Barn Notes from Churchill Downs
Likely Breeders' Cup Distaff favorite Riboletta turned in her final major work with a five-furlong breeze in 1:00 3/5 under exercise rider Jose Cuevas after the renovation break.
"It was very nice. I wanted to go in 1:01 or 1:02. Anything slower than that is OK," trainer Eduardo Inda said. "I got her in 1:00 2/5. The fractions were good and I feel very good about it. I told Jose to go slow almost every day after her last work (a three-furlong breeze in :35 flat on Oct. 23). She handles the track well; she showed that the other day and in her gallops. So far, everything is very good."Stewart Pleased With His Juvenile Hopefuls
-- Dallas Stewart witnessed some wonderful Breeders' Cup moments as a key assistant to Hall of Fame conditioner D. Wayne Lukas, the leading trainer in the history of Racing's Championship Day. Now Stewart is the trainer of a pair of Breeders' Cup contenders of his own in Nasty Storm (Juvenile Fillies) and Dollar Bill (Juvenile) and the efforts by those horses in their final pre-Cup works on Sunday have Stewart looking toward another big Breeders' Cup Day.
Nasty Storm, the runner-up in Keeneland's Walmac Alcibiades (gr. II) breezed five furlongs in 1:02. Dollar Bill, the runner-up in Keeneland's Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. II), breezed the same distance in 1:00 4/5. Exercise rider Joanne McNamara was in the saddle for both works.
Stewart said he was looking for a solid, easy work for Nasty Storm, a Gulch filly who is owned by a partnership that includes University of Louisville basketball coach Denny Crum.
"It was just a nice, even work that we were looking for," Stewart said. "We were not looking to put any speed into her. She worked perfect, she hugged the rail good enough for us. We didn't work her dead on the fence, but remember last time (in the Alcibiades) she tried to get out some in her race. But Joanne said she handled it perfect and she did everything just right."
He wanted a bit more out of the work for Dollar Bill, who will have a four-week gap since his run in the Breeders' Futurity as opposed to the three-week gap in racing for Nasty Storm.
"He's very professional for a 2-year-old," Stewart said. "He goes out there and trains good and gallops good. He's sharp. Every race he's run in he has always run horses down and I like that about him."
Both horses are coming off strong efforts at a two-turn distance and Stewart believes that works to their advantage.
"They've both got two-turn experience and they've both finished well in their last race," he said. "I just don't think you could ask any more."
Marlon St. Julien will ride Nasty Storm, while Richard Migliore gets a return call on Dollar Bill on Breeders' Cup Day.Undefeated Raging Fever Drills Four Furlongs In 1:00 Flat
-- Edward Evans' undefeated Raging Fever worked five furlongs in a minute flat after the renovation break in preparation for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on Saturday. Exercise rider Kristin Crawford was aboard for the work.
"We got her in :59 and 4 to a minute," trainer Mark Hennig said. "She really went well and I was happy. We were trying to let her settle off another horse just to have another horse to run at. It seemed to help her relax going into her last race (the Oct. 14 Frizette). It was her first day out in the daylight, and she handled things really well."Cindy's Hero Drills Six Furlongs In 1:13 3/5
-- Tom and Elizabeth Baxter's Del Mar Debutante heroine Cindy's Hero worked six furlongs in 1:13 3/5 after the renovation break with exercise rider Michelle Jensen up.
"She worked really well," said trainer David Hofmans, who clocked her in 1:24 1/5 for seven-eighths. "The track was a little loose, but she handled it OK. She finished really strong down the lane and that is what we wanted to work down that long stretch. She did real well."
While most of Cindy's Hero's opposition in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies have been working five-eighths, Hofmans was asked why he went farther with the filly Sunday.
"We had enough time between our races," Hofmans said. "We ran a week before those other horses ran (Oct. 8 in the Oak Leaf), and she is a big, strong filly and she needs a lot of work."City Zip Works 5 Furlongs
-- Under regular exercise rider Ricky Legall, multiple stakes winner City Zip worked five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 after the renovation break.
"That was fine," trainer Linda Rice said of the move over a track at which City Zip broke his maiden in his second career start. "He ran quite well over the track this spring and handled it fine today."Collect The Cash Works On Turf
-- Stronach Stable's Collect The Cash finished her major preparations for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf by working a half-mile on the grass in :48 4/5 under regular exercise rider Keith Ricks.
"I got her in :48 and 2. It was a good, solid work," trainer Joe Orseno said. "The biggest problem we have had with her all year is getting her to relax. It looks like it is starting to click in."Crimplene Works, Brittain Returns To Churchill
-- Sheikh Marwan Al Maktoum's Crimplene, one of Europe's outstanding 3-year-old fillies, is making the switch from turf to dirt as she prepares to run in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff and she appeared to handle the new surface well in a Sunday morning work at Churchill Downs. The Irish-bred daughter of Lion Cavern breezed six furlongs in 1:17 under exercise rider Kevin Willey in her first serious training move over the main track at Churchill Downs. The move pleased trainer Clive Brittain, who saddled Bold Arrangement to finish second in the 1986 Kentucky Derby and was a pioneer among European trainers who shipped their horses to America to compete on the dirt.
"We're pleased with what she's done," said Brittain. "They caught 1:17, which was as much as I'd want her to do on the track, you know, because the track's pretty beat up. So she's got another piece of serious work and everything's gone according to plan."
The Distaff will not be the first appearance on the dirt for Crimplene, who finished sixth to China Visit in the UAE Derby at Nad al Sheba in Dubai in March. She returned to the grass to win three Group I events -- The Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh, the Coronation Stakes at Ascot, and the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood -- but Brittain looked at his Breeders' Cup options and felt the Distaff -- and the dirt -- fit his filly well.
Now he'll see how she fits with favored Riboletta and the other U.S.-based stars on Breeders' Cup Day.
"I have no way of telling until we come up on race day," Brittain said. "But the way she's training now, it's all coming good. If they beat her, they're very good fillies because I think she is probably near one of the best I've trained. If she hits top form, then whatever beats her has got to beat her."
Brittain's appearance at Churchill Downs is his first since his runner-up finish in the Kentucky Derby.
"It was great, really, to get that close -- I thought we'd won," recalled Brittain. "To think you had it won, it was just like taking the candy off the baby. I cried all the way home."
And now Brittain is back -- and hoping for a slightly better result in the Breeders' Cup Distaff.
"I said I wouldn't come back until I came back with a winner," said Brittain.