April 12, 2021

Yoshida pleases Mott, Walden in Classic tune-up

Yoshida will attempt to make it two-for-two on dirt in the Breeders' Cup Classic (Coady Photography)

WinStar Farm and trainer Bill Mott know what it’s like to win a Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs having done so with longshot Drosselmeyer the last time the race was held there in 2011.

On November 3, the connections will be relying on Yoshida to pull off the same feat. Monday morning in chilly conditions at Churchill, Yoshida worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 over a fast strip in preparation for the $6 million race.

Yoshida began his work at the five-furlong pole in company with maiden winner Morocco through eighth-mile splits of :13.20, :25.60, :37 and :49 prior to galloping out six furlongs in 1:14 and seven furlongs in 1:28, according to Churchill Downs’ clocker John Nichols. Morocco completed his breeze after a half-mile in :50.

“He’s just doing great,” Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said. “We’ve been really happy with him since we got to Churchill last Thursday. Even though he’s a Grade 1 winner on the grass (in the May 5 Old Forester Turf Classic), we thought the Classic is the best route.”

Yoshida captured his dirt debut by two lengths in his most recent start, the nine-furlong Woodward (G1) at Saratoga on September 1.

“We’re just very fortunate to be in the spot we are,” WinStar Farm’s President and Racing Manager Elliott Walden said. “It was a great work this morning.”

As was the case with Drosselmeyer, WinStar owns Yoshida in partnership. Others involved with Yoshida include China Horse Club, SF Racing, and Head of Plains Partners

“I think going into this year’s Classic Yoshida has a better chance than Drosselmeyer did,” Walden said.