Early favorite Workforce scratched from BC Turf

Font Size:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -Workforce, the 7-5 early favorite, was scratched from the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf on Saturday morning because of the firm grass course at Churchill Downs.

Trainer Michael Stoute conferred with owner Prince Khalid Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in making the decision. Stoute was worried earlier in the week that the course was too hard for the 3-year-old colt, who emerged as one of the world’s leading turf runners with victories in the Epsom Derby in England and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France.

“The ground has not gone our way. There has been no rain and it is firmer than we would like for Workforce,” said Teddy Grimthorpe, the prince’s racing manager. “We have absolutely no complaints, but the welfare of the horse is paramount. Prince Khalid has always been a great supporter of the Breeders’ Cup and no one is more disappointed than he.”

Typhoon Slew was another Saturday morning scratch. A 15-1 shot, Typhoon Slew had the rail for the $1 million Juvenile Turf for 2-year-olds.

Trainer Mike Maker said the colt was fine in the morning but lame when the vets made their pre-race inspection.

FOR SALE: Dubai Majesty, winner of the Filly & Mare Sprint a day earlier, left Churchill Downs Saturday for Keeneland where she will be sold at the Fasig-Tipton Mixed Sale.

“I really don’t know how that’s going to feel,” trainer Bret Calhoun said. “It’s surreal, a little bit. It hasn’t really all sunk in yet. You think about the ramifications, the pinnacle; that being the top race against the best female sprinters in the world. And then you go on to even think, she’s probably got a heck of a chance to win the Eclipse Award.”

Also for sale on Sunday is Awesome Feather, winner of the BC Juvenile Fillies.

UNDER THE KNIFE: Crown of Thorns, scratched Friday from that day’s Dirt Mile, will undergo surgery on his right front knee.

Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella said it was an old problem that flared again. Crown of Thorns will head to Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Ky., before the operation.

“They’re going to do a small surgery on him to correct a problem he has had behind his knee,” Mandella said. “We’re going to bring him back and race him. He’s been an unlucky horse, but maybe his luck will turn next year.”

TIED UP: Life At Ten had severe muscle cramping in the BC Ladies’ Classic, according to trainer Todd Pletcher.

The 7-2 second choice, Life At Ten strolled out of the starting gate and trailed badly throughout Friday nigiht’s race.

Jockey John Velazquez said the horse didn’t warm up properly and Pletcher said she was extremely dull in the saddling paddock. Despite those concerns, Life At Ten was allowed to race.

Kentucky state steward John Veitch said Saturday his group is looking into what happened and will interview Velazquez and Pletcher about the filly’s performance.

“She responded well to treatment and she seems better this morning,” Pletcher said.