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$4 million Breeders’ Cup Classic  - Powered by Dodge (Grade I)

October 25, 2004     E-mail this page to a friend!

Birdstone –The Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes winner kept his cool under the lights during his first trip to the Lone Star Park racetrack in the dark of the early Texas morning. The Nick Zito-trained Birdstone impressed exercise rider Maxine Correa while jogging a mile and galloping a mile over the illuminated racetrack.
“The lights didn’t bother him at all,”said Correa, who reported that Mary Lou Whitney’s homebred 3yo colt handled the racing surface nicely. “He’s become an old pro.”
Zito’s assistant Reynaldo Abreu, who reported Birdstone will gallop up to the Breeders’ Cup Classic-Powered by Dodge, said that a rash on the diminutive colt’s hip is not a concern.
“It’s fine. It’s dry,” Abreu said. “We’re just waiting for the hair to grow in.”
Zito was scheduled to arrive at Lone Star Park on Monday afternoon.
Edgar Prado will ride Saturday.

 Bowman’s Band –Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens sent the 6yo Dixieland Band horse once around Lone Star Park’s main track Monday morning under 18-year-old jockey Shannon Uske.
“He’s definitely a better horse around two turns, and he seems to be doing pretty good,” said Jerkens, who is hoping to snap an 0-for-6 Breeders’ Cup streak. “We’re going to give it our best shot, and hope he gets at least a piece of it.”
The recent hot weather in Texas has convinced Jerkens to clip both Bowman’s Band and Distaff entry Society Selection.
“We’ll clip them today (Monday),” Jerkens said. “I wanted to do it in New York, but it was so cold and rainy there that I didn’t want to risk getting a chill into them. They were both sweaty when we got in yesterday (Sunday), so they didn’t need to do too much today.”
Jerkens said he would likely give Bowman’s Band a 7f work on the main track Wednesday, and would also school the horse in the paddock.
Said Uske: “Bowman’s Band is a little more anxious. He got scared by a camera a little this morning, but it was no big deal. But you have to be careful with him and almost be straight up when you gallop him. If you lean even a little bit forward, he will grab the bit and take off.”
Cornelio Velasquez has the mount on Bowman’s Band for the Classic.     

 Dynever –The third-place finisher from last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic returned to the main track at Lone Star Park for a jog and gallop under assistant trainer and exercise rider Christopher Lorieul.
Dynever worked Saturday at Lone Star, breezing 4f in 48 3/5. After walking the shedrow Sunday, the 4yo son of Dynaformer will gallop up to his attempt to better his performance in the Classic.
The colt has battled various ailments this season that started with a victory in the San Bernardino Handicap at Santa Anita. Dynever had foot problems and a virus through the spring and summer that limited him after a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Suburban Handicap at Belmont.
The missed time frustrated Clement, but he was able to joke about it leading up to the colt’s last race.
“The way things have been going, I’m going to climb this building and jump,” said Clement prior to Dynever’s Oct. 8 start in The Meadowlands Breeders’ Cup in which he eventually finished second to Balto Star.
“Actually I was never nervous about him. I think going in the Classic might be a bit ambitious, but you don’t get to run for four million everyday of your life,” he said.
Dynever’s performance was good enough to keep Clement from leaping and Lorieul says the colt has been training very well since joining one of the early flights to Texas.
“He seemed to run better in this year’s Meadowlands Cup than last year’s,” said Lorieul as he sat atop Dynever walking the pathway beside his barn following Monday’s morning gallop.
“At the top of the stretch Balto Star was 3 ? lengths in front, and this horse closed and only lost by a half length. Unfortunately that race was just a mile and an eighth. This horse is a true mile and a quarter horse and he should have gotten what he needed out of that race.”

Fantasticat—Winner of the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs, Fantasticat worked 5f in 59 3/5 over a “good” track Sunday morning at Churchill Downs under exercise rider Franklin Gonzalez.  Trainer Bobby Barnett indicated that both he and the 3yo colt would arrive in Dallas on Tuesday afternoon.  Gerard Melancon retains the mount aboard the Kentucky-bred son of Storm Cat.

Freefourinternet — Cross-entered in the Classic and the Mile, is definitely going in the former, trainer Mike Maker said Monday.
“He just won the Hawthorne Gold Cup; he’s doing good, we figured we’d give it a shot,” Maker said. “The $4 million [purse] is a reason too.”
The 6yo son of Tabasco Cat is shipping to Lone Star from Kentucky Tuesday, and he’ll gallop up to the race.
Freefourinternet had his final pre-Breeders’ Cup work Saturday, going 5f in 1:01 with his Classic jockey, Greta Kuntzweiler. The Chicago-based rider has been aboard his last two starts, which included the Gold Cup and victory in the Labor Day Handicap on grass at Mountaineer.
Freefourinternet finished sixth in last year’s NetJets Mile for trainer Joan Scott.

