From Churchill Downs
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas won't saddle one of the favorites in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4, but he likes the chances of two of his colts after they worked five furlongs over the Louisville track on Monday.Michael Tabor's Yonaguska, third in the Champagne (gr. I) at Belmont Park, breezed five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 over a "fast" track under exercise rider Stacey Maker. Baker, Cornstein and Mack's Scorpion breezed five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 under Louise Hatfield."Yonaguska was exceptionally full of himself," said Lukas. "He broke off in :12 3/5 and came home in :11 3/5, so that was right on the money. The other horse was a little more even all the way."Scorpion enters the Juvenile off a poor ninth place finish in the Champagne. He displaced his soft palate that day and Lukas believes his chances were compromised by that breathing problem."We think we've got that behind us, but we don't know," said Lukas. "He's a talented horse and I thought he'd really run big in the Champagne."Lukas said he is looking at one other possible explanation for the Seattle Slew colt's breathing problem -- but he's skeptical about it."As crazy as it sounds, they say that he's holding his breath," said Lukas. "Both riders and two highly respected vets say that. So, I'm going to have to go along with that, as much as I can't buy into that very well."The Hall of Fame trainer said he has never run into that problem in all of his years of training."They claim it's a relaxation thing, so we're going to address it that way," said Lukas. "This morning he was perfect."Scorpion raced with blinkers in the Champagne, but Lukas said that piece of equipment will be removed for the Juvenile. Lukas said his list of pre-entries for theJuvenile also includes Robert and Beverly Lewis' Unbridled Time, a son of Unbridled's Song who won the WHAS-11 Stakes at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day and was third in the Bashford Manor (gr. II)."He loves this racetrack," Lukas said.Unbridled Time has yet to return to his stakes-winning form following a summer break. He has finished off-the-board in the Belmont Futurity (gr. I) and the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. II) at Keeneland in his last two starts.Garrett Gomez will ride the colt in the Juvenile. Pat Day will ride Yonaguska and Gary Stevens will be in the saddle aboard Scorpion.Lukas said his list of Breeders' Cup pre-entries also includes Cat Thief (Classic, Pat Day), Surfside (Distaff, Day), Spain (Distaff, Victor Espinoza), and Cash Deal (Juvenile Fillies, Jorge Chavez).
BARN TALK -- Canadian International winner Mutafaweq (Breeders' Cup Turf) is the first of Godolphin Racing's Breeders' Cup hopes to arrive on the ground at Churchill Downs. The Saeed bin Suroor-trained son of Silver Hawk was the only horse on a flight from Toronto-to-Louisville and immediately went into quarantine at Churchill Downs...A group of eight H. James Bond-trained horses that arrived at Churchill Downs on Monday included a surprise member in veteran handicap star Behrens. The Woodward (gr. I) runner-up was injured in the Jockey Club Gold Cup and will miss the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). Bond did not travel with his horses and there was no immediate word on plans for Behrens... Belmont Futurity (gr. I) winner Burning Roma (Juvenile) breezed six furlongs in 1:14 4/5. He was a troubled fourth in Keeneland's Breeders' Futurity (gr. II)...The Churchill Downs turf course opens for the first works of the fall on Tuesday and will be open each day through the Breeders' Cup. Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. I) winner Manndar is expected to breeze over the grass on Tuesday.