Majestic Harbor will be a longshot in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic come Nov. 1. That makes no never mind to Sean McCarthy.

“The horse worked good Wednesday,” the trainer said, speaking of a four furlong move in 48.80 under regular rider Tyler Baze. “He went around well and came out of it in good order,” McCarthy said. “He’ll have three more breezes before the race.

“He’s kind of a push-button work horse. He’ll do whatever you ask him to do. He’s easy to work with.”

A son of the late Rockport Harbor, Majestic Harbor won the Gold Cup at Santa Anita on June 28, giving McCarthy the first Grade I win of his career, then finished fourth by four lengths behind unbeaten Classic favorite Shared Belief in the Grade I Awesome Again Stakes Sept. 27.

Also on Wednesday, Charles Town Classic winner Imperative went four furlongs in 49.20 for trainer George Papaprodromou, who was still shopping for a rider to replace injured Kent Desormeaux.

“It was an easy half-mile,” Papaprodromou said. “He has two more works to go, but he went great. I’m very happy with him.” Imperative was fifth in the Awesome Again after making a bid between horses near the second turn in the 1 1/8-mile race.



Working under a fog so thick her trainer couldn’t even see it, two-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder went five furlongs in company Sunday morning in 1:02.20 under regular rider Mike Smith. Stablemate Broken Up was given 1:05 flat.

“She worked in the fog so I didn’t see it,” trainer Richard Mandella said of Beholder, champion 2-year-old filly of 2012 and 3-year-old filly queen last year. “She went real nice, though,” Mandella added.

“She’ll get a bigger work next week, but she’s in great shape.”

By 9 o’clock, the sun was out in all its Southern California glory.

Beholder, winner of the Zenyatta Stakes on Sept. 27 in her first start since finishing fourth in the Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park on June 7, is on course for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff at 1 1/8 miles on Oct. 31.

Beholder came out of the Ogden Phipps with a deep gash on her left hind pastern, but recovered with time and posted a workmanlike three-quarter length victory as the odds-on favorite in the Zenyatta, which she also won last year.



Trainer Art Sherman will be honored on Wednesday, Oct. 29, by the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association (NTWAB) as the recipient of the Mr. Fitz Award, named in honor of legendary trainer “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons and presented annually to someone who “typifies the spirit of racing.”

The award will be presented at a special dinner at The Derby Restaurant in Arcadia. Also being honored that night will be Cot Campbell, the well-known owner of Dogwood Stables, broadcaster Charlsie Cantey, and Tom LaMarra of the Blood-Horse magazine. The program will be emcee’d by Jay Privman.

All are invited, and tickets are $100 per person. Cocktails and silent auction begin at      6 p.m., and dinner at 7:30 p.m. Awards begin at 8:30, and the event is expected to be over by 9:30 p.m. For tickets and information, contact Jay Privman by email or phone (917-584-3816).


