- TRAINER HOPES THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM VS. WISE DAN
- CHAMP SHARED BELIEF DOESN’T DEVIATE FOR BC CLASSIC
- GO WEST MARIE DOING WELL FOR CAL DISTAFF HANDICAP
- CYCLOMETER SIDELINED, TO MISS DAMASCUS STAKES
SPEEDY OBVIOUSLY ON COURSE FOR BREEDERS’ CUP MILE
Faster than a speeding bullet, Obviously continues to train well as he prepares to take on two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan for the third time in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.
The 6-year-old Irish-bred gelding has not raced since Aug. 24, when he was fourth in the Del Mar Mile, but ever since the game plan has been to train up to the Mile.
“He’s doing great,” trainer Phil D’Amato said. “We want him just as fresh as can be, and Joe’s been breezing him every time, and he said this is perfect,” referring to regular rider Joe Talamo, tied with Rafael Bejarano for Santa Anita’s riding lead through eight days with nine victories each.
“The horse is fresh, he’s showing all his speed and he’ll breeze again tomorrow. His style is to be in front and he’s going to be there. Hopefully, we’ll get a clean break and be on top.”
Easy enough, but still, like the rest of the field, Obviously must beat two-time Horse of the Year and back-to-back Mile winner Wise Dan.
“This will be the third time around for us facing Wise Dan in the Mile,” D’Amato said. “Wise Dan is a special horse, but our horse is a special horse, too, and on his best day I think he can compete with Wise Dan.”
Obviously was fifth to Wise Dan in last year’s Mile and third in 2012, setting the pace each time as is his wont.
Trainer Jim Cassidy had a similar regimen for Mile contender Tom’s Tribute.
“Mike (Smith) and I both agree that we thought he’d be better fresh,” Cassidy said. “He had two hard races at Del Mar (victories in the Grade I Eddie Read on July 20 and the Grade II Del Mar Mile on Aug. 24, his most recent start), but he hasn’t lost any conditioning, he’s worked three-quarters the last two weeks on the turf, and he’s been fine.
“He took time to get his act together. They all have little quirks about them but we were lucky enough to get him in the right direction.”
SHARED BELIEF’S AGENDA: IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT
Jerry Hollendorfer doesn’t plan to deviate from a successful training agenda for undefeated male 2-year-old champion of 2013 Shared Belief in the lead up to the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.
The Hall of Fame trainer will work the gelded son of Candy Ride over Golden Gate’s Tapeta surface before shipping in for the mile and a quarter dance at The Great Race Place.
“He’s done that every race,” Hollendorfer said Friday morning at Santa Anita. “He’ll come down here and just go over the track a couple of days like he did last time (before the Awesome Again) and that will be how we prepare. He’s doing real well.
“I watched him gallop (Thursday morning) at Golden Gate. I’ll train him up there and then we’ll ship down here in a big box stall for the Breeders’ Cup. We’re hoping that’s a good formula. Having him at Golden Gate seems to be the answer for this horse.
“We’ve been able to keep his feet good up there, so it’s working. His works are going to be mostly maintenance-type works, but we might give him one good blast up there before he comes down.”
TRUMAN HOPES THE BUCK STOPS SATURDAY FOR GO WEST MARIE
Go West Marie seeks her second stakes win in Saturday’s $100,000 California Distaff Handicap at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf. The race is a handicap for Golden State series eligible California-bred or California-sired fillies and mares, three and up.
“She’s doing well,” said Eddie Truman, who trains the 3-year-old daughter of Western Fame for owner Peter Redekop of British Columbia. “She was third to Top Kisser in the CERF at Del Mar last out on Sept. 3, and Top Kisser came back and won the L.A. Woman Stakes. “In the CERF, my filly didn’t break well. She stumbled out of the gate and only got beat a length and three-quarters by Top Kisser. I just hope we get a good trip on Saturday.”
Facing her elders is not a major concern for Truman. “It is what it is,” he said. “This is when the 3-year-olds have to step up. We’ll see if she can make the jump, but Top Kisser is an older horse (five), and I don’t think my filly is one that is intimidated.”
The California Distaff field: Warren’s Veneda, Tyler Baze, 6-1; Sprague River, Edwin Maldonado, 20-1; Qiaona, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1; Twelve Folds, Fernando Perez, 20-1; Heat Trap, Brice Blanc, 6-1; Ciao Bella Luna, Elvis Trujillo, 6-1; Star Field, Aaron Gryder, 10-1; Tribal Spy, Joe Talamo, 7-2; Go West Marie, Martin Pedroza, 8-1; Velvet Mesquite, Mike Smith, 9-2; and Smoove It, Mario Gutierrez, 30-1. Global Hottie was scratched.
FINISH LINES: Cyclometer, who had been training steadily for the $100,000 Damascus Stakes on Oct. 31, will miss the race. “He came up with some heat in his (left) ankle and he’ll be out a couple months,” part owner/breeder and trainer Bruce Headley said of the 6-year-old Cyclotron horse. “He’s a big stud, but kind as a pony. This is the first time since he started his career (in October of 2011) that he’ll be out of action because of something like this.” Winner of the Grade III Los Angeles Stakes last May, the California-bred Cyclometer was second by a nose to Declassify in his last start, the Grade I Triple Bend at Santa Anita on June 28 . . . Corey Nakatani, who rides at Keeneland Saturday, celebrates his 44th birthday on Oct. 21, while Tyler Baze, who won three races Thursday, turns 32 on Oct. 19, and Martin Garcia turns 30 on Oct. 23 . . . Congrats to Leandro Mora, the trainer of record for suspended Doug O’Neill, on saddling winners of Thursday’s early Daily Double, Take Back Spring ($13.80) in the first and Afleet in Time ($20.60) in the second. The double paid $124. Mora said Friday morning that defending Dirt Mile winner Goldencents will run in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in his name as the trainer, while Sprint contender Private Zone would have Alfredo Velazquez as the trainer while O’Neill serves his suspension . . . Santa Anita presents holiday racing this Monday, Columbus Day, which also is Dollar Day. Fans can enjoy draft beer, hot dogs and sodas for just a buck. Gates open at 11 a.m. First post time is 1 p.m. . . . Even though Miguel, 70, and Tony Ramirez, 59, have the same last name, they’re not brothers, not even related, but each has been dishing out tasty fare at Clockers’ Corner for 15 years. “They’re not really brothers, but we call them brothers,” says hostess Rosie Ybarra. “They’re the best cooks in the San Gabriel Valley.”
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||55||8||7||6||15%||$275,172|
|Robert Hess, Jr.||10||3||1||1||30%||$88,260|
|J. Keith Desormeaux||7||2||0||2||29%||$107,770|