Friday, October 18, 2013
Stars drill for Cup starts
By Claire Novak
Defending Horse of the Year Wise Dan and champion female sprinter Groupie Doll were on the Oct. 18 worktab in Kentucky, both contenders gearing up for repeat runs in the Nov. 1-2 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park.
Willis Horton's Travers and Pennsylvania Derby winner Will Take Charge also worked in preparation for a bid in the Breeders' Cup Classic.
At Keeneland, trainer Charlie LoPresti sent Morton Fink's homebred Wise Dan through four furlongs on the Polytrack in :47 ⅖ under regular exercise rider Damien Rock. The synthetic surface move replaced an earlier turf work planned for Wise Dan on Oct. 17, but abandoned by LoPresti because of rainy conditions at the Lexington oval.
"I was a little concerned the turf might be a little soft," LoPresti said. "The Polytrack is consistent and a little better when it has some moisture in it. He doesn't have to train on the turf. He didn't last year. I knew I had a good track on the Polytrack."
Working on his own at 7:00 a.m., Wise Dan clocked his first quarter-mile in :23.60 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:00.
"Pretty awesome, :11s and :12s all the way," trainer Charlie LoPresti said of the eight-mile splits. "He is just as good as last year."
In his final work at Keeneland last fall before going to Santa Anita and winning the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile, Wise Dan worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 on the main track. Wise Dan is scheduled to ship to Santa Anita Oct. 29.
It was the first work back for the 6-year-old Wiseman's Ferry gelding since his loss to Silver Max in an off-the-turf edition of the Oct. 5 Shadwell Turf Mile, in which he finished second by 1 ¼ lengths. The defeat snapped a nine-race win streak for Wise Dan, six of those victories in Grade 1 races.
On the dirt at Churchill Downs, Groupie Doll went four furlongs in :46 ⅖ for trainer Buff Bradley, her first move since a third in the Oct. 5 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland.
The 5-year-old daughter of Bowman's Band has won once this year for Bradley, his father Fred Bradley, and partners Carl Hurst and Brent Burns, taking the Presque Isle Downs Masters on Sept. 9. Last year, she took the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint en route to Eclipse Award honors.
Also at Churchill, Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas sent Will Take Charge through a stout six furlongs in 1:14 ⅗. The sophomore son of Unbridled's Song, out of multiple Grade 1 winner Take Charge Lady, will face elders for the first time in the Classic.