Breeders’ Cup Notes: Brown Brigade, Europeans Begin To Arrive

Max Player – George Hall and SportBLX Thoroughbreds Corps’ Max Player completed his final preparations for the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) by working a half-mile in 50 just after the renovation break as he looks to extend his win streak to three. His stablemate, Bloom Racing Stable’s Snapper Sinclair, also worked a half mile, going in 49 4/5 over a fast track. He was pre-entered in both the Dirt Mile and Mile.

“They were both typical, easy half-mile works,” assistant trainer Scott Blasi said. “Snapper Sinclair went in 49 and 4 and Max Player went in 50 flat. They are both getting over the surface really well. They had their big works at Santa Anita last week. This was just to get them acquainted with the racetrack. We weren’t looking for too much. All of our horses seem to be doing really well.”

Stilleto Boy – Steve Moger’s Stilleto Boy had an easy gallop under Jose Sandoval following the morning track renovation session for trainer Ed Moger Jr.

Runner-up to Classic rival Medina Spirit in the Awesome Again in his most recent start, Stilleto Boy is scheduled to work Tuesday morning.

Blue Stripe (ARG) – Pozo De Luna Inc.’s Blue Stripe had a walk day at trainer Marcelo Polanco’s barn at Del Mar.

A Group 1 winner in her native Argentina, Blue Stripe is scheduled to breeze Tuesday morning in preparation for the $2 million Longines Distaff.

Letruska – St. George Stable’s standout mare Letruska galloped 1 1/2 miles with the pony Monday morning, two days after her final timed work for the Distaff, 5f in 1:01 1/5, over the Del Mar track.

Letruska opened the season Jan. 31 with a victory in the Houston Ladies Classic at Sam Houston Park. She finished second by a head in the Azeri on March 13 at Oaklawn Park and has since put together a five-race winning streak. Four of those victories have come in four Grade 1 races run at four tracks.

Trainer Fausto Gutierrez said that Letruska appears to like the surface at Del Mar.

Mind Control – Red Oak Stable and Madaket Stables 5-year-old horse Mind Control was found to have an elevated temperature Monday and will not be able to compete in the Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile for trainer Todd Pletcher. It is the third consecutive year that issues kept the son of Stay Thirsty from running in the Breeders’ Cup.

“He spiked a temperature and his blood count is not right,” Pletcher said. “We had no choice but to start him on some treatment and not enter.

“He wasn’t acting himself this morning,” Pletcher added. “His temperature was a little elevated and as the morning went along it continued to go up.”

Mind Control has won two of three starts since being moved to Pletcher’s barn this year. He was headed to the Dirt Mile after winning the Parx Dirt Mile on Sept. 25.  After 18 races around one turn, the Parx Dirt Mile was his first start around two turns since he finished seventh in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs.

Mind Control shipped from Pletcher’s base at Belmont Park in New York to Del Mar on Sunday.

“I’m sure the flight was a bit stressful for him. That probably triggered it,” Pletcher said. “He will respond quickly to treatment and we will hopefully be able to regroup and be ready in time for the Cigar Mile. First things first, we will make sure he is well and go from there.”

Chad Brown – Four-time Eclipse Award champion trainer Chad Brown had 11 of his 14 Breeders’ Cup runners on site in Barn DD at Del Mar on Monday morning, each going to the track for light exercise. The remaining three, coming from Kentucky, are scheduled to arrive later Monday in California, per the conditioner.

On site are Portfolio Company and Verbal (Juvenile Turf), Consumer Spending (Juvenile Fillies Turf), Jack Christopher (Juvenile), Pocket Square and My Sister Nat (FR) (Filly & Mare Turf), Raging Bull (Mile), Royal Flag (Distaff), and the Longines Turf-bound trio of TribhuvanRockemperor and Domestic Spending.

Jack Christopher, one of the favorites for the TVG Juvenile presented by TAA, especially made a sharp impression while galloping a circuit of the Del Mar dirt at about 6:30 a.m., followed closely by stone-gray stablemate Consumer Spending.

Brown reported that Blowout (GB) (Mile), Dunbar Road (Distaff) and Haughty (Juvenile Fillies Turf) will arrive Monday after shipping from Keeneland.

All going well, 14 will be a personal record for Breeders’ Cup starters for Brown. He has twice started 13 horses, in 2017 and 2020, and will have double-digit starters in eight of the past nine Breeders’ Cups.

Dr. Schivel – Multiple stakes-winning sprinter Dr. Schivel, unbeaten in three starts at Del Mar, is coming into his upcoming start in the $2 million Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint in peak form, according to trainer Mark Glatt.  “His last race (Santa Anita Sprint Championship) was his best race yet, and I’m hoping he’s got an even better one in him for Saturday.”

