Lucullan Takes a Shot at The G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile

October 25, 2019

McLaughlin pre-enters Lucullan for G1 Breeder’s Cup Mile

NYRA Press

Photo Credit: Susie Raisher

Following a victory in the Grade 2 Knickerbocker, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is taking a shot with Godolphin’s Lucullan and has pre-entered the 5-year-old Hard Spun bay in the Grade 1, $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile on November 2 at Santa Anita.

Lucullan won his 2019 debut off a 14-month layoff when he bested stakes winners Noble Indy and Therapist in a Belmont allowance race over the inner turf. Next out he won the Lure at Saratoga before a troubled third in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile in Canada.
Since his Knickerbocker triumph, Lucullan has settled into McLaughlin’s base at Greentree Training Center in Saratoga.

Currently on the outside looking in, Lucullan is 17th on the list of pre-entries for the Mile and would need three defections in order to draw into the race. Four-time Grade 1 winner Bricks and Mortar also is pre-entered to the Mile but has the Turf as first preference.

“Lucullan is doing great. It’s a little quick back for me – just 19 days, but we decided to pre-enter and see,” McLaughlin said. “He’s number 17 on the list and needs a couple things to happen. We will go if he gets in. If he doesn’t we’ll look for something in Florida for him. He’s a really nice horse and unlucky not to be 4-for-4 this year. He’s a real serious horse with a bright future.”

McLaughlin will at least have one other Breeders’ Cup starter when he saddles Dawn the Destroyer for the Filly and Mare Sprint. Owned by Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Farm, the 5-year-old daughter of Speightstown arrives at the prestigious seven furlong event off of dual runner-up efforts against graded stakes company, most recently finishing second in the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America on October 6 at Keeneland. She will seek her first win since taking her 2019 debut in the Interborough on January 25 at Aqueduct.

“Dawn the Destroyer was beat a head at Keeneland in the “Win and You’re In” Thoroughbred Club of America and she’s come back and worked real well,” McLaughlin said. “She’ll go seven-eighths in the Filly and Mare Sprint which is a good distance for her. She’s in good form right now after finishing second at Saratoga in a Grade 1 [Ketel One Ballerina] and second at Keeneland in a Grade 1. She won a stake earlier this year in January (the Interborough at Aqueduct), but it would be nice to win a Grade 1.”

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