FINISH LINES: Barring the unforeseen, 3-year-olds will be the first four favorites in the Breeders’ Cup Classic: Shared Belief, Tonalist, Bayern and California Chrome . . . Eric Guillot, trainer of Moreno, said he has engaged Javier Castellano to ride the Grade I Whitney winner in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Moreno, a 4-year-old gelded son of 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, has been ridden by Junior Alvarado in his last four starts, including the Whitney and a fourth-place finish in the Jockey Club Gold Cup on Sept. 27 . . Trainer Steve Asmussen was on hand at Santa Anita Sunday morning to see West Virginia Derby winner Tapiture work five furlongs in 59.20 for the Dirt Mile and Kentucky Oaks winner Untapable go the same distance in 1:00.40 for the Distaff . . . Sham Stakes winner Midnight Hawk worked six furlongs for Bob Baffert in a bullet 1:11.80, fastest of 27 drills at the distance, the average time of which was 1:13.66 . . . Brian Koriner trained 2009 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner California Flag, for whom next Saturday’s stakes race is named. He was asked his thoughts of downhill turf course specialist. “I wish I had another like him,” Koriner said. Probable for the $100,000 California Flag Handicap at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf: Boozer, Rafael Bejarano; Red Outlaw, no rider; Super Ability, Martin Garcia; and Tamarando, Mike Smith. Tamarando worked three furlongs on Santa Anita’s firm turf Sunday in 39.80. Other turf workers included Breeders’ Cup Mile candidates Obviously, six furlongs in a bullet 1:12.80 for Phil D’Amato, and Tom’s Tribute, five furlongs in 1:03 for Jim Cassidy . . . Newfound Gold, a 7-year-old gelding listed as a 3-1 morning line chance in today’s first race, has been claimed eight times from his last 12 starts. Little wonder. The Kentucky-bred son of Newfoundland had nine wins, 15 seconds and nine thirds from 41 lifetime starts . . . Jockey Kyle Frey, who has ridden at tracks even hard-core race trackers have never heard of, registered his first victory at Santa Anita Saturday in his first ride at The Great Race Place when he piloted Polytechnician to a one-length victory for trainer Gil Matos in the fourth race. A 22-year-old from Tracy, California, Frey (pronounced Fray) has been riding of late at Golden Gate Fields but has trekked to such far flung outposts as Laurel Brown Race Track in Utah; Lubbock Downs and La Bahia Downs in Texas; Mt. Pleasant Meadows in Michigan; and Grant’s Pass in Oregon; not to mention Custer County Fair, Eureka, Manor Downs and Blue Ribbon, among others. “I worked a horse or two at Santa Anita for John Sadler, but never rode in a race until Saturday,” Frey said . . . There were three California-breds among the eight starters in yesterday’s eighth race: Prime Issue, Full Dancer and Got Even. They finished one-two-three . . . Tyler Baze didn’t have much time to celebrate his three wins Saturday. He rode in all 10 races . . . Ciara Austin, Ambassador for America’s Best Racing, will be Tom Quigley‘s guest at Monday’s handicapping seminar in the East Paddock Gardens at 11:50 a.m. . . . Santa Anita presents holiday racing tomorrow, Columbus Day. It’s also Dollar Day. Fans can enjoy draft beer, hot dogs and sodas for just a buck. First post time is 1 p.m. Come hungry.


(Current Through Saturday, Oct. 11)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Rafael Bejarano 60 13 12 11 22% $825,692
Joseph Talamo 63 10 12 10 16% $696,640
Mike Smith 33 9 3 3 27% $732,560
Tyler Baze 72 8 12 6 11% $470,594
Drayden Van Dyke 55 8 7 6 15% $275,172
Elvis Trujillo 69 6 9 8 9% $500,812
Martin Pedroza 32 5 1 5 16% $166,020
Mario Gutierrez 28 5 1 2 18% $194,538
Martin Garcia 34 3 3 3 9% $272,820
Kent Desormeaux 15 3 2 2 20% $167,550
Agapito Delgadillo 26 3 2 1 12% $75,610
Victor Espinoza 18 2 3 2 11% $321,550
Aaron Gryder 14 2 2 3 14% $90,070
Alonso Quinonez 31 2 1 4 6% $90,814
Rosie Napravnik 3 2 0 0 67% $213,850
Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Bob Baffert 28 5 4 2 18% $535,528
Jerry Hollendorfer 32 5 3 4 16% $482,728
Leandro Mora 11 4 2 0 36% $134,850
Mike Puype 17 4 0 1 24% $106,938
Philip D’Amato 23 3 3 6 13% $232,860
Simon Callaghan 9 3 1 2 33% $121,650
Robert Hess, Jr. 10 3 1 1 30% $88,260
Peter Eurton 17 3 0 3 18% $117,824
Steven Miyadi 6 3 0 1 50% $61,750
Richard Mandella 10 3 0 0 30% $243,000