Fox Hill Farms Inc.'s Havre de Grace, who arrived at Churchill Downs from Keeneland on Saturday afternoon, galloped on the main track under trainer Larry Jones after the renovation break Sunday morning and is scheduled for a five-furlong work Monday morning after the break with Gabriel Saez to ride.
Havre de Grace, who was pre-entered in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic as well as the Classic, will be entered in the Classic on Monday according to Jones.
“We have had time to look at the weather and it doesn't look like this weekend will be like Belmont yesterday,” Jones said, referring to the heavy snow that forced Belmont to cancel its program after three races Saturday.
Jones and owner Rick Porter had pre-entered the Ladies' Classic as a backup in case Havre de Grace drew the one hole for the Classic, but Jones is not worried about a possible such draw.
“A lot of emphasis is placed on the (Kentucky) Derby with where the gate is,” Jones said. “With a 20-horse field, they use a second gate and the one and two spots are squeezed in toward the rail. With just one gate (for the Classic), the gate is moved out a bit from the rail and the one hole is more like the three.”
The 4-year-old daughter of Saint Liam has won five of six starts in 2011 with her lone loss coming by a nose in the Delaware Handicap (GII) at 1 ¼ miles. After the Classic, there may be more to come in 2012.
“Rick has every intention of running her in 2012,” Jones said. “At the start of the year, we wanted to get her in position for Horse of the Year because we felt like she had a shot. I have had some fast fillies, but she is just special.”
Winner of the Beldame Invitational (GI) on Oct. 1 by 8 ¼ lengths in her most recent start, Havre de Grace had her last work at Keeneland on Oct. 24, a five-furlong move in :58.60.
“She is doing really well and acting like she is feeling better than she ever has in the past two weeks,” Jones said. “I don't know if it is the cooler weather, but she is very lively and acts like she is ready to do something.”
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