LEXINGTON, KY (Oct. 29) – Fletcher and Carolyn Gray’s homebred I’m a Chatterbox, the winner of Keeneland’s Juddmonte Spinster (G1) on Oct. 9 who is racing in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Santa Anita on Friday, worked five furlongs in :59 on a fast track after the Saturday morning renovation break. The time was the fastest off 22 works at the distance.
Keeneland clockers caught I’m a Chatterbox, who had regular rider Florent Geroux aboard, in fractions of :12, :23, :35.60, :59 and out in 1:12.60.
“She went good,” said trainer Larry Jones, who ponied I’m a Chatterbox to about the five-furlong pole before she broke off for the work. “And with it being the only work between the (Juddmonte) Spinster and (the Breeders’ Cup), we needed to make sure it was a decent work. We’re going into it the way I like to. As I told Flo when we started, ‘Give her one of those Oaks works and let her go ahead and do something.’ We’re shooting for the Breeders’ Cup.
“We’re where we want to be. If we get beat, we get beat.”
I’m a Chatterbox, who was eighth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Keeneland, also won this year’s Delaware Handicap (G2) in July. She has three wins in five starts this year.
I’m a Chatterbox is leaving Monday for Santa Anita.
Three other Breeders’ Cup pre-entrants also worked Saturday:
Alice Clapham, assistant to trainer Graham Motion, was pleased after she worked St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) hopeful Ring Weekend five furlongs on dirt in 1:02.80.
“I was very happy with the way he felt,” she said about Ring Weekend, who was seventh behind stablemate Miss Temple City in the Oct. 8 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) after winning the Bernard Baruch (G2) at Saratoga.
Clockers caught him in fractions of :12.40, :24.60, :37, 1:02.80 and out in 1:17.20.
Terry Finley and Erin Birkenhauer of West Point were here for Ring Weekend’s work and are looking forward to the gelding taking on some of the sport’s finest turf milers.
“There are probably nine or 10 horses on paper that could jump up and win and you wouldn’t be surprised,” Finley said.
John Velazquez, who rode Ring Weekend to win the Bernard Baruch will be aboard him in the Breeders’ Cup, Finley said. The gelding also is scheduled to go to California on Monday.
Wes Welker and Sol Kumin’s Group 1 winner Undrafted, scheduled to make his third consecutive start in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1), worked five furlongs on the firm turf in 1:01. It was the second work for the gelding since he was sixth in the Woodford (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select on Oct. 8.
“It was a nice little cruiser, all by himself,” Ward said about the work. “He did everything right. This is his home, so he feels very, very comfortable here. We’re getting him on the last plane out on Nov. 1 to keep him right here at home until he’s gotta go. We’re all set.”
Clockers caught Undrafted in fractions of :12.80, :24.40, :37.80, 1:01 and out in 1:15.2.
Undrafted opened his 2016 season at Keeneland, winning the Shakertown (G2) in April. He was sixth in the Woodford, won by Mongolian Saturday, who captured last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in which Undrafted was fifth and is to run in this year’s race.
“He kinda got way back on a slow pace and couldn’t catch them,” Ward said. “He made a big run at them, but he only got to run down the stretch. He came back like he didn’t even run, so I think he’s going to run a big, big race (in the Breeders’ Cup).”
Ward said Velazquez also will ride Undrafted in the Breeders’ Cup.
Empyrean Stables’ Zipessa, pre-entered in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1), worked five furlongs on turf in 1:02.60 under trainer Mike Stidham’s assistant, Hilary Pridham.
A close second in the Rodeo Drive (G1) at Santa Anita on Oct. 1, Zipessa clocked fractions of :13.20, :25.40 and :38.80 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:16.20.
“She is fit and ready to go,” Stidham said. “She always gallops out big. She did just what we were looking for.”
Zipessa, who has worked three times at Keeneland this month, will be flown to Santa Anita on Monday.