Sunday 19 November 2017

Breeders' no good

The going on the turf course at Keeneland is officially 'soft' after almost an inch and a half of further rain.

Track superintendent Javier Barajas said further rain was anticipated today, and that his hope for good ground for the turf races at the Breeders' Cup has now receded.


Barajas said: "The rain is supposed to stop this afternoon, but that is a 30-40 per cent chance. Then there is a 55 per cent chance of rain at 1am tomorrow, but hopefully after 2pm tomorrow we should be OK.

"I'm hoping for some wind in which case we could get good to soft for the start of the Breeders' Cup races, but I've changed my mind about it being good. It can't be that."

'Soft' is the most severe going description for turf courses in the United States. They do not have the 'heavy' that exists this side of the Atlantic.

Barajas also cleared up the reason why there are two winning posts in the home straight at Keeneland.

He added: "The first one is a sixteenth back from the main one and is used for the Dirt Mile. It's important there is no confusion, and to eliminate this the jockeys riding will be told about the temporary post and told that they have to pay attention."


Frankie Dettori partnered Derby hero Golden Horn in some light work on the training track as the rain teemed down. The combination engaged in a half-speed exercise around two circuits of the oval track.

The Italian then schooled his Juvenile Fillies Turf mount Illuminate through the starting gate and worked her on the main turf course. Connections of the Richard Hannon-trained filly are happy with her demeanour but far from pleased about the likelihood of soft ground.

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