With six victories this year, including four stakes tallies, Bruno Schickedanz's Wake At Noon appears ready to take on the world's best at Arlington Park in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
With 10 stakes victories at Woodbine and more than $1.2 million in career earnings, trainer Abraham Katryan believes his stable star deserves the chance to compete in the $1 million championship event.
"I'd really like him to run against this field," said Katryan. "We want him to run against the best in the world. Even if we get beat, we'll know that we tried our best and we'll know exactly how good he really is. Right now he's at his peak."
If Katryan wants the son of Cure The Blues to face the best, he won't be disappointed. After Thursday's pre-entries were announced, the Breeders' Cup Sprint featured 16 horses, seven of which are millionaires. In total, the group has collected 139 wins.
"We were looking forward to the Breeders' Cup for a long time," said Katryan. "But until his last two races, we didn't really have a clue if he would be up for it. After giving him a little bit of a break (between July 20 and Sept. 8), it seems like he's doing even better than before."
The Ontario-bred chestnut will enter the Breeders' Cup after a Sept. 29 win in Woodbine's Highlander Stakes (gr.III).
While Wake At Noon's record at Woodbine is stellar, he has found some success over the years when racing in the United States. He finished fourth in Saratoga's Amsterdam Handicap (gr. III) in 2000, and in 2001, was second in the Philadelphia Breeders' Cup Handicap, and fourth in the Forego Handicap (gr. I).
On October 15, Wake At Noon worked three furlongs over Woodbine's main track in 34 seconds flat, breezing. Jockey Emile Ramsammy, who will ride Wake At Noon in the Breeders' Cup, was aboard.
"We just wanted to put a little more speed into him. He looked great and galloped out better then expected," said Katryan.
Katryan indicated Wake At Noon will ship to Chicago on Wednesday or Thursday.Woodbine Breeders' Cup Hopefuls to Work
The other three Woodbine-based horses headed to the Breeders' Cup are set for key works in the coming days.
Knob Hill Stable's Chopinina, trained by Alec Fehr, will work five furlongs at 7:15 a.m. on Sunday over the E.P. Taylor Turf Course in preparation for the Filly and Mare Turf event. Emile Ramsammy will pilot the four-year-old. Chopinina will be accompanied by stablemate, Banderberg.
Gus Schickedanz's Wando will drill Monday morning for trainer Mike Keogh in readying for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
Charles Fipke's Perfect Soul will work Wednesday morning for trainer Roger Attfield before shipping to Arlington Park for the Breeders' Cup Turf.