Wonder Again to Arrive Early for Breeders' Cup

(from Lone Star Park notes)
Wonder Again, a multiple Grade I winner who took the Diana Handicap at Saratoga by more than five lengths, will be among the early arrivals at Lone Star Park for the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.

The 5-year-old hopeful for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT)will ship to Grand Prairie, Texas on Oct. 18, according to trainer James Toner.

"I want to be down there to get her acclimated," Toner said. "She has been sort of questionable shipping, so we want to make sure we give her enough time in case anything does go wrong. And I do want to get her a work over the grass."

Toner said Wonder Again will connect to a Tex Sutton charter flight leaving Kentucky on Oct. 18. Joan and John Phillips hope own the lifetime earner of $956,582.

Wonder Again disappointed as the favorite in last weekend's Flower Bowl (gr. IT), finishing a close-up sixth. Toner said his mare came out of the race in fine shape and has room to improve for the big race in 24 days.

"They ran pretty fast the last part of it and I guess with the weight (123 pounds) and this, that, and the other thing, we got beat a length-and-a-half," Toner said. "Stylewise, I think she's better off when she's covered up. Not that Edgar [Prado] did anything wrong. It looked like a perfect trip the way it was, but I've checked things out with her and it seems like she's better when she's covered up.

"If she got beat five or six lengths we wouldn't even be thinking about [the Breeders' Cup], but we were right there giving five or six pounds to everybody and there was two months between races. When you get beat by just that far you hate to give up right now. Was it the weight? Was it the track? Was it this? Was it that? I can make up a length-and-a-half."

Toner expects Wonder Again to return to her summer form.
"After the two races in July I think I backed up and went a little bit easy on her," he said. "Maybe a little too easy."