With 29 days until the Breeders' Cup, top contenders sketch plans for their arrival [Sports]

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As expected, Super Saturday at Belmont Park shed some light on the evolving shape of many Breeders’ Cup races.

With 29 days to the World Championships at Churchill Downs, top contenders are now sketching their travel and training plans.

Trainer Todd Pletcher’s duo of Uncle Mo, winner of the Kelso Handicap, and Stay Thirsty, third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, are likely headed to the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Both will remain at Belmont Park until 10-12 days prior to the race, when they will ship to Churchill Downs. Pletcher said they will likely have one work over the track.

Trainer Scooter Dickey said Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Flat Out, also probable for the Classic, will ship from Monmouth in the coming weeks to Churchill Downs and train up to the race.

Cape Blanco, victorious in the thrilling Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, was diagnosed with an injury after the race and has been retired to stud.

Havre de Grace, impressive winner of the Beldame, will most likely continue her campaign for Horse of the Year honors with a run in the Classic.

Trainer Larry Jones said if Havre de Grace wins the Classic, it's a "no-brainer" that she's Horse of the Year. He added that he believes a strong showing by his filly could also be enough. 

The 4-year-old daughter of Saint Liam has shipped to Keeneland, where she will train over the synthetic surface.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Trappe Shot, fourth in the Vosburgh, is still possible for the Breeders’ Cup, with a decision between the Dirt Mile and Sprint looming.

Jackson Bend, second to Uncle Mo in the Kelso, is pointing to the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Trainer Nick Zito said the Classic could be the racing swan song for Ice Box, last in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. The colt’s last race in Louisville was a second-place finish in the 2010 Kentucky Derby.

“It’s his favorite track and (would) probably be his last race, maybe,” he said. “You never know, so why not?”

Flower Bowl winner Stacelita is on track for the Filly and Mare Turf and Vosburgh champion Giant Ryan will go to the Sprint.

Photo courtesy Breeders' Cup

About J.J. Hysell
Horse racing/sports writer involved in sports/news media for 15 years. We miss you Hunter S. Thompson.
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