Manndar and Thesaurus, both slated to go postward in Saturday's $200,000 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) at 1 3/8 miles on the turf, were on the track for morning trials on Tuesday. Manndar, recently shipped from California for the turf route, had his first workout over the local strip breezing a half-mile in :49 1/5. The winner of two grade I stakes, Manndar carries topweight of 120 pounds in Saturday's stakes. Gary Stevens is flying in from California to ride.Trainer Ken McPeek had Thesaurus breeze five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 on Tuesday. A 7-year-old roan gelding, Thesaurus finished second in the GPBC Handicap last year and gets into this edition of the race with 113 pounds.Trainer Jimmy Picou hopes his double stakes winner Whata Brainstorm will have a better trip in Saturday's race than he did in his last start, the W. L. McKnight Handicap (gr. II) at Calder. Whata Brainstorm was forced to race wide throughout in that turf test on Dec. 30 and finished third as the favorite.
"He lost more ground than he was beaten," Picou said of the McKnight race. "He was forced to race five wide on three turns and it was too much for him to overcome."Picou took over training Whata Brainstorm last June and has enjoyed success with the turf loving 4-year-old colt. Whata Brainstorm won an allowance race at Saratoga in late July then was second in the Saranac Handicap (gr. III) in August at that same track. In his next start at Belmont Park on Sept. 3, the son of Honor Grades was the runner-up in the Lawrence Realization Handicap (gr. III).Whata Brainstorm, who earlier in his career had won the Mecke Stakes at Calder, notched his second stakes win in the Calder Derby (gr. III) on Oct. 28. He then was fourth in the Red Smith Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct on Nov. 18 before his third place finish in the McKnight 'Cap in his last start. According to Picou, Whata Brainstorm has been training well for his return in Saturday's race.
"I worked him on the dirt in his last workout on Saturday," Picou said. "He went in :49 and I was very pleased with the work. Before that he worked steadily for me over the turf course here and seemed to handle it very well. He's doing very good and Jorge Chavez will ride him in Saturday's race. I just hope he gets a good trip."