Merriebelle Stable's Blue Prize (ARG), winner of the Oct. 7 Juddmonte Spinster (G1), returned to the Keeneland work tab Friday morning with a 4-furlong work in :47.20 in preparation for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs.
Joe Bravo, who rode Blue Prize in the Juddmonte Spinster for Keeneland-based trainer Ignacio Correas IV, was aboard the 5-year-old Pure Prize mare after the morning renovation break.
Keeneland clockers caught Blue Prize's final quarter-mile in :23.20 with a gallop out of :59.60.
“It was a maintenance work, and it was a little bit faster than I would have liked, but she got that target (two horses working together) about 10 lengths in front that we weren't expecting,” Correas said. “Other than that, I wanted to see what she did with Joe coming home. I think she did everything right. We're happy.”
Correas said Bravo will ride Blue Prize in the Distaff, being held at the track where she won the 2017 Falls City (G2) and the 2018 Fleur de Lis (G2) and Locust Grove (G3).
In the Juddmonte Spinster, Blue Prize twice before the eighth pole ducked out sharply beyond the middle of the track. Bravo straightened her out inside the sixteenth pole and drew clear for a three-quarter-length win.
“I wanted him to get to know her a little bit better,” he said about having Bravo aboard this morning. “Caught everybody by surprise what she did last time. We don't really have an explanation for that.”
Correas said Blue Prize would have one more work here next week – “I don't know when yet,” he said – and would ship to Churchill on Wednesday, Oct. 31.
“We want to keep her home as much as we can,” he said. “Probably gallop here that morning and then go over.”
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