Blinkered Lone Star Sky Works at Churchill

From track reports
Breeders' Cup Juvenile contender Lone Star Sky was outfitted with blinkers for the first time Monday as he breezed four furlongs in :50 at Churchill Downs under regular jockey Mark Guidry. Trainer Tom Amoss decided to outfit Walter "Buddy" New's 2-year-old son of Conquistador Cielo with the new equipment after he watched the colt drop well off the pace in a runner-up finish to Sky Mesa in the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity.

"We tried that today with idea of kind of putting him into the race a little earlier than he has been the last couple of times and we think it could make a big difference at Arlington Park," said Amoss. "He's always been kind of a lazy horse in the morning or a horse that took care of himself on the track. That's beginning to happen early on in his races and he's becoming a horse that only does what he is made to do. We want to put him closer to the pace in the upcoming Breeders' Cup race so that he doesn't have a lot to do at the end of the race. We think that might be the way that we might turn the tables on some of the competition we face."

Lone Star Sky will be the third Breeders' Cup starter for Amoss, who saddled Heritage of Gold to finish third in the Distaff in 1999 and 2000 and Williams News, who finished 13th in the Turf in 2000. The Louisiana-born trainer believes Lone Star Sky's best effort makes him a contender in this year's Juvenile and, if he passes that test, a player in next spring's Kentucky Derby preps.

"I think the Juvenile picture is a really strange picture," said Amoss. "The fact that the race is going to be a mile and an eighth for the first time -- a sixteenth of a mile further than it has before -- I think it lends credence to the thought that this year's winner has a more legitimate shot of being the Derby winner next year. We're talking about needing stamina in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, rather than having a precocious horse as in years past. And, of course, we know we need that for the Derby."

Amoss said Lone Star Sky would work once more at Churchill Downs before shipping to Arlington toward the middle of next week.