- BEHOLDER, SONGBIRD DRILL FOR DISTAFF
- CHROME DUE AT SANTA ANITA ON OCT. 30
- NYQUIST WORKS THURSDAY FOR CLASSIC
BEHOLDER, SONGBIRD AT THE READY FOR DISTAFF
Beholder and Songbird, two-thirds of the Fearsome Threesome scheduled to square off in the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff for fillies and mares, three and up at 1 1/8 miles on Nov. 4, worked about an hour apart on a picturesque Thursday morning at Santa Anita, undefeated champion Songbird going six furlongs in a bullet 1:12.80, breezing, and three-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder five furlongs in 59.20.
After the 6:30 renovation break, exercise rider Edgar Rodriguez was aboard the three-year-old Songbird, champion two-year-old filly of 2015, while regular rider Gary Stevens was up on the six-year-old Beholder, a three-time Eclipse Award winner, at 7:50 a.m.
“It was a very nice work, smooth and easy with a good gallop out,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said of the undefeated Songbird, seeking her 12th straight overall triumph in the Distaff.
“I’m not sure if she’ll have one more breeze before the race. She might have two. She’s done very well so far, and so have all the horses going in the Distaff. It’s supposed to be a competitive race and it likely will be.”
Beholder worked in company with Salten Sapity, who was timed in 1:00.20.
“Twenty-three, thirty-four and change, forty-six and one and 59, that’s what I got,” trainer Richard Mandella said, rattling off the fractional times after the work. “He eased her up a little bit once she got clear. She couldn’t look better, period.
“She’ll have one more breeze before the race. This was kind of the serious one.”
Stellar Wind, the third champion pointing to the Distaff and conqueror of Beholder in their last two meetings, is scheduled to work Friday at 6:30 for John Sadler.
In other Breeders’ Cup news:
- Trainer Doug O’Neill plans one more work for Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist
before the Classic, and that would be next Thursday, Oct. 27. “He’s doing great, really well,” O’Neill said.
- Multiple graded turf stakes winner Om worked four furlongs in 50.40 with
Stevens up, after which trainer Dan Hendricks said he would pre-enter the Turf Sprint in addition to the Mile, “In case we don’t get in.
“The horse is doing great. Gary said he couldn’t have felt better this morning. Om just stretched his legs and if we can get in (the Mile) and run, we’re more than happy to participate.”
- John Henry Turf Championship winner Asheyluvssugar is scheduled to work five
furlongs Sunday for the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf at 1 ½ miles Nov. 5. “It will just be a maintenance move,” trainer Peter Eurton said.
“It won’t be anything serious. He’s not a big horse and doesn’t need a lot. He doesn’t need to be hammered on. We know it’s going to come up tough, but he deserves a shot at it even though the quality’s going to be up another two levels.”
- Classic longshot Win the Space, third by nearly seven lengths behind California
Chrome in the Awesome Again, worked six furlongs for George Papaprodromou
in 1:13.40, while Sprint contender Lord Nelson went four furlongs in company in a bullet 46.60 for Bob Baffert. Martin Garcia was aboard. Stablemate Jazzy Times was clocked in 47 flat.
- Trainer John Shirreffs plans two more works for FrontRunner winner Gormley,
the first scheduled for this Sunday.
- Santa Anita Handicap and Gold Cup winner Melatonin will work a mile Saturday,
trainer David Hofmans said.
TWO MORE CLASSIC WORKS FOR CHROME AT LOS AL
The Wild Ride that Art Sherman has both enjoyed and endured with California Chrome nears what could be its penultimate point when America’s Horse runs in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita two weeks from Saturday, Nov. 5.
After that, it could be the $12 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 28, then off to the breeding shed at Taylor Made Farm in Nicholasville, Ky.
As good as he was when he rolled to a handy 2 ¼-length romp in the Awesome Again on Oct. 1 for his sixth straight victory in a performance so dominant it drove runner-up Dortmund to the Dirt Mile, California Chrome is holding form.
“He’ll have two more breezes at Los Alamitos, then he’ll ship to Santa Anita Sunday (Oct.30), the week of the Breeders’ Cup,” trainer Art Sherman said by phone from his Los Al headquarters in Cypress.
“I would say he’s right on schedule. He looks good, he’s galloping strong, and we’re just keeping our fingers crossed everything goes right up to the race.”
Alan Sherman, Art’s son and assistant, said Chrome would ship after training hours at Los Alamitos and arrive at Santa Anita between 11 a.m. and 12 noon on Oct. 30. California Chrome is scheduled to have his final major works at Los Al, five furlongs this Saturday and six furlongs the following Saturday, Oct. 29.
FINISH LINES: Fans at Santa Anita can enjoy some of the best hot wings in Southern California along with craft brews and Thoroughbred racing Saturday at the Hot Wings & Craft Beer Festival from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Save $10 by using PROMO CODE: Wing16 for a $25 online package that includes six hot wings, eight three-ounce beer tastings, Club House admission, racing program, wagering tip sheet and special trackside seating. To purchase tickets, visit santaanita.com/events. Must be 21 and over the purchase a package . . . Santa Anita hosts a Pumpkin Festival this weekend, Oct. 22 and 22, and next, Oct. 29 and 30. Experience a pumpkin patch unlike any other and watch the races while the kids enjoy an Infield festival packed with jumpers, a straw maze and a huge pumpkin patch. The event will be open from 12 noon until 4 p.m. For special packages, visit santaanita.com/events.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Sunday, Oct. 16)|
|Norberto Arroyo, Jr.||50||12||6||8||24%||52%||$479,676|
|John W. Sadler||20||3||3||2||15%||40%||$292,530|