Steve Asmussen crossed one more thing off his trainer check-list Oct. 26—or four more, to be exact.
In the early morning hours, Asmussen sent Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) contender Untapable, Las Vegas Dirt Mile (gr. I) runner Tapiture , Twinspires.com Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) runner Holy Boss, and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) runner Nickname through their final pre-race works—all covering four furlongs on the main track at Keeneland. The works were moved back a day by the trainer after overnight rains left the main track sloppy and it was sealed Oct. 25.
"Obviously I was concerned with the surface yesterday, but thought they did a great job with it and it was in good shape this morning, and I was glad to see that," Asmussen said. "Week of (the races), just right in the :50 range, and I thought they went over the racetrack really well."
Champion Untapable, who looks to defend her Breeders' Cup Distaff title but needs to improve upon a less-than-stellar season for Winchell Thoroughbreds, went in :50 1/5.
"She's our favorite and a true champion and we're just very blessed to be around her," Asmussen said.
Tapiture, runner-up in last year's Dirt Mile for Winchell and coming off a victory in the Sept. 26 Ack Ack Handicap (gr. I), went in :49 1/5 after a quarter in :24 3/5.
"He's touted himself very strongly since the Ack Ack; I think it will take the race of his life but I think he's set for the race of his life," Asmussen said. "I think what you'll do (in the Dirt Mile) is dependent upon what you draw and who is where, and all those decisions can only be made once the draw is out."
"They were just maintenance works, they didn't have to do much," added David Fiske, racing manager for Winchell. "Everybody seems to be healthy and happy."
"He's a great, big-bodied horse, very heavy and stuff, I don't think he would appreciate off going," the trainer said.
Nickname, winner of the Oct. 3 Frizette Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park for LNJ Foxwoods, went in :49 3/5.
"She's an extremely talented filly who trains extremely impressive," Asmussen said. "The Juvenile Fillies quite obviously has some great fillies in there, but I feel very good about her chances."