Big Blue Kitten leads Brown's BC worker brigade
Trainer Chad Brown unleashed a cavalcade of Breeders' Cup-bound horses at Belmont Park on Saturday morning for their final works before their respective races.
Leading the charge for Brown were Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) winner Big Blue Kitten and Manhattan (G1) winner Slumber, who worked together on the main track going four furlongs, with the former clocked in :50.33 while the latter went a touch slower in :50.34 in advance of the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1).
"They've been working on the dirt since the Hirsch, just maintenance works," Brown said. "Big Blue Kitten always works on the dirt. Slumber's had a long year and the horse is doing fantastic, so it's just some maintenance. I think they make a good team. It was more of the same from them, just an easy half and both horses cooled out real happy."
Shining Copper also worked on the main track in preparation for the $3 million Turf. The five-year-old gelding breezed four furlongs by himself in :50.54.
Last year's runner-up, Stephanie's Kitten, will seek redemption in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1), which she enters off a victory in the Flower Bowl (G1) at Belmont. Going in company with fellow Filly & Mare Turf entry Dacita, Stephanie's Kitten drilled five furlongs on the turf in 1:03.76, with Dacita getting the better of her more accomplished stablemate in 1:03.66.
"They broke off a touch slow. The fractions were a touch off early, but from there the riders picked it up and they worked well through the lane. They galloped out well and cooled out great," Brown said.
Also pre-entered for the Filly & Mare Turf, Watsdachances worked with Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) hopeful Last Waltz. Going five furlongs on the turf, the pair went in 1:03.23.
"Both of them worked really well," Brown said. "It was only the second time we've worked Last Waltz since receiving her and she's done terrific. She had a nice work last week and this week she's improved even more. I like what I see from her."
Gallant Bloom Handicap (G2) runner-up Wavell Avenue also took to the main track, breezing four furlongs in :48.98. The four-year-old daughter of Harlington was facing graded stakes company for the first time in the Gallant Bloom, in which she came within a half-length of defeating La Verdad, and will go for glory in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
"Beautiful half," Brown said. "She's just done maintenance since her second-place finish here in the Gallant Bloom. I love the way she's coming into the race."
Rounding out Brown's workers were two-year-olds Ray's The Bar and Llanita, who breezed five furlongs on the turf in 1:02.12 and are targeting the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) and Juvenile Fillies Turf, respectively.
"They worked terrific," Brown said. "Almost an identical work to last week's, both of them had plenty left."
Brown added that Pricedtoperfection, a recent maiden winner at Belmont, is also headed to the Juvenile Fillies Turf but will not work prior to the race.
(Big Blue Kitten photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)