Epicenter, Jackie's Warrior awaiting green light to train over Breeders' Cup track


Louisville, Q. — Epicenter and Jackie Warrier, the Steve Asmussen barn’s two brightest stars, are scheduled to ship from Saratoga to Keeneland in the middle of next week, or “whenever they’ll let us in,” said the Hall of Fame instructor.

Epicenter, clearly the leading 3-year-old in North America after his 5 1/4-length victory at the August 27 Traverse, made his latest assignment in Saratoga on Saturday, going five furlongs in 1:02.40 at the Oklahoma training track . Jackie’s Warrior worked Tuesday, covering the half-mile in 49.80 seconds.

The two will train in Keeneland on 5 November before their next starts in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the BC Sprint. Asmussen said the same shipping schedule applies to one of the favorites for a BC Distaff favorite, the Stonestreet Stables Homebred Clearrier, who also worked Saturday in Oklahoma, going five furlongs in 1:02.40.

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Keeneland stall superintendent Wayne Moge said the Esmusen barn should be ready for their arrival by “or around” Wednesday (September 28), after the turnaround in the stable area is completed after the annual sale.

Meanwhile, Pauline Pearl, winner of Grade 1 La Troen at Churchill in May, has been out indefinitely but hasn’t retired, Asmussen said. At the Churchill Spring Meet, Stonestreet Homebrew was defeated as the favorite in her last two starts.

“We gave him summer break,” he said. “I didn’t want to run him and Claireier in the same race, and I didn’t want to ship him all summer.”

In addition, Asmussen was the beaten favorite in each of the twin 2-year-old stakes held last Saturday at Churchill, who finished seventh in Iroquois at Echo Again, 3-5, and Grand Love, Pocahontas. , The Iroquois and Pocahontas were the first two points qualifiers towards the Kentucky Derby and Oaks in the following May.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do with any of them yet,” said Asmussen, who took his career win number 9,900 with the Big One at the Louisiana Downs on Tuesday, as racing’s all-time winning trainer. Record extended. “Let’s see how he trains. I was obviously disappointed with the result of his race – but this is his last race, not his life.”

Also, 2021 2-year-old filly champion Iko Zulu has been admitted to run Saturday in a Grade 3 dogwood at Churchill Downs, although Asmussen said he is not sure she will actually start. Trainor also entered Rogue Halo, the last-out winner of Grade 2 priority in Saratoga, in a seven-furlong dogwood.

“I haven’t decided which one I’m going to run,” Asmussen said late Tuesday. There is also a “Raven run up forward there”, referring to a Grade 2, seven-furlong race for the 3-year-old Phillies on October 22 in Keeneland.

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The $275,000 Dogwood is one of four bets, all for 3-year-olds, on the Last Night of the Year card at Churchill on Saturday. Others on the 11-race card that starts at 6 p.m. Eastern are Dogwood’s male equivalent, the $275,000 Harrods Creek, with two longer races, the $275,000 Bourbon Trail going for 1 3/16 mile and the $160,000 Seneca. 1 1/16 mile.

Because the turf course is unavailable, Churchill is running exclusively on dirt during the 14-day September meet that runs until October 2.

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