Despite a Monday afternoon thunderstorm that dumped up to five inches of rain on the Dallas area, the Tuesday morning work tab at Lone Star Park was busy, with workouts by four contenders in Saturday's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
Despite the muddy track condition, or maybe because of it, the times were fast, meaning the horse's hooves were going through to the bottom of the surface.
The workers and their respective times were:
-- Society Selection, seven furlongs in 1:26, with fractional splits of :24 2/5, :48 35, and 1:13 2/5.
-- Bowman's Band, a mile in 1:39 3/5, with fractions of :49, 1:01 1/5, and 1:26 4/5 for seven furlongs.
-- Artie Schiller, five furlongs in :59 4/5, with a first quarter in :24 1/5 and the half-mile in :47 2/5.
-- Bwana Charlie, a half-mile in :47 4/5 after getting the first quarter in :22 1/5.
Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens, making his first visit to Texas, said his original plan was to breeze Wednesday. But with a forecast of a possible additional thunderstorm Tuesday, he decided to go ahead and breeze Bowman's Band and Society Selection a day early.
"I thought they worked good," Jerkens said. "They looked like they were running over the top of it pretty well."
Jerkens said both horses will be schooled in the gate Thursday and visit the paddock Friday.
"And then we will just hope for the best," he said. "There are no easy spots in the Breeders' Cup.
A 6-year-old son of Dixieland Band
owned by Martin S. Schwartz, Bowman's Band has won seven of 32 lifetime starts and earned $1,295,774. He is, however, winless in 12 starts since taking the 2003 Meadowland's Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II).
Of the longshot chances by Bowman's Band to win the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I), said "We're just hoping for a miracle."
He added that Bowman's Band has been competitive even during his winless streak and does better in two-turn races. "He has been a very honest horse," who has six in-the-money finishes in his last eight starts, all in graded stakes company.
Jerkens' other Cup entrant, Society Selection, has won three of eight starts this year to improve her career record to 5-3-1 in 11 starts. In her only start against older distaffers, the 3-year-old daughter of Coronado's Quest finished second to the now-retired Sightseek in the Beldame (gr. I).
"She has beaten all of the top 3-year-olds in America, just not the older horses," Jerkens said of the homebred racing for Irving and Marge Cowan.
Also altering his training plans Tuesday was Jerkens' son, Jimmy Jerkens, who conditions NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I) contender Artie Schiller.
Jerkens said he initially planned to work the 3-year-old son of El Prado
on turf Wednesday, but went ahead breezed him over the muddy track Tuesday because there were no assurances that turf works would resume Wednesday and the possibility the main track will continue to be muddy.
"They just skip over a track like this," Jerkens said of the fast times posted Tuesday.
Racing for the Timber Bay Farm of William Entenmann and Denise Walsh, Entenmann's daughter, Artie Schiller is coming into the Breeders' Cup off victories in the Jamaica Handicap (gr. IIT), which he won in course record time of nine furlongs in 1:45.5 and the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Handicap (gr. IIT). Artie Schiller has a career tally of seven wins in 12 starts, with earnings of $555,853.
Carmen Rosas, exercise rider for Steve Asmussen-trained Bawna Charlie, said the :47 4/5 for a half-mile was "a little faster than we wanted" for the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) entrant. "He did it very easily. I picked him up a little after the first eighth (of a mile) because I thought we were going a little too slow."
Rosas said the off-track did not pose any problems for Bwana Charlie, a 3-year-old son of Indian Charlie
who races for Heiligbrodt Racing Stable. Bwana Charlie has won four of 14 starts, with four seconds and four thirds. He won the Amsterdam (gr. II) at Saratoga and finished fourth in the King's Bishop (gr. I) before returning to be second in the Alysheba Breeders' Cup at Lone Star Park.
In a workout at San Luis Rey Downs training center in Southern California, Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) entrant Twice Unbridled worked three furlongs in :35 2/5.
"That's a little faster than I wanted," owner-trainer Dan Jensen said of the maiden son of Unbridled's Song
, "but that doesn't surprise me. He's a handful when he works."
Jensen said his 2-year-old should benefit from the 1 1/16-mile distance of the Juvenile. In his last race, the colt was squeezed back at the start but closed late to finish fifth, beaten 4 1/2 lengths. "The longer they go, the tougher he'll be," the trainer said.
Twice Unbridled is scheduled to be flown to Texas on Thursday, and the trainer is scheduled to come on Thursday as well. Victor Espinoza, ranked third nationally in jockey earnings, will ride on Saturday.
It was also announced Tuesday that Quiet Honor, a possible starter in the Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), was withdrawn after developing a high blood count.