- CALIFORNIA CHROME GOING IN RIGHT DIRECTION FOR CLASSIC
- MUCHO MACHO MAN LATER, STEVENS BACK FOR BREEDERS’ CUP
- MORENO WORKS OUT SIX FURLONGS IN 1:12.60 FOR CLASSIC
- ALEXIS TANGIER RETURNS TO MILE IN GRADE III AUTUMN MISS
ESPINOZA SAYS CHROME SHOWING OLD POLISH FOR CLASSIC
As the regular rider of Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome, Victor Espinoza has more than a vested interest in the California-bred colt.
But when the 42-year-old jockey says the popular chestnut is ready to rebound in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 1 from two disappointing losses, it might be worth taking heed.
“His last work was great,” said Espinoza, who was aboard at Los Alamitos Saturday when California Chrome blazed six furlongs in 1:12.20. “He’s going in the right direction this time. If he’s like he was before (the Triple Crown run), he’ll be tough in there. Forget about those last two races. We’ll start all over again. He’s been working absolutely amazing.”
California Chrome is scheduled to have his final pre-Classic breeze tomorrow at Los Alamitos before shipping to Santa Anita Sunday for schooling and last-minute preparations.
In other Breeders’ Cup news:
Whitney Stakes winner Moreno, who figures to make his presence felt on the pace in the Classic, worked six furlongs in company Friday morning for trainer Eric Guillot.
With Tyler Baze in the saddle, Moreno was timed in 1:12.60, while workmate Elle Rain dawdled home in 1:16.40. “The company couldn’t keep up with him,” Guillot said. “I got him galloping out (seven furlongs) in 1:26 1/5.”
Under Martin Garcia, Midnight Lucky (Filly & Mare Sprint) went six furlongs for Bob Baffert in a bullet 1:11.80, but after the drill Baffert told Daily Racing Form he was not satisfied with the work and that the 4-year-old filly would be retired.
Defending Dirt Mile winner Goldencents went five furlongs for Leandro Mora in 59.40 under regular rider Rafael Bejarano, while City of Hope Mile winner Big Bane Theory (Mile) worked the same distance for Carla Gaines in 59.60 under Joe Talamo.
Conquest Eclipse (Juvenile Fillies) went four furlongs for Mark Casse in 49.20.
Kathy Ritvo, who made history last year by becoming the first woman trainer to win the Classic when she saddled Mucho Macho Man, is on hand this year with Fast Anna for the Sprint. “He’s a little superstar,” the trainer said. “He’s done nothing wrong, he’s real smart and he deserves to be here.”
Rich Tapestry, winner of the Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship, is scheduled to have his final major workout Saturday for the $1.5 million Xpressbet Sprint, said trainer Leonard Powell, at whose barn the 6-year-old world traveler resides prior to trainer Michael Chang’s return from his Hong Kong base this weekend.
STEVENS DETERMINED AS EVER IN LATEST COMEBACK
It’s close to a year since Gary Stevens climaxed his comeback at the age of 50 after a seven-year hiatus and won the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic by a thrilling nose on Mucho Macho Man.
Now 51 and fully recovered from replacement surgery of his right knee on July 25, the unsinkable Stevens will return to his passion–race riding–when Santa Anita hosts the Breeders’ Cup World Championships next weekend, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.
It will mark his first competitive action since July 6, when he rode at Monmouth Park, hard by the Jersey shore in Oceanside, N.J. Stevens, a 10-time Breeders’ Cup winner, rides Sivoliere for trainer Chad Brown in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf next Friday.
“I feel great,” Stevens said before sunup at Santa Anita Friday morning. “If I was hurting at all, I wouldn’t be attempting this right now. The knee feels great, but I’ve got to let my actions on the track speak for themselves.
“No matter what I say, I’ve got to go out and perform, and that’s the case. Every time I’ve had an injury throughout my career, and then after coming back after the long retirement, it seems like in this game you constantly have to keep proving yourself.
“That kind of applies from day to day. You’re only as good as your last ride. I’ve got to re-prove myself. The fortunate thing is I’ve got a lot of great people, great owners and trainers who have supported me over the years and continue to support me during my long comeback.
“The same guys are there for me right now, but I’ve got to show up for them.”
ALEXIS TANGIER SEEKS THIRD STRAIGHT WIN IN AUTUMN MISS
Alexis Tangierstretches out again in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Autumn Miss Stakes for three-year-old fillies at one mile on turf.
Winner of the Unzip Me Stakes at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf Sept. 27, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Tiznow was a daylight winner going a mile on Del Mar’s grass course Aug. 20.
“She won the mile race at Del Mar very nicely,” trainer Richard Mandella said of the bay filly owned by Ran Jan Racing, Inc. “I’m anxious to see how she does on Saturday.”
The Autumn Miss: Thegirlinthatsong, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; On the Backstreets, Joe Talamo, 6-1; Sheza Smoke Show, Martin Garcia, 8-1; Famous Alice, Drayden Van Dyke, 12-1; Lexie Lou, Corey Nakatani, 5-2; Diversy Harbor, Mike Smith, 9-2; Alexis Tangier, Victor Espinoza, 7-2; Zindaya, Brice Blanc, 6-1; Wonderfully, Perry Ouzts, 20-1; Tiz Kissable, Tyler Baze, 15-1; andalso-eligibles Burning Arch, Alex Solis, 10-1; and Kool Kat, Nakatani, 10-1. Gender AgendaandMaibaby were scratched.
COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE OF BREEDERS’ CUP ON HRTV
HRTV, the Network for Horse Sports, will present comprehensive live coverage leading into, and continuing through, the 31st running of the Breeders’ Cup, Thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious worldwide event, on Friday, Oct. 31, and Saturday, Nov. 1, at Santa Anita.
The Breeders’ Cup consists of 13 races over the two days, with purses totaling $26 million.
On both days, the network will televise all of the Breeders’ Cup races live (which will also be available via www.hrtv.com), with the exception of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, to racing fans as the only domestic horse racing cable channel of the event.
“The Breeders’ Cup is an unmatched showcase for the sport’s greatest performers,” said Scott Daruty, President of HRTV. “We are delighted to give racing fans high-quality, comprehensive coverage of this spectacular event. Our coverage will keep racing fans up-to-date on everything they need to know as the event approaches, and culminates with two brilliant days of racing from Santa Anita Park.”
HRTV’s coverage will be similar to its in-depth production of major races, including paddock updates, full post parades, up-to-date information, and expert race-by-race analysis. It will mobilize its well-respected stable of hosts/analysts, as well as additional correspondents, to handle all angles of racing’s two-day extravaganza.
For the third consecutive year, HRTV will serve as the official simulcast partner of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and the preferred Horse Racing Network provider of the event. HRTV will again produce and simulcast the Breeders’ Cup Players’ Show (formerly the simulcast show) and air all Breeders’ Cup races to off-track wagering sites around the globe, and streamed live on www.hrtv.com and breederscup.com.
In support of its live racing telecast and simulcast presentations, HRTV will also provide expansive programming leading up to the Breeders’ Cup.
The network will offer the live telecast of the Breeders’ Cup Post Position Draw, in two separate parts on Monday, Oct. 27 (1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Pacific Time). Its “Fasig-Tipton Pursuit of the Cup, presented by Twinspires” show, which has chronicled the road to the Cup and is currently on a twice-weekly basis, will be live from Santa Anita and expand to a daily show on Saturday, Oct. 25 (8 a.m. Pacific), offering the latest on Cup entrants, including live workouts and exclusive interviews.
“Pursuit of the Cup” will also offer quick recap shows after each Cup racing day, as well as complete wrap-up show on Sunday, Nov. 2 (8 a.m. Pacific).
Also, during Breeders’ Cup week, HRTV will offer its popular “The Player” on a special, extended Wednesday-Sunday basis during its new time slot (9 a.m. Pacific Time). Special Cup-related presentations of the network’s weekly staples–“The Edge,” “Against The Odds,” and “Across The Board”–will air throughout the week. Additionally, its daily “Race Day America” show will be presented prominently during Cup week.
FINISH LINES: Get well wishes are in order for longtime jockey agent George O’ Bryan, who is recovering from reconstructive hip surgery at Arcadia Methodist Hospital. Affectionately known as “Black Heart,” O’Bryan worked for such legendary Hall of Fame riders as Ralph Neves, Johnny Adams, Manny Ycaza, Laffit Pincay, Jr. and Don Pierce. O’Bryan will celebrate his 94th birthday tomorrow . . . Beholder, declared from the Breeders’ Cup Distaff Sunday due to a fever, is improving but no date has been set for her trip to Kentucky where she is scheduled to be sold at the Fasig-Tipton Sale on Nov. 3. “She’s still here and the fever’s been gone a couple days,” Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella said of the two-time Eclipse Award winner, as champion 2-year-old filly in 2012 and 3-year-old filly last year. “There are a couple different flights, but she is our first concern. The flights are secondary.
“In the next few days, we’ll figure out which one of the flights to take, but she wouldn’t be going until the last minute. She’s not going to be getting on an early flight. We want to make sure she’s well enough.” . . . Eclipse Award-winning Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN) returns to Santa Anita for 17 hours of live Breeders’ Cup coverage beginning next Wednesday, Oct. 29. The exclusive radio partner of the Breeders’ Cup, HRRN will host racing’s championship event for the eighth consecutive year on SiriusXM satellite radio as well as on terrestrial affiliates throughout the country. It will also be available worldwide via live streaming on both the HRRN and the Breeders’ Cup websites at www.horseracingradio.net and www.breederscup.net . . . Santa Anita will present live racing next Wednesday, Oct. 29. First post time is 1 p.m. . . . Jockey Aaron Gryder will sign autographs for Breeders’ Cup fans at the Ralphs supermarket, 211 E. Foothill Blvd. in Arcadia on Tuesday, Oct. 28 . . . Paco Gonzalez was a Santa Anita visitor Friday, and although he has not trained for several years, would not go on record as saying he was retired . . . Richard Migliore, who rode Desert Code to a 36-1 upset in the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint for trainer David Hofmans, left New York’s 45-degree chill last night for the warmth of Santa Anita where he is on hand for HRTV’s Breeders’ Cup coverage. When asked several years ago to compare riding at barren Aqueduct to bucolic Santa Anita, Migliore’s response was classic: “It sure beats the Belt Parkway.”
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Thursday, Oct. 23)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||91||11||10||12||12%||$417,082|
|Robert Hess, Jr.||17||4||1||3||24%||$107,490|