(Trainer Bill Mott / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

From the Keeneland Media Team:


Trainer Bill Mott has four of his six Breeders’ Cup pre-entrants at Keeneland, and he put that quartet through works on a breezy Sunday morning over a fast track.

First at 6:30 a.m. was Frank Fletcher Racing Operations’ Frank’s Rockette going the half in :49 under Neil Poznansky. Next working together were Juddmonte Farms’ Tacitus and Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, R. A. Hill Stable and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s Channel Maker with Tacitus going 5 furlongs in 1:00 and Channel Maker a half in :47.40. Finally, There’s A Chance Stable, Medallion Racing, Abbondanza Racing, Parkland Thoroughbreds, Paradise Farms and David Staudacher’s Horologist worked in a half in :47.40 under Poznansky.

Frank’s Rockette is pre-entered in both the Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) at 7 furlongs and the Sprint (G1) against males going 6 furlongs.

“She went nice and easy,” Mott said of the work. “She went smooth and was really relaxed. I was very happy. She was very typical of when she works by herself.

“I will speak with the connections later today, but I am leaning toward the Sprint. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. The Sprint will be a tough race, but we know she is good at 6 furlongs. The Sprint probably will have a full field, probably 14 horses, whereas the Filly and Mare Sprint will probably have no more than 10. That does come into the equation. The seven-eighths of mile in the Filly and Mare Sprint comes into the equation as well.”

Tacitus (Classic) worked with Felipe Castro aboard while Poznansky was aboard Channel Maker (Turf).

“Tactitus and Channel Maker went very good,” Mott said. “Tacitus was tracking Channel Maker. We went just a half-mile with Channel Maker. He was nice and sharp and doing it the right way. Tacitus tracked him a couple of lengths back and joined him in the stretch. We had Tacitus go out another furlong afterward and then gallop out.”

(Trainer Steve Asmussen / Photo by Holly M. Smith)


Trainer Steve Asmussen was pleased with the Sunday works by his nine pre-entrants to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Sunday on Friday and Saturday.

Among them was J. Kirk and Judy Robison’s undefeated two-time Grade 1 winner Jackie’s Warrior, expected to be the favorite in Friday’s$2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. Jackie’s Warrior worked a half-mile over a track labeled fast in :48.80. It was his second work at Keeneland, where he covered 5 furlongs in 1:00.20 Oct. 25.

“He had a nice, easy half-mile,” Asmussen said. “Thought he moved well over the race track. The circumstances were excellent today. We’re very excited about running him on Friday.”

After opening his career June 19 at Churchill Downs, Jackie’s Warrior recorded a 3-length win in the Aug. 7 Saratoga Special (G2) at 6 furlongs, a 2¼-length win in the Sept. 7 Hopeful (G1) at 7 furlongs and a 5½-length win in the Oct. 10 Champagne (G1) at 1 mile. The Juvenile is at 1 1/16 miles.

Asmussen is confident in the colt’s ability at the Juvenile distance.

“I think what gave us the most confidence was his Champagne, two brilliant races at Saratoga and for him to carry that (talent) over to another surface – and he looked brilliant doing it,” he said. “This will be his first two-turn race. He is very speed-influenced in his pedigree but physically and mentally he is doing exceptional.”

Asmussen’s other Juvenile contender, Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Calibrate, also worked 4 furlongs in :48.80.

Asmussen’s three pre-entrants to the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) – Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt’sYaupon, L and N Racing’s Echo Town and CHC Inc. and WinStar Farm’s Nashville – each turned in 3-furlong works. Yaupon in :36.80, Echo Town in :37.40 and Nashville in :36.40.

The work was the fourth at Keeneland for Yaupon, who is undefeated in his four career starts this year.

“Got a very laid-back attitude with a tremendous amount of talent. (Assistant) Scott (Blasi) and I were talking about what were the odds of the Heiligbrodts replacing (last year’s Sprint winner and champion) Mitole with Yaupon because they have a similar demeanor and both of them have tremendous ability.”

Nashville wore his Sprint towel Sunday. The colt also is pre-entered in the $2 million Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and is nominated to Saturday’s Perryville on the Breeders’ Cup undercard.

Elliott Walden, President/CEO and Racing Manager for WinStar, said no decision had been made regarding Nashville’s next race.

“Everything’s on the table.” Walden said. “He’s an extreme talent. He’s only 3. He’s only run twice. It seems like a big ask to run against the accomplished sprinters that he would have to run against. Not that he wouldn’t be capable.

“I think he’ll go a mile. I think he’ll use his speed to stretch out as well naturally. We’ll see how it goes. Great problem to have. Blessed to have him. He’s got a cool name: Nashville.”

Other Asmussen workers were Heider Family Stables’ Thoughtfully (Juvenile Fillies), 4 furlongs in :49.40, and West Point Thoroughbreds, William Sandbrook and Anna Marie Shannon’s County Final (Juvenile Turf Sprint) and Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt, Madaket Stables and Spendthrift Farm’s Cowan (Juvenile Turf Sprint), 3 furlongs in :39.20 and 38.80, respectively.

Crawford Farms Racing’s Archidust (Turf Sprint) worked 3 furlongs on the good turf course in :38.

(Come Dancing / Photo Courtesy of NYRA)


Blue Devil Racing Stable’s Come Dancing, a five-time graded stakes winner, on Sunday breezed three-eighths of a mile in :36 and galloped out a half-mile in :48 on a fast track in her final work prior to a second run in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) on Saturday.

“The clockers got her in all 12s (seconds),” trainer Carlos Martin said of the breeze, which had been scheduled for Monday. “I looked at the weather forecast and it is supposed to be 24 (degrees) in the morning and feel like 18, so the track may be frozen. I didn’t want to get caught Tuesday or Wednesday not having been able to breeze.”

Come Dancing ran sixth in last year’s Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita, where she did not have a work over the track prior to the race.

“She came in there with the last group of horses from New York,” Martin said. “This is going to be her swan song, and we wanted to bring her in so she could get used to the weather here.”

Come Dancing has raced four times this year and comes into the Breeders’ Cup off a victory in the Honorable Miss (G2) at Saratoga Sept. 6.

“With the uncertainty of the racing calendar because of the pandemic, we put her in a tough spot when we sent her to Oaklawn Park early for a two-turn Grade 1 race (the Apple Blossom),” Martin said. “The Vagrancy (G3 in which she was second) I thought was decent and the Ballerina (G1 in which she was fourth) was not bad. She had a tough trip in that one and people were writing her off, but I knew different.

“In the Honorable Miss, Irad (Ortiz Jr.) rode her and loved her. If Come Dancing wants to fire her ‘A’ race, I think she is as good as any horse in the country.”


Little Red Feather Racing, Gordon Jacobsen and Philip Belmonte’s Red King, pre-entered for the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) on Saturday, worked 5 furlongs in 1:04 over a turf course labeled good. The work was the fifth at Keeneland for the Phil D’Amato trainee who has been stabled here for a month.

Trainer Wesley Ward worked four of his pre-entrants for Friday’s program. Breezing together first were Three Chimneys Farm’s Royal Approval (Juvenile Fillies Turf) and Rockingham Ranch’s Gypsy King(Juvenile Turf), who were timed in 1:05.20 and 1:05.60, respectively.

Next were Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Trade Deal (Juvenile Turf Sprint) and M Racing Group’s Into theSunrise (Juvenile Turf), who were timed in 1:06.20 and 1:07.20, respectively.