Grade 3 winner Warrior’s Club, who is expected to run in $2 million TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) on November 3, pleased trainer D. Wayne Lukas when breezing a half-mile in :48.60 at Churchill Downs on Tuesday morning. It was the fastest of 43 workers at the distance.
“He’s quite the horse,” the Hall of Fame trainer said with a smile. “This horse is just so special and has touched so many lives.”
A multiple stakes winner who has recorded runner-up finishes in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1) and Churchill Downs (G2) this season, Warrior’s Club is campaigned by the Churchill Downs Racing Club, which was recently named the 2018 New Owner of the Year in the Thoroughbred industry.
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.
“It was a fun morning today,” Lukas’ longtime assistant Sebastian (Bas) Nicholl 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.”
Lukas also has Grade 2 scorer Bravazo, runner-up in the Preakness (G1) and Haskell Invitational (G1), for either the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) (G1) or Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and said the three-year-old is scheduled to work Wednesday.
2017 Sprint runner-up Imperial Hint, who could go favored following convincing wins in the Vosburgh (G1) and Alfred G. Vanderbilt, arrived at Churchill Down from Parx on Monday afternoon.
“We’re really happy to be here,” trainer Luis Carvajal Jr. said of the earner of more than $1.4 million. “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 marked the first day of turf training at Churchill Downs and Quarteto de Cordas was the lone Breeders’ Cup horse to work, completing five furlongs in 1:03.80.
A Group 1 winner in Brazil, the four-year-old is set to make his North American debut in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) for new trainer Ian Wilkes.
“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.”
Brian Hernandez Jr., the leading rider during the Churchill Downs spring-summer meet, was up on Quarteto de Cordas, who recorded 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. (ET). 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.
Locally, the event will take place in The Parlay’s Media Briefing Room at Churchill Downs and media are welcome to attend. Breeders’ Cup Limited President and CEO Craig Fravel and Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery will be on hand to answer media questions following the Pre-Entry announcement.