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Summer Bird to work between races

Summer Bird will work Sunday (Debra Kral/Horsephotos.com)

Belmont S. (G1), Travers S. (G1) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) winner SUMMER BIRD (Birdstone), the leading candidate for an Eclipse Award as champion three-year-old male, will reunite with regular rider Kent Desormeaux Sunday for a workout between Oak Tree's third and fourth races in preparation for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) on November 7. Desormeaux is coming in from his current base at Keeneland for the assignment.

Desormeaux, Oak Tree's leading rider from 1990 through 1992, has ridden Summer Bird in his last four races, including the three aforementioned victories. Their lone setback came when they finished second in the Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park on August 2, six lengths behind super filly Rachel Alexandra (Medaglia d'Oro).

"Even when I ran him in the Haskell, Kent came in once before the race to work him," said trainer Tim Ice, who had Summer Bird gallop a mile and a half Friday morning. "Basically, I just want Kent to get a feel for him over the track. Not that Kent doesn't know the track, but I want him and the horse to be in sync when they're over it together. It's always a plus, I think, to have the rider work him over the track."

In other Breeders' Cup news:

ZENYATTA (Street Cry [Ire]) worked six furlongs in company on Hollywood Park's Cushion Track Friday in a bullet 1:11 1/5 under regular rider Mike Smith.

"She went very well," trainer John Shirreffs said. "It was a little faster than she normally works. She usually goes in 13."

Zenyatta worked with Sabina Fay (El Prado [Ire]) and Green Cat (Stormin Fever).

Unbeaten in 13 races, Zenyatta will be pre-entered in both the $2 million Ladies' Classic (G1) at 1 1/8 miles on November 6 and the Classic (G1) at 1 1/4 miles on November 7.

Trainer Todd Pletcher said Florida Derby (G1) winner and Jockey Club Gold Cup runner-up QUALITY ROAD (Elusive Quality) will work over the Belmont Park training track on Monday in preparation for the Classic.

"He will go either at 7:45 or 9 (a.m. EDT), when the track re-opens," Pletcher said. "He'll have one more work before he leaves for California on November 3."

Barry Abrams still plans to run the four-year-old filly LETHAL HEAT (Unusual Heat) in both the Ladies' Classic and right back against males in the $1 million Turf Sprint at about 6 1 /2 furlongs on Breeders' Cup Saturday.

"So far, she's still ready for a doubleheader," Abrams said. "This is not for PR. At this point, she's probably only going to run in one race, but you never know. I'll leave my options open. We'll see how the draw comes up, and see if I can even get into the Turf Sprint."

Defending Turf Sprint winner DESERT CODE (E Dubai) is scheduled to work six furlongs over the Santa Anita turf on Wednesday under Richard Migliore, who was aboard last year in their 36-1 upset victory.

"The horse might have a little blowout after that," trainer David Hofmans said.


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