• CATALANO TURNS OVER ACE IN BOURBON WITH POKER PLAYER
• GALLOPING OUT
Juddmonte Farms’ homebred Emollient came out of her rousing last-to-first victory in Sunday’s Juddmonte Spinster (G1) in good form, trainer Bill Mott’s assistant Rodolphe Brisset said Monday morning. On Tuesday, the 3-year-old filly will return to Belmont Park, and Mott and her connections will determine what’s next.
With the victory, she earned an automatic berth to the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) to be run Nov. 1 at Santa Anita but could be headed to the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) on Nov. 2 instead.
“Let’s say she’s going on the plane back to New York, so that means we’ve got something in mind,” Brisset said. “We’ve got to see how she does going back to New York and how she acts but she really wasn’t tired at all after the race. We’re going to take it day by day, breeze her a few times and go from there. I’m sure we’ll have a talk and make a decision.”
Emollient has three Grade 1 wins this year. She won the Central Bank Ashland here in April and captured the American Oaks on turf at Betfair Hollywood Park in July. With her Juddmonte Spinster victory, she joins Doubledogdare (1956), Optimistic Gal (1976) and Take Charge Lady (2002) as the horses to win the Ashland and the Spinster in the same season.
In the Juddmonte Spinster, Emollient broke late and was last of 11 entering the far turn before unleashing a furious rally on the far outside under jockey Mike Smith, defeating Summer Applause by 1¼ lengths.
“I wasn’t worried about the break at all because if there is one thing she can do is miss the break,” Brisset said with a laugh. “She did it in the (2012) Demoiselle (G2). She’s very touchy on her sides and doesn’t like to be in (the starting gate). You never know what you’re going to get from the gate. That’s why I told Mike, ‘If you miss the break don’t go to the lead; she doesn’t need to be on the lead.’ ”
Brisset said the versatility Emollient showed in the Juddmonte Spinster should answer any lingering questions about her quality.
“She made a point to everybody,” he said. “The thing is now she’ll have the Polytrack sticker on her back but trust me, she’s as good on the grass.”
Summer Applause’s runner-up performance pleased Baldo Hernandez, assistant to trainer Chad Brown.
“She ran well in a Grade 1. Good for her,” he said about the 4-year-old Harlan’s Holiday filly, who races for Gillian S. Campbell, breeder Greenwood Lodge Farm, Dan Clark and Greg Skoda. She has victories in Grade 2 and Grade 3 competition and has faced the likes of champion Royal Delta this year.
Hernandez said Summer Applause and Dayatthespa, second in the First Lady (G1) on Saturday, are scheduled to return to Belmont Park on Tuesday. Arriving that day from Belmont will be Martin S. Schwartz’s Alterite (FR), who is scheduled to race in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup (G1). On Sept. 14, the daughter of Literato won the Garden City (G1) at Belmont over other QE II possibles Discreet Marq and Concise (GB) in her North American debut.
Becky Winemiller’s Wine Princess returned to Churchill Downs Sunday night after her third-place finish in the Juddmonte Spinster in her first start on Polytrack.
“She looks good this morning,” trainer Steve Margolis said. “She worked good on it last week (:58.40 on Sept. 28 for five furlongs) and the race validated the work. That was a good result for the family placing in the Grade 1.”
A daughter of Horse of the Year Ghostzapper out of a Horse of the Year Azeri, Wine Princess likely will remain at Churchill Downs, according to Margolis.
“We are looking at the Chilukki (a $150,000-added Grade 2 race at a mile on Nov. 2 ) and then the Falls City ($150,000-added Grade 2 at 1 1/8 miles on Nov. 28),” Margolis said.
Gary Barber’s Sisterly Love, who set the pace in the Juddmonte Spinster before finishing fourth, was reported to be doing well Monday morning, according to David Adams, assistant to trainer Mark Casse.
Byrama (GB), who went off as the second choice in the field of 11, was scheduled to return to California Monday afternoon, according to Lauren Robson, assistant to trainer Simon Callaghan. Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Byrama finished sixth.
Trainer Michael Matz said Hillsbrook Farms’ Hard Not to Like came out of her seventh-place finish in good order and would be turned out for a while.
CATALANO TURNS OVER ACE IN BOURBON WITH POKER PLAYER
Trainer Wayne Catalano was doing a little advance planning Monday morning, both in the short term for the Keeneland meet and for a few weeks down the road at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita.
“I was thinking about when to go out there this morning,” Catalano said of the Breeders’ Cup. “I’m going to have a bunch of them.”
At the top of the list is Gary and Mary West’s Poker Player, who closed fast Sunday to win the Bourbon (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on the main track after the race was moved off the turf because of heavy rain.
“He’s doing fine this morning,” Catalano said. “Solitary Ranger (who finished ninth in the Grade 1 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity on Saturday), I’m not sure which race for him (the Juvenile or Juvenile Turf), but I am just going to draw a line through that race. Battlefield Angel (third in Friday’s Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades), she should have enough money to get in (the Juvenile Fillies).”
On the near horizon, Catalano has I’m Already Sexy pointing to Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) and Ciao Bella Luna for the Oct. 19 Lexus Raven Run (G2).
“She (I’m Already Sexy) had a great work yesterday,” Catalano said about the Pucker Up (G3) winner. “She worked in :59 and change and out six furlongs in 1:12 and that was the bullet before the break.”
Ciao Bella Luna, who won the Beaumont (G2) here in the spring, worked five furlongs in :59 Monday morning after the renovation break. Ciao Bella Luna will be trying to join Gypsy Robin, who last year became the first 3-year-old filly to win the Beaumont and Lexus Raven Run in the same year.
In other news from the Bourbon, Byron Hughes, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, said Rosedown Racing’s Bashart came out of his runner-up finish in good order.
“He tried hard yesterday,” Hughes said. “He is going to stay here for the time being and his next race has not been determined.”
Gelfenstein Farm’s Bon Accord, third in the Bourbon, was scheduled to leave Monday afternoon to return to Calder.
The American Graded Stakes Committee has reinstated the grades of Saturday’s Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) and Sunday’s Bourbon (G3), which were moved to the main track because of the weather. There were no scratches in either race. …
T.J. Comerford, head traveling lad for trainer Aidan O’Brien, said that Say (IRE) is a go for Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) for 3-year-old fillies. Owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, Say finished sixth against older fillies and mares in Saturday’s First Lady (G1).
“She’s acting like she never ran at all,” said Comerford, who took Say back to the track Monday morning. “She jogged this morning and then hacked around for a mile.”