Di­ver­sify to skip BC Clas­sic

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - Front Page - By David Gren­ing

ELMONT, N.Y. – Di­ver­sify, the Grade 1 Whit­ney win­ner who fin­ished fifth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, will not run in the Breed­ers’ Cup Clas­sic, owner Ralph Evans said Thurs­day night.

Evans said a num­ber of fac­tors went into the de­ci­sion, in­clud­ing the health of trainer Rick Vi­o­lette, who has been hos­pi­tal­ized for the past few weeks with an ill­ness, Di­ver­sify’s poor per­for­mance in the Gold Cup, and the horse’s pre­vi­ous poor ex­pe­ri­ence at Churchill Downs.

“The fact Rick was not go­ing to make it back in time to train him was prob­a­bly the pri­mary rea­son,” Evans said. “Also, he had a tough race in the Gold Cup and was not 100 per­cent. Churchill was not kind to the horse the last time.”

Last year, Di­ver­sify won the Jockey Club Gold Cup but passed on the Breed­ers’ Cup Clas­sic and in­stead ran in the Grade 1 Clark at Churchill, where he fin­ished fourth. Jockey Irad Or­tiz Jr. said Di­ver­sify didn’t seem to han­dle the Churchill sur­face.

Evans said Di­ver­sify “will get a lit­tle bit of rest” and per­haps be pointed to the $9 mil­lion Pe­ga­sus World Cup in Jan­uary at Gulf­stream Park.

Prior to the Gold Cup, Di­ver­sify had won three straight races, be­gin­ning with the Com­men­ta­tor Stakes for New York-breds and then pow­er­ful vic­to­ries in both the Grade 2 Sub­ur­ban and Grade 1 Whit­ney, a Win and You’re In race for the Clas­sic.

Forty Un­der works at Spa

Forty Un­der, win­ner of the Pil­grim Stakes, worked a halfmile in 48.57 sec­onds Fri­day morn­ing over the Ok­la­homa dirt train­ing track at Saratoga in prepa­ra­tion for the Breed­ers’ Cup Ju­ve­nile Turf. The track, which had some mois­ture in it, was la­beled “good.”

Trainer Jeremiah En­gle­hart put Forty Un­der in com­pany with Prince of New York, a maiden New York-bred, and said he got the de­sired re­sult from both horses.

“I was re­ally happy with him to­day,” En­gle­hart said of Forty Un­der. “He showed more en­ergy than in his works in the past.”

En­gle­hart said Prince of New York “worked a lit­tle bet­ter to­day” than he had prior to fin­ish­ing eighth in his only start.

En­gle­hart said Forty Un­der would have one more work at Saratoga be­fore van­ning to Churchill Downs on Oct. 22 with two more of his horses, in­clud­ing Aveenu Mal­cainu, a re­cent New York-bred al­lowance win­ner who is point­ing to the $200,000 Chero­kee Run Stakes, a seven-fur­long race for 3-year-olds on Nov. 3.

On Thurs­day, Opry worked a half-mile in 50.32 sec­onds over the Bel­mont main track for trainer Todd Pletcher in prepa­ra­tion for the Ju­ve­nile Turf. Opry won the With An­tic­i­pa­tion Stakes at Saratoga and fin­ished fourth as the fa­vorite in the Pil­grim.

Car­rick to Hol­ly­wood Derby

Car­rick, the Grade 1 Sec­re­tariat win­ner who fin­ished a well-beaten sixth in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Clas­sic, will be pointed to the Grade 1 Hol­ly­wood Derby at Del Mar on Dec. 1, trainer Tom Mor­ley said.

Mor­ley said the soft turf at Bel­mont Park for the Joe Hirsch com­pro­mised Car­rick, a 3-year-old colt.

“I could tell af­ter 10 strides we were in trou­ble,” Mor­ley said.

Mor­ley said Car­rick came out of the race “ab­so­lutely fine” and that af­ter the Hol­ly­wood Derby, Car­rick would be put away and tar­get a 4-year-old cam­paign.

“I think any­thing he did at 3 is a ma­jor bonus,” Mor­ley said. “He’s go­ing to get even bet­ter, and hope­fully he does what I think he’s go­ing to do next year.”

Brown ac­tive at Tat­ter­salls

Trainer Chad Brown was back at Bel­mont Park on Fri­day morn­ing fol­low­ing an­other trip to Europe for the Tat­ter­salls auc­tion of year­lings. Brown said he “bought plenty of horses” for clients Peter Brant and Seth Klar­man.

Last year, Brown bought a dozen, in­clud­ing News­pa­per-of-record, who has won both of her starts this year, in­clud­ing the Miss Grillo Stakes, and has emerged as the fa­vorite for the Breed­ers’ Cup Ju­ve­nile Fil­lies Turf.

Brown said he bought more colts this year than last.

“I was re­ally happy with the se­lec­tion of horses of­fered, re­ally good group of horses,” Brown said. “I felt like we were able to get a large num­ber that we were happy with.”


Di­ver­sify, shown train­ing at Saratoga Sept. 3, didn’t seem to like the Churchill Downs sur­face when he ran fourth in the 2017 Clark Hand­i­cap.

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