Edited press release
Trainer Richard Mandella could have been talking about himself when he reported Wednesday morning that Beholder was “eating good and feeling good.” She was pre-entered in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) with first preference in the Classic.
Beholder, who arrived at Keeneland from Southern California Monday afternoon, had an elevated temperature Tuesday morning.
“Sometimes horses get a fever from shipping,” Mandella said. “It was stress related. She got too wound up and stressed from shipping. That caused the slight spike in temperature.”
Beholder’s temperature was back to normal Wednesday morning, and Mandella’s spirits were much higher.
“She was depressed (yesterday morning),” Mandella said. “I thought we were out of the game. When I first looked at her, head down, temperature rising, I thought ‘Oh, we’re dead.’ Today, we’re back in the game.”
Working at Keeneland for the second consecutive Wednesday, Runhappy became the talk of nearly everyone watching him when he breezed six furlongs in 1:09.80.
The move came after the colt, expected to make his next start in the $1.5 million TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) on Oct. 31, was vanned to Keeneland from The Thoroughbred Center, where he is stabled with trainer Maria Borell. Regular exercise rider Omar Torres was aboard Runhappy, who jogged a little more than once around the track before his work.
Clockers caught Runhappy in fractions of :11.80, :23.40, :34.60, :46.40, :58, 1:09.80 and out in 1:23 and 1:36.80.
“It was pretty explosive at the beginning,” Borell said. “I was like, ‘Easy boy.’ He definitely really wanted to go in the beginning. I had guessed he was going to do 1:10. That’s just how this horse is. Omar was asking him to slow down.
“He came out of the Phoenix (G3) really excellent; we couldn’t ask him to be training any better,” Borell added. “He’s training better for this race than he was before the King’s Bishop (G1) and the Phoenix, so he’s really coming into himself. He wants to run. He wants to be in front of everybody, even the pony at home.”
Borell said Runhappy would return to the track on Thursday back home at The Thoroughbred Center, adding he probably would “jog a mile with him and let him stretch. He’ll get turned out and next week, probably Wednesday when we come back, we might just blow him out a little eighth — we’ll see. We’ll see how he comes out of (today’s breeze). Looks like he came out pretty well so far.”
Fioretti, winner of the Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) in her most recent start, worked five furlongs Wednesday morning at The Thoroughbred Center.
“It was an awesome work,” said jockey Sophie Doyle, who notched her first career graded stakes victory in the TCA. “She worked in company and (trainer) Anthony (Hamilton) got her in 1:02 and 2. I was confident before her last race and I am more confident now.”
Hamilton said the work was similar to the one prior to the TCA in which Fioretti earned a berth in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1).
“I was really happy with it,” said Hamilton, who never has had a Breeders’ Cup starter. “We plan to come over to Keeneland Tuesday night and be on the track there Wednesday morning.”
Conquest Daddyo, with jockey Joe Bravo up, worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 after the morning renovation break for trainer Mark Casse. Working in company with the three-year-old maiden Sky Fire, Conquest Daddyo started two lengths back and finished a length in front in producing fractions of :37, 1:00.80 and out six furlongs in 1:14.80.
“I got his last three-eighth in :35 and 3,” Casse said. “I think he is getting to like the dirt and I didn’t think he would.”
Conquest Daddyo is headed to the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). Casse has three other Breeders’ Cup pre-entrants stabled at Churchill Downs, Tepin (Mile-G1), Airoforce (Juvenile Turf-G1) and Siding Spring (Juvenile Turf) with all scheduled to work at the Louisville track Friday.
Sharp Sensation (Turf Sprint-G1) left the Keeneland grounds briefly Monday morning to put in a grass work at nearby Margaux Farm.
“We left here at 6:15 (EDT) and the work was at 8,” said Martine Pare, assistant to trainer Reade Baker. “He had a nice half-mile work going uphill.”
Clockers timed Sharp Sensation for three-eighths in :38.40.
(Runhappy photo: Keeneland/Coady Photography)