Trainer Howie Zucker, whose Crafty C.T. was selected to run in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. i), has been to the Breeders' Cup before, but never with a horse of his own.
"It's a relief to know that the horse is in," the 54-year-old trainer said Thursday morning. "We've just got one work left on Sunday, and if all goes well, we're on our way early Tuesday morning.
"I've been to the Breeders' Cup before, but not with one of my own horses. I've taken horses for other trainers. I had Ellio out here for a month for (the late) Budd Lepman, when Ellio won the first Breeders' Cup Sprint (in 1984), and I had Wild Again (first Classic winner) in my barn for a long time."
Addressing Crafty C.T.'s eventful second-place finish from the disadvantageous No. 1 post position in the Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I), Zucker said, "He had a little trouble overcoming the one hole. He was trapped inside the whole way and didn't get a chance to run. Anytime a horse doesn't get a chance to run, it's not a good thing.
"We'll try to make our own luck (in the Sprint). There's going to be a ton of speed in there and I don't expect to be on the front end. He showed that he could run at horses in the Ancient Title and we always thought that he would, especially going short. That's probably where we'll be, somewhere between the front runners and the closers."
Zucker, who trained on the East Coast before moving to Southern California, will be prepared for any weather shifts in the Chicago area.
"It's hard to say what the weather's going to be that week," Zucker said. "It was snowing and 28 yesterday (Wednesday) morning, but it doesn't mean that it will last. It could very well come up about the same weather we've been having here. But Crafty C.T. is actually a better horse in the cooler weather, so I'm looking forward to a little cool weather."