A Lot (inside) winning the Elusive Quality Stakes at Belmont Park – Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand
On a very busy Saturday morning, trainers Chad Brown and Todd Pletcher sent out several of their Breeders’ Cup contenders to post final pre-race workouts at Belmont Park. Thanks to XBTV, which has been posting workout videos on their website, handicappers and racing fans are able to watch these workouts and see how the horses are doing. Here are my thoughts on the Belmont Park workouts…
A Lot: Caught my eye breezing a half-mile in :49.40 in company with Performance Bonus, going with complete ease while under no urging and with his ears pricked in the homestretch. Kept going nicely after the wire to complete his serious preparations for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, a race in which he could have a live chance to win while cutting back in distance from a runner-up effort in the Fourstardave Handicap (gr. I).
Irish Jasper: In what was little more than a routine maintenance work, Irish Jasper breezed a half-mile in company with You’re to Blame and went the distance in :49 flat, traveling easily down the homestretch under no urging whatsoever — her rider even seemed to be holding her back a little to finish on ever terms with You’re to Blame. Irish Jasper was then much the best on the gallop-out, and seems to be doing well heading into the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
New Money Honey and Rymska: Breezed five furlongs together on the Belmont turf course and recorded a final time of 1:02, a solid clocking given that they were racing outside of the orange cones designed to keep them off the inner paths of the course. Both seemed to be going very easily, with Rymska on the outside perhaps ever so slightly better, but neither was under much pressure to finish and they seemed very relaxed.
Practical Joke: Two-time grade I winner worked five furlongs in company with Devine Union, posting a time of 1:01.40. Came down the homestretch with his ears back, but seemed to be going slightly easier than his workmate while running very close to the rail.
Syndergaard: Wrapped up his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile preparations by breezing five furlongs in 1:00.80 with just a bit of urging in the homestretch, followed by strong gallop-out that is typical of Todd Pletcher horses before a big race. Had his ears back down the homestretch and on the gallop-out, but looked good overall.
Theory: The unbeaten Futurity Stakes (gr. II) winner worked a half-mile in company with stablemate Ready Dancer and couldn’t have gone much easier, getting the distance in :49.40 while under basically no urging. On the gallop-out, he was asked to keep going and maintained a solid pace, although Ready Dancer stuck with him around the turn while under a similar or slightly less amount of urging.
Ticonderoga and Favorable Outcome: Their workout together was very similar to that of their stablemates New Money Honey and Rymska, right down to an identical final time of 1:02. Both were going well under little urging in the homestretch, although Favorable Outcome on the outside seemed to be under just a little less urging and seemed better on the gallop-out as well.
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