Warrior’s Club takes step toward Breeders’ Cup Sprint

Tuesday’s Churchill Downs’ Breeders’ Cup update:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018) – On a relatively quiet Tuesday morning on the Churchill Downs backstretch, the Churchill Downs Racing Club’s multiple stakes-winning sprinter Warrior’s Club took a major step towards a start in the $2 million TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (Grade I) on Nov. 3 with a half-mile breeze in :48.60 – the fastest of 43 horses at the distance.

“He’s quite the horse,” Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said with a smile. “This horse is just so special and has touched so many lives.”

The gutsy Warrior’s Club sports a consistent record of 28-5-6-5—$704,104 including stakes victories in the 2018 Commonwealth (GIII) and 2016 Spendthrift Stallion Stakes.

Inaugurated in 2016, the club gives fans a chance to go behind the scenes in Thoroughbred ownership with exclusive club events for morning training, access to the paddock area for the horse’s races and complimentary admission to Churchill Downs. More than 50 people have joined other ownership groups, according to Churchill Downs Racing Club Manager Gary Palmisano.

Lukas’ other Breeders’ Cup contender, 3-year-old Risen Star (GII) winner Bravazo, could breeze Wednesday and is targeting either the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) or Dirt Mile (GI).

“It was a fun morning today,” Lukas’ longtime assistant Sebastian (BasNicholl said. “We had the Churchill Downs Racing Club set after the (7:30 a.m.) break with the Warrior and She’s Got It All. I thought they both went well. It’s been fun to have them around the barn.”

One of Warrior’s Club’s main competitors for the Sprint is Vosburgh Stakes (GI) winner Imperial Hint, who arrived at Churchill Downs’ Barn 18 on Monday afternoon.

“We’re really happy to be here,” said trainer Luis Carvajal Jr., who is based at Parx Racing and Monmouth Park. “He shipped in well and we’re getting ready to go.”

A 12-time winner from 18 starts, Imperial Hint is affectionately known as the “little rocket ship” by Carvajal due to his smaller stature.

“He may not be the tallest but he’s a very powerful horse,” Carvajal said. “This horse has given me a lot of publicity which can be really important to people in this game.”

Tuesday also marked the first day of turf training at Churchill Downs and trainer Ian Wilkes’ Breeders’ Cup Turf (Grade I) contender Quarteto de Cordas (BRZ), a Group I winner in his native Brazil, was the lone Breeders’ Cup horse to work with a five-furlong move in 1:03.80.

“I got him into the barn in early October and this is the first time he’s been on the turf since I’ve had him,” Wilkes said. “I’m excited to have him and we’ll see what we can do in the Turf.”

Quarteto de Cordas, a 4-year-old son of Rock of Gibraltar (IRE), worked with jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard in company with unraced 3-year-old Always Cool through splits of :13.20, :26.40 and :40, before galloping out six furlongs in 1:18.40, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.

“I went back and watched some of his races from Brazil and he was pretty impressive over there,” said Hernandez, who has the call to ride in the Turf. “He’s a multiple-stakes winner over there.”

Pre-entries for all 14 Breeders’ Cup races were taken Monday and the public pre-entry announcement will take place Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. A live stream of the announcement will be hosted by Caton Bredar and Churchill Downs’ Joe Kristufek, and will be available on the Breeders’ Cup website, Official Mobile App and Facebook page.

The Official Breeders’ Cup mobile app can be downloaded via the links below:

·        iTunes App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/breeders-cup-mobile/id1297424320?ls=1&mt=8

·        Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yinzcam.venues.breederscup

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Jennie Rees