Breeders’ Cup workers out in force at Keeneland

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Jen Caldwell

October 11th, 2015

With the October 30-31 Breeders’ Cup drawing ever closer, a number of horses readying for the championship events worked at Keeneland on Sunday.

I’m a Chatterbox prepared for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) on October 30 with a half-mile bullet breeze in :47.20 under jockey Florent Geroux.

She got the first quarter in :23.60 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:00.60 on the fast main track.

The move was the first of three scheduled works for the Munnings sophomore ahead of the Distaff, and was quickest of 40 others at that distance on the day.

“She was eager to go when I cut her loose,” trainer Larry Jones said. “We know she likes Keeneland and she has done well since her last race. It is all good.”

I’m a Chatterbox will enter the Distaff off a two-length victory in the September 19 Cotillion S. (G1) at Parx Racing. That was the Fletcher and Carolyn Gray homebred’s seventh start of the year and her fourth win of the season after sweeping the sophomore filly stakes at Fair Grounds over the spring.

I’m a Chatterbox would go on to run third in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and second in the Alabama S. (G1). She posted a nose win in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) between those two, but was disqualified to second after drifting out and bumping Curalina in the shadow of the wire.

Trainer Todd Pletcher had a trio of Breeders’ Cup hopefuls on track Sunday.

Liam’s Map turned five furlongs in 1:00.40 – recording fractions of :35.60, 1:00.20 and out in 1:13.80 along the way – for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) on October 30.

The four-year-old gray was considered to be a player in the October 31 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), but Pletcher announced last week the Unbridled’s Song colt would instead go in the Dirt Mile.

Liam’s Map will enter the Breeders’ Cup owning three starts in 2015 – taking an allowance/optional claimer on June 19 at Belmont Park, finishing a quarter-length second in the Whitney S. (G1) on August 8 at Saratoga and staying at the Spa to romp by 4 3/4 lengths in the Woodward S. (G1) most recently on September 5.

Stablemate Stopchargingmaria will join I’m a Chatterbox in the Distaff gate and prepared for that outing with a half-mile breeze in :48.40, posting a first quarter in :24.60.

The Tale of the Cat filly, who like Liam’s Map was recording her second workout since October 5, will bring four outings into the Breeders’ Cup. Stopchargingmaria rallied to just miss in the seven-furlong Madison S. (G1) at Keeneland during the spring meet before capturing both the Allaire duPont Distaff (G3) and Shuvee H. (G3) while going the Distaff distance of 1 1/8 miles. The four-year-old miss was last seen running fourth in the Personal Ensign S. (G1) at Saratoga on August 29.

Mshawish, who is considered possible for the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) on October 31, traveled a half-mile in :49.40 over Keeneland’s firm turf Sunday for Pletcher. He was caught in splits of :13.20, :26.20, :49.40 and 1:03.20.

Mshawish opened his five-year-old campaign with a pair of wins in the Ft. Lauderdale S. (G2) and Gulfstream Park Turf H. (G1) before traveling to Meydan for a third-place run in the Dubai Turf (UAE-G1). The Kentucky-bred son of Medaglia d’Oro  wouldn’t be seen in competition again until showing up for a close fifth, just 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner, in the Fourstardave H. (G2) at Saratoga on August 15.

“(He) handled it really well, quickened nicely down the lane and galloped out strongly,” Pletcher said of Mshawish’s first work over Keeneland’s green. “I was happy with him.”

Trainer Steve Asmussen sent out a pair of his Breeders’ Cup prospects on Sunday at Keeneland as well.

Holy Boss readied for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) with a four-furlong move in :50.80 on the main track, getting his first quarter in :26.60.

The Street Boss sophomore strung together four consecutive wins this season, including the Amsterdam S. (G2), before finishing third in Saratoga’s King’s Bishop S. (G1) and fourth in the October 2 Phoenix S. (G3) at Keeneland.

Tapiture, hoping to go one better than his second in last year’s Dirt Mile, breezed five-eighths in 1:00.60 with a split of :37.40 and a six-furlong gallop-out in 1:14.20. The Tapit colt had been unable to find the winner’s circle in four starts this year, but finally got the job done last out with a half-length score in the Ack Ack H. (G3) on September 26 at Churchill Downs.

Both Asmussen and assistant Scott Blasi were pleased with Tapiture’s effort on Sunday

“We think he’s fresh; love how his weight looks and his attitude,” Blasi said. “His coat looks awesome. He’s rounding back in his old self, we hope.”

While not working, Greenpointcrusader did get his first taste for Keeneland on Sunday after arriving at the Lexington, Kentucky, track Saturday afternoon.

Trained by Dominick Schettino, the Bernardini colt jogged on a crisp and cool morning with exercise rider Neftali Galarza aboard.

Greenpointcrusader earned a guaranteed berth to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) on October 31 when taking the Champagne S. (G1) last out on October 3 at Belmont Park. He is a full brother to Grade 3 winner Algorithms as well as a half-brother to Grade 1 hero Justin Phillip and Grade 2 victor Keyed Entry.

Liam's Map photo courtesy of Keeneland