A flight carrying nine European Breeders' Cup hopefuls touched down at Louisville International Airport early Monday morning and were in their quarantine stalls at Churchill Downs by 6 a.m. The final foreign contingent of four horses trained by Aidan O'Brien, including Breeders' Cup Classic entrant Giant's Causeway, is due at Churchill on Tuesday morning at about 9 a.m.
Heading the group that arrived Monday morning is Montjeu, the John Hammond-trained runner who will be one of the favorites in the Breeders' Cup Turf. The others arriving were Indian Lodge (Mile), Goldamix (Filly & Mare Turf), Fruits of Love (Turf), Distant Music (Mile), Noverre (Juvenile), Bertolini (Mile or Sprint), Kingsalsa (Mile) and Dansili (Mile). Alastair Donald, representive of the International Racing Bureau, said the flight originated in Beauvais, France, picked up horses in Stansted, England, and then came directly to Louisville. Blood samples were taken at the airport," Donald said, "and I expect the horses will clear quarantine in 24 to 36 hours. There's a good chance they'll be allowed out of quarantine Tuesday morning.
The O'Brien horses arriving from Ireland Tuesday morning are Bernstein (Mile), Giant's Causeway (Classic), La Vida Loca (Juvenile Fillies) and Turnberry Isle (Juvenile). They are expected to clear quarantine by Wednesday afternoon. Agnes World (Sprint), Catella (Filly & Mare Turf), Maltese Superb (Filly & Mare Turf). German filly Catella flew to Chicago on Friday, did her quarantine at Arlington Park before arriving at Churchill Downs Sunday afternoon. Gestut Schlenderhan's 4-year-old cantered on the main track Monday morning in preparation for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
Japan's two representatives for this year's Breeders' Cup, Agnes World in the Sprint and Maltese Superb in the Filly & Mare Turf, also are flying from their home country to Chicago and were due in at 9:30 Monday night. They will fly on to Lexington to undergo quarantine at Keeneland and then will be vanned to Churchill Downs, probably on Wednesday. Arkadian Hero (Mile), Mutamam (Turf)-Arkadian Hero (Mile) and Mutamam (Turf) celebrated their release from quarantine Monday morning by taking some light exercise around the main track at Churchill Downs.
Arkadian Hero, who came within a nose of upsetting the Atto Mile (G1) at Woodbine in his first North American start last month, was squealing and bucking as he made his way down the path to the track for his first look at the outdoors since arriving from England Saturday. The 5-year-old son of Trempolino is trained by Luca Cumani. Mutamam, a 5-year-old trained by Alex Stewart, opened his pipes with a canter around the main track in company with Arkadian Hero. The son of Darshaan has won his last two starts, the most recent (Cumberland Lodge Stakes) coming on Sept. 23.
Agol Lack (Classic)-See Breeders' Cup Classic Report. Crimplene (Distaff)-Newmarket, England trainer Clive Brittain, who will attempt to win his second Breeders' Cup race [Pebbles, '85 Turf] when Crimplene contests Saturday's Breeders' Cup Distaff, sent his 3-year-old filly to the gate Monday morning after she had worked 6 fur. in 1:17, breezing, on Sunday.
"She became a bit 'muley' at the gate at Ascot (Queen Elizabeth II Stakes) and I don't want her having any surprises here," Brittain said. "She backed in today and jumped with the bell alongside another horse. The bells are not used in European starting gates can surprise them and I will probably go to the gate again on Thursday."
Sheikh Marwan has given Crimplene to Sheikh Mohammed as a gift since her last start and she will contest the Distaff in the latter's familiar maroon and white colors. Brittain expected rider Frankie Dettori to be at Churchill Downs on Wednesday. "She'll breeze six furlongs that morning and that will be it," Brittain said. "She's eating well and is spot on her racing weight. She raced in Dubai on the dirt, gets 1 1/4 miles and has plenty of speed. "She's different to Pebbles, much more laid back, but I give her a very good chance. We used to give Pebbles Guinness and eggs but I think she was getting more eggs than Guinness. The lad had a very red nose!"
Fantastic Light (Turf), Muhtathir (Mile), Diktat (Mile)-Trainer Saeed bin Suroor sent Fantastic Light, Muhtathir and Diktat to the main track for a canter Monday morning after the latter pair worked 6 furlongs (both 1:18) on the grass Saturday, and Fantastic Light had worked 7 furlongs (1:30) on turf 24 hours earlier. "I will probably blow them out 5 furlongs on Wednesday," the trainer said. "If we have two runners in the Mile, [Godolphin contract rider] Frankie [Dettori] will decide which one to ride." Giant's Causeway (Classic)-See Breeders' Cup Classic Report. Kalanisi (Turf), Petrushka (Filly & Mare Turf).
Trainer Sir Michael Stoute was on the Churchill Downs backstretch Monday morning after Kalanisi breezed 4 furlongs on turf Sunday in 50 1/5 in preparation for Saturday's Breeders' Cup Turf. Apparently upset by the unfamiliarity of an American backstretch and training routine, the Aga Khan's runner balked several times before working and then propped while galloping out, dumping exercise rider Wally Lowsby. "I think he's living too close to Pegasus(likely Classic favorite Fusaichi Pegasus, also known for his sometime wayward behavior, is stabled in adjacent Barn 41)" Stoute wisecracked as Kalanisi and Filly & Mare Turf entrant Petrushka walked the shedrow. "There was a lot going on and he got a bit fractious. When that happens at Newmarket, nobody notices." Petrushka worked 4 fur. Sunday in 49 3/5.