Delacour Hoping Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sets Up For Late-Running Fulmineo - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Delacour Hoping Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sets Up For Late-Running Fulmineo

Arnaud Delacour

Starlight Racing and Mark Grier's Fulmineo will set his sights on the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf on November 3 at Santa Anita Park after finishing a game second in the Grade 2 Pilgrim on October 4 at Belmont at the Big A.

Trained by Arnaud Delacour, the Bolt d'Oro bay rallied from six lengths off the pace in the 1 1/16-mile Pilgrim and showed a strong turn of foot into the stretch under Flavien Prat, but was bumped by rivals near the sixteenth pole and got up to secure place honors by a neck over dead-heat third-place finishers Liam's Journey and Spirit Prince. He finished 1 1/4 lengths behind the victorious Agate Road and was awarded a career-best 74 Beyer Speed Figure for the effort.

“I was very happy with it. He maybe lost a little momentum and that might or might not have cost him, but it was a very good effort,” said Delacour. “Those were solid horses.”

Delacour said he hopes for a swift pace as Fulmineo – whose lone win came at the Pilgrim distance in September at Colonial Downs – turns back a half-furlong in the one-mile Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.

“It's a trip thing. We're going only a mile on a very firm turf course, so it really needs to set up,” said Delacour. “I'm sure there will be plenty of speed, and usually it is loaded with speed. He's not a horse that's going to be close to the pace – he'll be mid-pack at best or maybe towards the back. I just hope for a good, clear run with him.”

Fulmineo had his first work back since the Pilgrim on Thursday, covering a half-mile in 49.40 seconds over the Fair Hill all-weather course.

“He came back very well and had a good maintenance breeze yesterday,” said Delacour. “He looks good this morning, so we'll pre-enter on Monday and take it from there.”

In addition to Fulmineo, Delacour is hopeful Mark Grier's Air Recruit will make it into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf field after a strong win in the 1 1/16-mile Laurel Futurity on September 30. The son of Air Force Blue graduated in August sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs at Colonial and followed with a third-place effort in the Rosies going the same distance on September 9.

“He will be a bit more tactical than Fulmineo and he has more natural speed,” said Delacour. “He easily won at five-and-a-half [furlongs] and he's got that cruising speed. If I can get them both in, we'll run them both and see what we have.”

Delacour noted that even though Air Recruit has done well sprinting, he does not intend to consider the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint as a backup in case the chestnut does not draw into the Juvenile Turf. The likely 'Plan B' race would be the $150,000 Qatar Golden Mile on the day's undercard for juveniles on turf.

Should either Fulmineo or Air Recruit capture the prestigious $1 million test, it would mark Delacour's first win at the Breeders' Cup after finishing on-the-board with Chalon in the 2018 Filly and Mare Sprint [second] and with A.P. Indian in the 2016 Sprint [third].

“It's always such a great event with a very international flavor. It really means a lot for me and my team and the owner to be there,” said Delacour. “The journey is fantastic and we always just hope for the best.”

On the East Coast, Delacour could have one other stakes starter on the same weekend as Independenceavenue looks to make her stakes debut in the $120,000 Stewart Manor, a six-furlong turf sprint for juveniles fillies, on November 4 at Aqueduct.

Owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, Marvin Delfiner and Scarlet Oak Racing, the daughter of Mr Speaker was a decisive winner at second asking in a 5 1/2-furlong turf maiden tilt on September 7 at Colonial and was slated to start in the Matron on October 8 here, but was scratched when the race was moved to the main track.

“We will probably try her in there as long as we are on the turf,” said Delacour. “She's good and her numbers have significantly improved.”

A $50,000 purchase at the OBS June 2-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age Sale, Independenceavenue is out of the dual Brazilian Group 1-winner Off the Road and has worked four times since her maiden score, most recently covering a half-mile in 49.60 on Sunday over Fair Hill's all-weather surface.

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