Submitted by John Piesen on Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Belmont Park: Last Gunfighter pre-entered for Breeders’ Cup Classic
ELMONT, N.Y. – Last Gunfighter, winner of a trio of Grade 3 races this year including the Pimlico Special, was pre-entered Monday for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic and will be ridden in the race by Javier Castellano, trainer Chad Brown said.
Last Gunfighter was one of 11 horses Brown pre-entered Monday for seven of the 14 Breeders’ Cup races, to be run Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita.
Originally, Last Gunfighter was being considered for the $1 million Dirt Mile. But Brown said he felt the 1 1/4 miles of the Classic was a better fit for Last Gunfighter, a son of First Samurai. Brown noted that Last Gunfighter’s speed figures at races of 1 1/8 miles or farther were better than his numbers going shorter.
“All his relevant figures that we use are better going longer,” said Brown, adding that Last Gunfighter got his best Ragozin speed figure when fifth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. “It’s such a big purse, even if he can get a piece of it makes it worth it.”
Despite his status as the leading rider in North America in races and purse money won, Castellano was open for the Classic. Castellano has three wins and a second in four rides aboard Last Gunfighter.
Another late addition to Brown’s Breeders’ Cup contingent was the 3-year-old filly Alterite in the $2 million Filly and Mare Turf. Alterite won the Garden City at Belmont on Sept. 14 and was beaten a neck by Kitten’s Dumplings in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 12. Owner Martin Schwartz elected to put up the $100,000 supplemental fee to make her eligible for the Breeders’ Cup.
“It’s not my nature to run back in three weeks and run three times in seven weeks, but I’ve been very impressed the last two days with this filly’s energy level,” Brown said. “She seems to be hitting the ground nice and smooth. I can’t say she wouldn’t have a shot in the race being how she came out of the QE II.”
Brown said Alterite would work at Belmont over the weekend before a final decision would be made on whether she will run.
Brown did not pre-enter Shadow Banking in the Juvenile Turf. Although Shadow Banking finished second to stablemate Bobby’s Kitten in the Grade 3 Pilgrim, Brown said he hasn’t been happy with the colt’s training the past couple of days and plans to back off the son of Harlan’s Holiday for a while.
Bobby’s Kitten will still represent Brown in the Juvenile Turf, and he put in a sensational four-furlong workout in 48.25 seconds over the Belmont turf course, making up three lengths on workmate Storming Inti and finishing a length in front at the wire.
Brown pre-entered four in the Juvenile Fillies Turf: Kitten Kaboodle, Testa Rossi, Granny Mc’s Kitten – all stakes winners – and Ready to Act, who was on her way to winning the Natalma before jumping the rail in deep stretch. Kitten Kaboodle stood out among the four of those during workouts Sunday, and she will be ridden by John Velazquez.
Brown pre-entered the pair of Real Solution and Big Blue Kitten for the Turf; East Gift in the Dirt Mile; and Summer Applause in the Filly and Mare Sprint.