The 3-year-old son of Violence, who has reeled off five consecutive victories, including two Grade 1’s in the 2020 Del Mar Futurity and this year’s Bing Crosby Handicap versus older horses, finished up his serious work with a quick 5f drill at Santa Anita Saturday timed in :58:20.  “I know he likes this track, which would possibly be to our advantage.  Jackie’s Warrior is the one to beat, but they’re all runners in this race,” Glatt continued.  “I wouldn’t change places with anyone.”

European Report
The first of the European horses touched down at Del Mar racetrack quarantine barn Friday afternoon arriving at 4.30. All connections reported their horses traveled over well and there were no issues. Godolphin’s horses arrived Saturday afternoon with Aidan O’Brien’s team touching down in quarantine just before midnight Saturday night.

The first group of European horses cleared quarantine Sunday night and went onto the main track Monday morning. Both Godolphin and O’Brien horses will be on the track Tuesday morning.

All horses that have cleared quarantine did light exercise getting used to the surroundings. Three 2020 Breeders’ Cup winners, Glass Slippers (GB) (Turf Sprint), Audarya (FR) (Filly & Mare Turf) and Tarnawa (IRE) (Turf) were all out on the track Monday morning.

Glass Slippers was very fresh having some small bucks up the stretch, but looked in great condition. Kevin Ryan, Glass Slippers’ trainer travels from the UK Monday and will be on track Tuesday morning. Tom Eaves will once again take the ride and arrives Tuesday alongside Ryan.

Audarya and Tarnawa both took in their surroundings extremely well, having a good look around and seemed to enjoy their exercise.

Trainer David Loughnane, who has two runners at this year’s Breeders Cup, rode Go Bears Go (IRE) (Juvenile Turf Sprint) himself on the main track and was accompanied by his other runner Hello You (IRE) (Juvenile Fillies Turf).

Loughnane said: “Go Bears Go and Hello You both traveled over really well. The trip probably took a bit more out of Hello You. Go Bears Go is like an old pro with this sort of stuff as he takes everything in his stride. They were both in good form on track, moving very well and it was good to get them out exercising after quarantine. It’s a huge opportunity for us to be here with two live chances taking on some of the best horses in the world. I feel very lucky and very privileged to be here. I’m going to go and walk the turf track this afternoon. We just need a nice post position for them both now and fingers crossed they run big races.”

Qatar Racing’s Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, owner of Mise En Scene (GB) (Juvenile Fillies Turf), Hierarchy (Juvenile Turf Sprint), Ocean Road (IRE) (Filly & Mare Turf) and Shedaresthedevil (Distaff) was on track this morning to see his horses exercise. He said, “I flew over yesterday and it’s great to be back at the Breeders’ Cup. It’s one of my favorite weeks of the year and to have some nice runners is very exciting. The horses look fantastic and reports are that they traveled over really well.”

Michael O’Callaghan was the first of the European trainers to land in America arriving on Thursday evening. O’Callaghan who trains Twilight Jet (IRE) (Juvenile Turf Sprint) was on track to watch exercise. O’Callaghan said, “I’m delighted to be here, it’s been an ambition for a while to get here with a live contender. The facilities and organization of everything is second to none, the track is in great order and I’m quite surprised by how good a cover of grass there is on the turf course. We couldn’t have been happier with how Twilight Jet handled his first day training on the main track this morning. We’re very much looking forward to lining up on Friday.”

Leigh Roche who will take the ride on Twilight Jet on Friday rode him this morning and said, “He’s in super order. He felt brilliant on the track, very fresh and well but that’s him every day. He just loves his work. The traveling doesn’t seem to have bothered him at all.”

A Case of You (IRE) (Turf Sprint) who recently won the Prix de l’Abbaye at ParisLongchamp was ridden on the main track doing a light canter, looked in great condition.

Work rider Ian Brennan said: “A Case Of You traveled over super. He has recovered from the long journey and has settled in great. We were just out for a leg stretch this morning with some trotting and a light canter. He moved well and took in all his surroundings. He’s very professional and he’s a pleasure to deal with.”

Trainer Brian Meehan was on track riding the pony alongside Vertiginous (IRE)(Juvenile Turf Sprint). The Oasis Dream filly was very settled on the training track accompanied by Armor (GB) (Juvenile Turf Sprint).

Reports from the Japanese team have been very positive since their arrival in Del Mar. Matera Sky (Sprint) and Jasper Great (Juvenile) exercised alongside each other, both doing light canters.

All international runners will be on the main track Tuesday morning for exercise. Many owners and trainers are traveling in the next couple of days to Del Mar.

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