 Funny Cide –Robin Smullen, assistant to trainer Barclay Tagg, took the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner on a tour of Belmont Park Monday morning.
“He jogged a mile and a quarter on the main track, then cantered a mile the wrong way,” said Smullen, who was aboard for the ride. “Then, he went to the training track and galloped a mile.”
According to Smullen, Funny Cide will have a maintenance work at Belmont Park on Tuesday, and then will ship from New York to Lone Star Park on Wednesday afternoon.
“He’ll have an easy work, just to keep his lungs open and his respiratory system clear,” Smullen said. “That will be the last major thing we do with him. We’ll bring him out on Thursday to putz around, look the place over and hack a little bit, probably paddock him on Thursday, too.”
The Jockey Club Gold Cup winner beat only one horse – 2002 Classic winner Volponi – in the 2003 Classic at Santa Anita. But he was a horse coming in off a layoff, into a very hot and smoky environment. This time, he comes to Lone Star off a winning race and should be a bit happier with temperatures expected to be cooler than the 100 degrees at Santa Anita last year.
Early forecasts call for a high of 78 degrees on Saturday.
“That’s still a little hot, but he’ll deal with it,’ Smullen said. “He is doing beautifully.”
Jose Santos will be his jockey for the Classic.

Ghostzapper –Trainer Robert Frankel’s Breeders’ Cup Classic hopeful walked the shedrow at Belmont Park Monday morning after turning in a sharp five-furlong drill Sunday at the big New York oval. The clockers caught the move in 59 3/5 on a fast track, the quickest of 18 works accomplished at the distance.
Javier Castellano, who has ridden the Awesome Again colt in the last seven of his nine lifetime starts, was aboard the Stronach Stable’s 4yo for his Sunday drill, which Frankel termed “terrific.
“I think I’ve got him exactly where I want him,” the Hall of Fame conditioner said. “You never really know with these horses, but I like the way he’s coming up to the race.”
Ghostzapper, a seven-time winner of $916,120 and one of the favorites for the showpiece event on Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup card, will ship to Texas from New York Wednesday. Frankel has four horses total coming from New York that day, as well as two others flying the same day from California.

 Newfoundland–With jockey John Velazquez committed to Roses in May, trainer Todd Pletcher said he is still undecided as to who will ride the 4yo Storm Cat colt in the Classic. Newfoundland is coming into the Classic off a three-quarter-length loss to Funny Cide in Belmont Park’s 10-furlong Jockey Club Gold Cup on Oct. 2.
“I’ll have to make that decision soon," said Pletcher, who will arrive Wednesday evening.
Newfoundland and Pletcher's other Breeders’ Cup horse are following the same schedule this week: they walked Monday at Belmont Park, will jog Tuesday, gallop Wednesday morning and then board a flight to Lone Star later Wednesday.

Perfect Drift –Stonecrest Farm’s Perfect Drift enjoyed an incident-free van ride from Louisville, arriving at Lone Star Park at 5:20 Monday morning. Groom Richard Anderson accompanied the Murray Johnson-trained 5yo gelding and stable pony “Roo” on the van that left the Trackside Training Center in Louisville at 3 p.m. Sunday.
“I can’t wait to tell Murray how smooth it went,’’ said Anderson, who expected his boss to arrive at Lone Star later in the day. “There was no static, no bumps. They had no problems at all.”

 Personal Rush —After working 4f in 50 4/5 at Hollywood Park Sunday for trainer Kenji Yamauchi, Personal Rush arrived at Lone Star Park Monday morning from Los Angeles. Tomiro Fukami’s Kentucky-bred has raced only in Japan, winning his first Group I race in his most recent start.

 Pleasantly Perfect— The defending champion was flown to Texas Monday morning from California and scheduled to be stabled in Barn C3.
“He breezed seven-eighths at Santa Anita Saturday in 1:23 4/5 with (exercise rider) Crystal Brown and couldn’t be doing better,” said trainer Richard Mandella. “He galloped out a mile in 1:38 and will just gallop up to the race.”
Jerry Bailey has the mount on the 6yo horse, owned by Dallas banker Gerald Ford.

Roses in May – Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Roses in May returned to the track at Lone Star Monday morning, jogging two miles under exercise rider Faustino Orantes.
Undefeated in five starts at five tracks in 2004, Roses in May worked 5f in 1:01 1/5 Saturday, his fourth work since winning the Kentucky Cup Classic on Sept. 18 at Turfway Park. He worked three times at Churchill Downs before Saturday’s Lone Star work.
“We got here on the 19th,” trainer Dale Romans said. “It was hot, and we wanted to get used to the weather. I’m glad we got here early because they (Roses in May and Turf contender Kitten’s Joy) have settled in nicely.”
John Velazquez, a four-time Breeders’ Cup winner, will ride Roses in May in the Classic.
Romans, who never has saddled a Breeders’ Cup starter, said Roses in May would gallop up to the race and school in the paddock Wednesday and Friday.
“Both of them will school Wednesday in the morning, because they have no racing, and then Friday afternoon when they are running,” Romans said. “They haven’t had any problems (in the paddock) and we want to make sure they never do.”