangements. If Gilchrist cannot switch the colt's flight to Saturday, he may be forced to ship Tuesday.

"I think we'll be able to work things out," Gilchrist said. "Right now, I'd say we're 75-25 in favor of shipping Saturday."

Lost in the Fog is 10-for-10 and has won three stakes in New York this year: the King's Bishop (gr. I), Riva Ridge (gr. II), and Bay Shore (gr. III).

Zito Contenders Breeze
Trainer Nick Zito worked several horses over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Sunday morning that could run next in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.

Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) winner Sun King went four furlongs in :52 3/5 prepping for the Classic. Andromeda's Hero (five furlongs in 1:03 1/5) and Sir Shackleton (five furlongs in 1:03 2/5) may also be under Classic consideration.

Florida Derby (gr I) winner and Jerome runner-up High Fly worked five furlongs in 1:03 2/5 and is being pointed to the Sprint.

In the Gold, who scored a Grade 1 victory in the Gazelle last month, breezed five furlongs in 1:00. She will be making her next start in the Distaff.

Singletary Leads West Coast Workers
Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IIT) winner Singletary, the defending NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile winner, breezed five furlongs on Hollywood's fast track Sunday in 1:03 1/5.

"He went beautifully," trainer Don Chatlos said. "I was worried about the rain so we worked today instead of tomorrow, which would have been our normal day. I didn't want to get stuck."

Chatlos plans to ship to New York on Oct. 25. "The weather's been so bad back east, the later the better," he said. "Plus he's a very good shipper, so we don't expect any problems."

Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. II) winner Diamond Omi worked six furlongs before Sunday's rains on a fast track in 1:12 3/5 for Bob Baffert in preparation for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).

Oak Leaf runner-up Wild Fit worked six furlongs for the Juvenile Fillies prior to Sunday's first race in 1:13 2/5 under Alex Solis for trainer Jeff Mullins. The gray filly's fractions were :25 and :49 1/5, with a gallop out time of 1:26 4/5 for seven furlongs.

Classic hopeful Choctaw Nation worked for Mullins following Wild Fit, going six furlongs under Victor Espinoza in 1:13 1/5, with fractions of :25 1/5 and :50 flat, and a gallop out time of 1:25 4/5.