Todd Pletcher’s Final Major Workouts for Breeders’ Cup
Photo Credit: Brittlan Wall
ELMONT, N.Y. – With one week remaining until the 2019 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park from November 1 – 2, conditioner Todd Pletcher oversaw the final major preparations on Friday morning at the Belmont Park training track before the contingent travels west on Monday.
Headed towards the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, 4-year-old Vino Rosso for owners Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable completed his third breeze since being disqualified from first to second in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup on September 28.
The Curlin colt, working in company with Noble Indy, completed four furlongs in 48.40 seconds with rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard.
“I thought he breezed terrific,” said Pletcher. “It was a well-executed good strong breeze. He finished up strongly in hand and galloped out the way we hoped. Everything seemed to go according to plan. Last week was our real major work towards the Classic with him. This week he seemed to maintain form and seems to be thriving so far.”
Calumet Farm’s 4-year-old graded stakes winner Channel Cat won the Grade 2 Bowling Green at Saratoga this summer and followed with a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at the Spa. Last out, he finished fourth in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont before eyeing his next start in the Grade 1, $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf.
Channel Cat, in company with Lemonist, also visited the Belmont training track, breezing four furlongs in 49.44.
“I thought he breezed strongly for a turf horse going over the dirt,” said Pletcher. “He seemed to handle it well and finished up with good energy galloping out strongly.”
Multiple graded-stakes winner Coal Front for owners Robert LaPenta and Head of Plains Partners will return to face Grade 1 competition in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. Coal Front, who captured the Parx Dirt Mile on September 21, worked four furlongs in 50.95 over the Belmont training track according to equibase.com.
“It probably wasn’t the best executed breeze we had this morning,” said Pletcher. “He kind of eased off at the five-eighths pole. Before that, he got into good rhythm and was settled and relaxed. He ended up galloping out good. He seems to be happy with himself.”
Set for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, Pletcher reported Sweet Melania, for owners Robert and Lawana Low has continued to progress off her impressive 5 ½ length victory in the Grade 2 Jessamine on October 9 at Keeneland.
“She’s doing well,” said Pletcher. “We let her pick her gallop a little bit yesterday, it seems like she’s moving very well and she came out of her race in good order so she’s set to fly early tomorrow morning.”
Pletcher also reported New York-bred Freewheeler, who was pre-entered for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint and is currently in 16th place on the oversubscribed list, continues to train well and will make his next start in the $100,000 Atlantic Beach for 2-year-olds on Saturday, November 9 at Aqueduct if he does not draw into the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
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