By Breeders’ Cup Media Staff — A busy morning on the Del Mar main track with all international horses training except Quick Suzy (IRE) who was not entered Monday for her intended run in the Juvenile Turf Sprint because of a spike in temperature.
Teona (IRE) (Turf) was the first European horse out on track who did some light exercise. She looked in very good form. The next group out were Audarya (FR) (Filly & Mare Turf) and Cachet (IRE) (Juvenile Fillies Turf) who both have taken the eye since landing in Del Mar.
The six Charlie Appleby-trained horses were on the track for the first time since clearing quarantine and exercised under the watchful eye of Appleby.
All horses looked in tremendous condition and reports from the Godolphin team have been very positive on all horses since touching down in California.
Kevin Ryan landed last night and was on track to watch both of his Turf Sprint contenders. Glass Slippers (GB) will be bidding to follow up her win in the race last year. She was ridden this morning by race day jockey Tom Eaves.
Eaves said, “It’s great to be at the Breeders’ Cup again. I sat on Glass Slippers for a light canter and she felt great. I just tracked Emaraaty Ana (GB) for a circuit and it went well. She’s a superb filly and I’m really looking forward to the race on Saturday.”
Andrea Atzeni who takes the ride on Emaraaty Ana (GB) on Saturday was trackside to watch him exercise and said, “I’m going to ride Emaraaty Ana (GB) on the track tomorrow. It was great to see him exercise and he looked in great form. I’ve got a lovely draw on Saturday in gate two so hopefully we get a bit of luck in running and he runs a big race.”
Oisin Murphy, who was recently crowned champion jockey in the UK for the third consecutive year, rode exercise on Marche Lorraine (JPN) (Distaff) just before 7 a.m. They did a strong canter and exercise looked to go well.
Murphy said, “She’s a nice horse and felt good. I’m very much looking forward to taking the ride. It’s great to be in Del Mar and I’ve a few nice rides over the weekend. I will ride Hierarchy (IRE) (Juvenile Turf Sprint) tomorrow morning and I’m hoping to have a spin on Mise En Scene (GB) (Juvenile Fillies Turf) at some point before Friday as well.”
Today was the first sighting of the Ballydoyle horses on track having completed their quarantine requirements. Aidan O’Brien has a team of seven horses who went out on track together led by Broome (IRE) (Turf) ridden by Dean Gallagher. The string was accompanied by a pony ridden by Rachel Richardson. They had a trot for a circuit of the track followed by a light canter. Bolshoi Ballet (IRE) (Turf) who sat third in the string looked in particularly good form having some playful bucks during his canter down the backstretch.
Michael Bell was another British trainer to be trackside to watch Great Max (IRE) (Juvenile Turf) have a canter in the hands of regular work rider Joe Bradnam. Great Max (IRE) had a good look around his surroundings during exercise but seemed in good order.
Bell said, “It’s tremendous to be back over for the Breeders’ Cup. It is an amazing race meeting and I’m delighted to be part of it with Great Max. Joe Bradnam seems happy with him so it’s all systems go.”
Connections of Rougir (FR) (Filly & Mare Turf) were trackside having made the trip over from France. The same connections recently won the Champion’s Stakes at Ascot and will be hoping for more Grade 1 glory on Saturday. Trainer Cedric Rossi reported his filly to be “in great form.”
Irish trainer Paddy Twomey was overseeing the training of his filly Pearls Galore (FR) (Mile).
Twomey said, “Pearls Galore traveled over well, she’s settled into the routine here lovely and enjoying the training. She’s cantered on the track the last two days, everything has gone well, we’re looking forward to Saturday. Del Mar is a lovely track, the turf will be quick and it’ll suit her. She’s nibble, neat and tidy and I think she’ll deal with the demands of the track very well on the day.”
Matera Sky (Sprint) and Jasper Great (Juvenile) were two of the final international horses to go out for exercise. They had a canter and returned to the quarantine barn via the paddock. They took everything in their stride and looked very relaxed.
Gufo – Otter Bend Stables has made it to the Turf with its first and only runner, Gufo, a homebred son of Declaration of War colt who never has been worse than third in 13 career starts.
For owner and co-breeder Stephen Cainelli, it is something of a “how do you top this?” situation. Winning the $4 million Turf certainly would elevate the already engaging story to another level and give veteran trainer Christophe Clement his first Breeders’ Cup victory.
Gufo earned his berth in the Turf with a victory by a neck over Japan in the Sword Dancer a “Win and You’re In” race on Aug. 28 at Saratoga Race Course. In his most recent start, he was third in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic on Oct. 9 at Belmont Park. He shipped from New York to Del Mar Sunday with his three Clement stablemates headed to Breeders’ Cup races.
“He had a very good day of training this morning,” said Christophe Lorieul, Clement’s assistant for 27 years. “He galloped an easy mile. He was very willing, very forward but within himself. I really liked the way he went this morning.”
Gufo and regular rider Joel Rosario drew post 11 in the 14-horse Turf and is 8-1 on the morning line.
“It’s not great, but it’s a mile and a half and he’s got time to try to tuck him and try to save some ground,” Lorieul said. “Obviously, on the turf going a mile and a half that’s what you want. It’s not ideal, but that’s why Joel Rosario gets paid the big bucks.”
Mo Forza — Bardy Farm and OG Boss’s seven-time graded stakes winner Mo Forza is on a mission to make up for lost opportunities in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile. Last year, on the back of two strong victories in the Del Mar Mile and City of Hope Mile, the son of Uncle Mo was one of the favorites for the Mile before injury derailed the Peter Miller trainee’s preparation. This season, the 5yo winner of the 2019 Hollywood Derby returns to the same Del Mar surface as that triumph for his redemption attempt.
“He’s training really great,” Miller said. “Today we gave him about a mile and a half jog and schooled him in the gate and then schooled him in the paddock.”
Mo Forza, who eclipsed $1 million in prize money by winning the same two preps this season, drew post six in the 14-horse field and could be making his final career start.
“I like the post,” Miller said. “I think there’s plenty of pace and it should string everyone out. We should be sitting midpack, but there’s no real strategy other than to hope for a good trip. Del Mar takes a certain kind of horse who can handle the turns, the short stretch and the firm going — and if you have that horse, you’re in good shape here.”
Flavien Prat, who has piloted Mo Forza through the four-race win streak he carries into the Mile, returns to the saddle Saturday.
Gear Jockey – Calumet Farm’s homebred Gear Jockey, the 5-1 co-second choice for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, jogged once around under exercise rider Lyndsay Delello for trainer Rusty Arnold.
“He shipped well with no issues,” Arnold said of Gear Jockey, who arrived at Del Mar late Monday night from Kentucky.
Third as a maiden in the Juvenile Turf at the 2019 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita, Gear Jockey will break from post 10 under Jose Lezcano in Saturday’s race.