Azeri breezes at Churchill Downs
AZERI (Jade Hunter) breezed six furlongs in a bullet 1:13 2/5
over a fast track at Churchill Downs on Wednesday. The move was
easily the fastest of four works at the distance. Trained by D.
Wayne Lukas, Azeri is pre-entered for both the Breeders’ Cup
Classic (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) on October 30 at Lone
Star Park. She has first preference in the Distaff.
Azeri, who was voted 2002 Horse of the Year in the same year
she won the Distaff at Arlington Park, is scheduled to travel to
Grand Prairie, Texas, on Tuesday.
Two other Lukas-trained runners — CONSOLIDATOR (Storm Cat), pre-entered in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), and
STELLAR JAYNE (Wild Rush), pre-entered in the
Distaff, will accompany the six-year-old mare, who exits a
powerful three-length victory in the October 10 Spinster S. (G1)
To date, Azeri has won 11 Grade 1 races and owns a record of
A victory in the Distaff would propel Azeri into contention
for her third consecutive Eclipse Award for champion older
In other Breeders’ Cup news:
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, who has ridden in 92
Breeders’ Cup races, winning eight, will not ride in this year’s
edition at Lone Star Park, agent Craig O’Bryan said. Stevens is
reportedly unhappy with the workers’ compensation insurance
coverage for injured jockeys in Texas and other states, including
Kentucky and Florida.
Kerwin John, meanwhile, will ride in his first Breeders’ Cup,
piloting multiple Grade 1 winner ISLAND FASHION (Petionville),
winner of the Lady’s Secret Breeders’ Cup H. (G2) in her last
start, in the Distaff.
“He’s been riding for our stable and doing well and he
rode Island Fashion well. He deserves the chance,” trainer
Marcelo Polanco said.