Breeders’ Cup Juvenile hopefuls put through their paces at Keeneland
Edited Press Release
Observers hoping to get a line on the talent for next Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) received a quick 15-minute peek Friday morning at Keeneland as four pre-entrants worked just after the track opened from the morning renovation break.
First up was Hopeful S. (G1) winner Ralis, who covered five furlongs in 1:00.80 with Kieren Fallon aboard.
Working on his own, the Square Eddie colt produced fractions of :12.40, :24.40, :36.60 and 1:00.80 while galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.80.
“I’m happy, Kieren’s happy and (trainer) Doug (O’Neill) is even happier,” assistant Jack Sisterson said. “His other horses are working this morning at Santa Anita and will be here Sunday.”
The other O’Neill horses Sisterson referenced were the undefeated Nyquist, who is also headed to the Juvenile and Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) candidate Sharla Rae. For the Juvenile, Sisterson said Javier Castellano would ride Ralis and Mario Gutierrez would be on Nyquist.
Next up was Iroquois S. (G3) victor Cocked and Loaded for trainer Larry Rivelli. With Jose Valdivia Jr. aboard, the Colonel John colt covered a half-mile in :49.20 while recording splits of :24.40 and :49.20.
He galloped out five-eighths in 1:02.60 for his third local work since the September 12 Iroquois.
“We’re ready,” said Rivelli, who has not saddled a Breeders’ Cup starter. “Jose said when he was coming down the lane, he was talking to him all the way, ‘Whoa, whoa.’”
Coming through the stretch next was Champagne S. (G1) romper Greenpointcrusader with jockey Joe Bravo up for trainer Dominick Schettino.
Working a day earlier than expected because of a rainy forecast for Saturday, Greenpointcrusader worked a half-mile in :46.20 while galloping out five-eighths in :59.20 after earlier splits of :11.40 and :23.20.
The second Keeneland work for Greenpointcrusader got a thumbs-up from Schettino and a big grin from Bravo.
“That was awesome,” Bravo said. “I threw him a little cross at the wire to ask the question about what he had left and he answered it and saved some for next week.”
Completing the string of workers was Sticksstatelydude., who worked a half-mile in :47.20 with Lark Carroll up for trainer Greg Burchell.
The First Dude colt recorded his second breeze since finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Futurity S. (G1), and posted splits of :11.80, :23.80 and :47.20 with a gallop-out time of 1:00.20.
“I’m happy with it,” Burchell said. “The key thing with him is to get him to settle and make one run.”
Burchell said Sticksstatelydude would have one gate schooling session next week, probably Wednesday, prior to the Breeders’ Cup.
All photos courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography
Cocked and Loaded