On a blustery Monday morning beneath the historic Twin Spires, Breeders' Cup Classic (Grade I) hopeful Yoshida (JPN) worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 in preparation for the 1 ¼-mile race on Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs.
Yoshida, the two-length winner of the Woodward Stakes (GI) on Sept. 1 at Saratoga, began his work at the five-furlong pole in company with 2017 Kentucky Downs maiden special weight winner Morocco through eighth-mile splits of :13.20, :25.60, :37 and :49 prior to galloping out six furlongs in 1:14 and seven furlongs in 1:28, according to Churchill Downs' clocker John Nichols. Morocco completed his breeze after a half-mile in :50.
“He's just doing great,” Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said. “We've been really happy with him since we got to Churchill last Thursday. Even though he's a Grade I winner on the grass (in the May 5 Old Forester Turf Classic), we thought the Classic is the best route.”
Yoshida has won five starts in his 11-race career with purse earnings of $1,289,770 for owners WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International, SF Racing and Head of Plains Partners.
“We're just very fortunate to be in the spot we are,” WinStar Farm's President and Racing Manager Elliott Walden said. “It was a great work this morning. We were all so thrilled on Derby Day to get his first Grade I win in the Old Forester and then return over the summer to win the Woodward on the dirt was very special as well.”
Mott has won the Breeders' Cup Classic twice before with Cigar (1995) and WinStar Farm's Drosselmeyer (2011).
“I think going into this year's Classic Yoshida has a better chance than Drosselmeyer did,” Walden said.
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