With light rain falling at 9:45 a.m. Friday at Churchill Downs, Breeders' Cup contenders Chelsea Cloisters, Forty Under, Pakhet and Shang Shang Shang recorded works over the “yielding” Matt Winn Turf Course.
Trainer Wesley Ward's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint hopefuls Chelsea Cloisters and Shang Shang Shang breezed a half-mile, in company, in :50.80 and :51.40, respectively.
Indian Summer Stakes runner-up Chelsea Cloisters, who is No. 13 on the preference list for the Juvenile Turf Sprint that is limited to 12 starters, began her breeze one length behind Shang Shang Shang and finished two lengths in front at the wire through splits of :13.80 and :26.80, according to Nichols.
“I think she liked the soft turf,” said jockey Tyler Gaffalione, who was aboard Chelsea Cloisters. “It was a really good work.”
Veteran rider Aaron Gryder was aboard Florida-bred Shang Shang Shang who is undefeated in two career starts including a victory at Royal Ascot in the Norfolk Stakes (GII).
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' Pakhet, runner-up in the Jessamine (GII) at Keeneland in her most recent start, worked a half-mile on the yielding turf course in :51.40 with exercise rider Juan Bernardini up, in preparation for the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf (GI).
Fractions on the work were :14, :27, :51.40 and out five-eighths in 1:06, according to Nichols.
“It looked like she handled it well,” said Ginny DePasquale, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. “Todd wanted to go easy.”
The remainder of Pletcher's eight-horse Breeders' Cup contingent is scheduled to arrive Monday.
Working just ahead of Pakhet was August Dawn Farm's Forty Under, winner of the Pilgrim (GIII) at Belmont in his most recent start for trainer Jeremiah Englehart.
With exercise rider Marquel Lemon aboard, Forty Under worked a half-mile in :52.20 with splits of :14.20, :28.20, :52.20 and out five-eighths in 1:05.60, according to Nichols.
“I brought him down early to get a work over the course,” Englehart said. “I am glad they opened it up today, a week before the race, and that is perfect for us. He started off a little slow but that was fine and he finished up well.”
Now 2-for-2 on the grass, Forty Under will be ridden in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (GI) by Manny Franco.
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