Mile Notes: Altibr in Snappy Half-Mile Move

Trainer Richard Schosberg got into town yesterday as did his Breeders' Cup Mile contender, Affirmed Success. The 6-year-old gelding jogged this morning under George Martens, regular exercise rider of Breeders' Cup Classic runner Lemon Drop Kid. Schosberg and owner Albert Fried, Jr. have been pointing Affirmed Success toward this race for a year.

"At about six o'clock p.m. on Breeders' Cup Day last year, we sat down and set up a flow chart on how to get him to this race," he said. "He's not a come-from-behind sprinter and the distance of the Sprint [6 furlongs] is just too short for him, so this race [the Mile] is perfect for him."

Affirmed Success was 12th in the 1999 Breeders' Cup Sprint, but came back from that race to finish third or better in seven starts since.

"This horse is phenomenal and hasn't missed a beat," said Schosberg. "He's done working for the week. We'll just go nice and easy into this one. He's pretty darn fit and ready to go. He's older now, so I don't have to train him too hard."

Part of Schosberg's "flow chart" calls for Affirmed Success to return to the Cigar Mile after the Mile to defend his title.

Shadwell Keeneland Turf Mile champion Altibr worked a half-mile on the Churchill Downs turf course Tuesday morning in a snappy :49 2/5 as he moved forward toward Saturday's Breeders' Cup Mile.

"He worked beautifully," trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said of the 5yo son of Diesis owned by Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum. "He finished really well," McLaughlin added. "He's all set now. We'll just go easy from here."

Altibr, who has lifetime earnings of $758,650, will be ridden Saturday by regular rider Richard Migliore.

Forbidden Apple, the 5-year-old Pleasant Colony horse, winner of the Belmont Breeders' Cup Handicap and the Kelso Handicap in his most recent starts, arrived at Churchill Downs this morning via van from Belmont Park. Pointed for the Mile, he is trained by Christophe Clement.

Hap, the eye-catching chestnut with the flaxen mane and tail was one of six Bill Mott-trained Breeders' Cup hopefuls to work Tuesday morning, breezing 4 furlongs on :49 3/5 on the turf under exercise rider Judy Nicks.

"It was a good work," said Mott. "We let him have an easy half-mile work and accelerate through the stretch."

Hap brings a record of six victories in 10 starts to the Mile, having finished fifth in the Kelso in his most recent start, his only off-the-board finish since he began his career last year.

"I bucked his shins as a 2-year-old and sent him home," said Mott of the son of Theatrical, who is owned by Michael Paulson and Edward White. "Fortunately, they sent him back. As with most Theatricals, they get better as a 4-year-old."

With Hap's success this year, having won four straight including the Bernard Baruch and Fourstardave at Saratoga, Mott said he might have to revise his opinion of such flashy colts.

"I've avoided those types of horses at the sales in the past, because they can't run," said Mott. "I may have to reconsider."

King Cugat, the 3yo son of Kingmambo turned in a seemingly effortless work under exercise rider Judy Nicks Tuesday morning, breezing a half-mile in 49 3/5 on the turf.

"He makes it look easy," said trainer Bill Mott, who sent out six of his eight Breeders' Cup hopefuls Tuesday to work. "He makes it look like he's doing nothing and then you look at your stopwatch. I was very happy with his work."

King Cugat, winner of the Jamaica Handicap in his last start, has fashioned a record of six victories and three seconds in nine lifetime starts. His only loss this year in five starts came when he was second to Ciro (Turf) in the Secretariat at Arlington.

"We got him beat in Chicago, but he's been very good throughout the year," said Mott of the Centennial Farms colt.

Ladies Din, the 5-year-old gelding jogged about 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Daniel Druet Tuesday after his arrival from California the previous day. Colorful trainer Julio Canani, who won the Mile last year with Silic, arrived wearing a Russian fur hat "a babushka" and told an enterprising television reporter live that he had just come from Moscow.

Canani hopes Ladies Din is peaking at the right time in the fashion of Silic. "He has breezed about four times since he raced in Canada," said Canani of a fourth-place finish in the Atto Mile at Woodbine in his last start Sept. 10. "He is training really good."

Canani said Ladies Din will gallop up to the race. His groom is Traversio Vibanco.

New Jersey shipper North East Bound had his first trip over the Churchill Downs track Tuesday morning after arriving Monday night by van, jogging one mile. Trainer Bill Perry confirmed Monday that the 4-year-old would start in the Breeders' Cup Mile rather than the Breeders' Cup Classic.

"The rider (Jose Velez Jr.) thinks he's a better horse on the turf," Perry explained. "He holds a track record at Pimlico over the turf so he handles the surface. This is a tough race, but the Classic looked like a saltier spot."

Walkslikeaduck, the 3-year-old Blushing John colt galloped one mile Tuesday morning under the eye of trainer Andrew McKeever, subbing for regular conditioner Patrick Gallagher, as the horse got his first look at the Churchill Downs oval following his arrival Monday on a flight from Gallagher's Santa Anita home base.

Gallagher was scheduled to arrive in Kentucky later Tuesday.

Walkslikeaduck, who will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye, will be going for his third straight victory when the gates open Saturday on the Breeders' Cup Mile. The colt, out of the Theatrical mare Nabla, posted wins in the Del Mar Derby and the Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Derby, respectively.

War Chant, the 3-year-old colt "trotted a mile" in company with Fusaichi Pegasus "and was all business" Tuesday at 6:15 a.m., according to trainer Neil Drysdale. He worked 6 fur. on the turf here the previous day.

"He looked very well in his first race on turf," said Drysdale in reference to a victory in the Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita Oct. 14. "He has worked twice on the turf here and has looked very comfortable."

The October race was his first since suffering a shoulder injury in the Kentucky Derby in May. "He is equally talented on dirt," said Drysdale. "He is a late May foal and has matured well. We were already thinking about the Mile last spring since he is by Danzig out of Hollywood Wildcat." Danny Lopez is his groom.