Euro Report: Roaring Lion Out Early, Enable Cruises Over Turf Course

Breeders’ Cup Classic hope, Roaring Lion was the first of the Europeans to take to the Churchill Downs track this morning. The son of Kitten’s Joy did a gentle canter around one circuit of the track and appeared happy on the surface before heading back to the barn.
Marie’s Diamond (Juvenile Turf), who will be trainer Mark Johnston’s first Breeders’ Cup runner, followed Roaring Lion around the track at a similar pace.

Jennie Simcock was once again in the saddle on Lightning Spear (Mile) and having done a lap of the dirt at a gentle canter was taken down to the chute and went through the gates.

Brian Ellison, who like Johnston will be having his first Breeders’ Cup starter, was trackside to watch The Mackem Bullet (Juvenile Fillies Turf) stretch her legs with a gentle canter before stepping up the pace and doing a gentle breeze down the stretch.

“It is great to be here for my first Breeders’ Cup. This is the first time I have been to America and it is good to see the different training methods out on the track. She is a cracking filly and I can’t believe the price she is back home as she is one of the top-rated horses in the race. She seems to have taken her traveling well and Ben Robinson, who has come out with her is happy with the filly.”

Pocket Dynamo (Juvenile Turf Sprint) went out on to the dirt for the first time this morning and was very much on his toes and took a while to adapt to the surroundings. Soldier’s Call and Well Done Fox, also in Juvenile Turf Sprint, went out at the same time and both cantered around the track.

The next group of Europeans to head out on to the main track consisted of the Irish duo of Eziyra and Princess Yaiza, who will both line up in the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf on Saturday. Arthur Kitt (Juvenile Turf) accompanied by his pony trotted for 4f before cantering for 5f.

The Andre Fabre pair of Talismanic and Waldgeist, who will both contest the Breeders’ Cup Turf walked around the track before heading to the paddock and then on their return on to the dirt, did a gentle breeze down the stretch. Waldgeist was very much on his toes whilst Talismanic gave the impression that he has seen this all before.

The final trio out on to the dirt were the French-trained, Lily’s Candle (Juvenile Fillies Turf), Polydream (Mile) and The Black Album (Juvenile Turf). They all did a strong canter once around the track with Lily’s Candle showing a slight reluctance to jump off.

Ten Europeans headed out on to the track at 9:35 and on to the turf course. Enable, who will be bidding to become the first horse to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and a Breeders’ Cup race in the same season, looked in great shape as she cantered around one lap of the turf.

The Godolphin trio of La Pelosa (Fillies Turf), Line of Duty (Juvenile Turf), and Wild Illusion (Filly & Mare Turf) also appeared in great spirits.

Charlie Appleby who arrived in Kentucky Monday was pleased with the condition of his horses and he is very hopeful that Wild Illusion can follow up Wuheida’s success in 2017 by taking Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

“All horses have shipped over great and have settled in fine. They had an easy day yesterday and have some done some light exercise today. Tomorrow, depending on the weather, we will get a blow into them.”

The Michael Stoute duo of Expert Eye and Mustashry, who both contest the Breeders’ Cup Mile, also did a steady canter around one circuit of the track. Stoute, who has seven Breeders’ Cup wins to his name, is expected at trackside tomorrow.
Karl Burke’s Havana Grey (Turf Sprint) and the William Haggas duo of Queen of Bermuda (Juvenile Turf Sprint) and One Master (Mile) also stretched their legs out on the turf.

The 16 strong team from Ballydoyle arrived safely at the quarantine barn Monday night. Mendelssohn (Classic) was reported to have taken the traveling well and soon settled in to his new surroundings.

They will not clear quarantine until Wednesday evening so will not be out on to the track until Thursday. Aidan O’Brien is flying from Ireland today and should be at the track Wednesday morning.

FILLY & MARE TURF

Trainer Chad Brown – The quintet of Chad Brown trainees preparing for the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf got their first feel for fall weather Churchill Downs on Tuesday morning. In two separate sets (8 and 9 a.m.) and intermingled with other members of the 12-deep Brown Breeders’ Cup brigade, Sistercharlie, Thais, A Raving Beauty, Fourstar Crook and Santa Monica all galloped 1m on the main track. All five exit a victory or placing in Grade I company.

Chief among those was Peter M. Brant’s 3-1 morning-line favorite Sistercharlie, who was last seen racing to a victory in the “Win and You’re In” Beverly D. at Arlington International Racecourse. Said tally was her second Grade I victory in a three-week span and third on the year following wins in Keeneland’s Jenny Wiley (April 14) and Saratoga’s Diana (July 21).

A planned start was in the Flower Bowl was scrapped in favor of training up to the Breeders’ Cup, which will be her first start beyond 10 furlongs since finishing second in the 2017 Prix de Diane (French Oaks). It will also be her first start on what is expected to be a soft course since finishing off the board at second asking (March 2017) on heavy Saint-Cloud ground.

“It’s always concerning when you’re coming off a bit of a layoff and especially going this far,” Brown said. “She’s had a good season and had some hard races, but has maintained her fitness well. She’s fresh and her last couple works have been particularly good.

“(Soft ground) is a concern, as she seems to be a little more effective when she has some better footing under her, but I don’t think it’s an absolute that she needs really firm ground, either,” he continued.

John Velazquez, who was aboard at Arlington and her other four U.S. efforts, has the mount post five. They will be joined under the Brant-Brown banner by Thais, who is co-owned by Joseph Allen and held on for a respectable third by 1¾ lengths after setting the pace in the Beverly D. Manny Franco takes the reins from the two-hole.

“She’s there to ensure a solid-enough pace, but she’s a good filly in her own right having finished third in the Beverly D.,” Brown said. “You never know, she might hang around for a piece late.”

MILE

Hunt – Mike House’s Hunt did not ship to Churchill Downs because he had a slight temperature and didn’t fly, according to his trainer Phil D’Amato and was declared out of the Mile.

The defection of Hunt opens the door to Gunpowder Farms’ Divisidero to enter the field off the also-eligible list. Trained by Kelly Rubley, Divisidero will be ridden by Jevian Toledo.

Divisidero, a three-time graded-stakes winner at Churchill Downs, will represent the first Breeders’ Cup starter for Rubley and Toledo.

Oscar Performance – Amerman Racing’s Oscar Performance galloped on the main track after the morning’s first renovation break under exercise rider Arnoldo Orellana for trainer Brian Lynch.

Winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf in 2016 at Santa Anita, Oscar Performance drew post position five in the 14-horse Mile.

“That is an ideal spot for him; I’m very happy with that,” Lynch said.

What Lynch is not happy about is the weather forecast for Louisville that calls for heavy rain beginning Wednesday and continuing into Thursday.

“If it got nasty and was real soft turf, I would have to think about scratching,” Lynch said. “He is very good right now. This would be only his fourth race this year and he is sitting on a big effort. I would rather put him away than run on a course he will struggle over.”

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