- BEHOLDER, CALIFORNIA CHROME DRILL FOR BREEDERS’ CUP
- BIG MACHER CONTINUES SPRINT PREPARATIONS TOMORROW
- GARY STEVENS TO WORK FAST ANNA AT SANTA ANITA SUNDAY
COUNTDOWN TO BREEDERS’ CUP BEGINS IN EARNEST
The countdown to the 31st Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 intensified Saturday with a bevy of breezers strutting their stuff on a pleasant, sun-kissed morning at The Great Race Place.
Beholder, Candy Boy, Private Zone and Rich Tapestry were among the workers at Santa Anita, while Kentucky Derby king California Chrome had his penultimate drill for the Classic, going six furlongs at his Los Alamitos headquarters in 1:12.20.
At Santa Anita, two-time Eclipse Award champion Beholder went seven furlongs starting behind two workmates in a bullet 1:23.80 under Mike Smith.
“She galloped out a mile in (one) 38 and looked really good,” trainer Richard Mandella said of the defending Distaff favorite. “She’ll have another work; I don’t know when or how long, but it won’t be like this.”
Under regular rider Victor Espinoza, California Chrome worked “great,” according to trainer Art Sherman. “It was just what I wanted. He’ll have one more before the Breeders’ Cup.”
Los Alamitos head clocker Russ Hudak caught California Chrome in fractions of 24 2/5 and 48 4/5, with a seven-furlong gallop out of 1:25 4/5.
“He picked it up good in the stretch,” Hudak said. “He looked good.”
Hong Kong invader Rich Tapestry, who upset Goldencents by a nose in the Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship in his U.S. debut on Oct. 4, worked five furlongs with exercise rider Vincent Sit aboard in 1:01.40 under the supervision of trainer Leonard Powell, at whose barn the 6-year-old bay gelding is residing until trainer Michael Chang returns from his Hong Kong base on Oct. 26.
“He went exactly according to plan,” Powell said. “We wanted him to start easy and have a strong finish behind another horse (Romar Success). He did it very easily and the horse is pretty fit now, so from here on it’s about maintenance and keeping him happy.”
Sprint contender Private Zone, two-time winner of the Grade I Vosburgh Invitational, worked six furlongs handily from the gate in a bullet 1:09.40 with regular rider Martin Pedroza aboard.
“He went good, but a little faster than I wanted him to go,” trainer Alfredo Velazquez said. “He’ll have one more breeze next Saturday. Then he’ll be ready for the money.”
Robert B. Lewis Stakes winner Candy Boy, possible for the Classic, worked six furlongs under Corey Nakatani 1:10.40. “He worked good,” trainer John Sadler said. “He worked in company and he got a fast three-quarters. We’ll decide by tomorrow (whether to pre-enter on Monday).”
In other Breeders’ Cup news:
With Todd Pletcher on hand, Chandelier Stakes winner Angela Renee worked four furlongs “great” in 48.60 for the Juvenile Fillies, while Cristina’s Journey went five furlongs in a bullet 58.60 for Dale Romans, also for the Juvenile Fillies; Danny Boy (Juvenile Turf) went five furlongs in 59.20, also for Romans; and Prayer for Relief (Classic) went the same distance for Romans in 59 flat under Tammy Fox, who termed the move “super. Bring ’em on.” Juvenile Fillies contender Conquest Eclipse went five furlongs in 58.60, also a bullet, for Mark Casse.
On a firm turf course, Surfer Girl Stakes winner Her Emmynency went four furlongs for Michael Stidham in 48.80, while Mile contender Obviously went six furlongs in 1:13.20 for Phil D’Amato.
Also: Bing Crosby winner Big Macher (Sprint) is scheduled to work five furlongs Sunday under Tyler Baze for trainer Richard Baltas, while Whitney winner Moreno (Classic) works five furlongs next Friday at 7:45 a.m. for trainer Eric Guillot.
STEVENS BACK WORKING HORSES AFTER KNEE SURGERY
Gary Stevens is back on the horse. The 51-year-old Hall of Fame jockey, who has not ridden competitively since undergoing right knee replacement surgery July 25, jogged one horse and worked another for trainer Tom Proctor Saturday morning.
“It’s thumbs up,” Stevens said. “It’s all good, really good. Tomorrow I work (Breeders’ Cup Sprint candidate) Fast Anna for Kathy Ritvo.”
CHRB MEETINGS NEXT WEEK AT SANTA ANITA
The California Horse Racing Board will conduct its regular meeting Thursday, Oct. 23, at 9:30 a.m. in the Baldwin Terrace Room at Santa Anita. Also, the Medication and Track Safety Committee will meet in the same location next Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 2 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend these meetings.
An audio-only webcast of Thursday’s Board meeting can be heard through a link on the CHRB website (webcast). The agendas and supporting packages of materials for these meeting also are available on the website (Board agenda and package /Committee agenda and package).
FINISH LINES: With the World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants starting Tuesday, HRTV’s Kurt Hoover points out that The Mad Hungarian, 16 1/4-length winner of yesterday’s second race under Tyler Baze for trainer Hector Palma, was the ultimate hunch play. “The Mad Hungarian was the nickname of 1970s Kansas City closer Al Hrabosky,” said Hoover, well-versed in all sports. Hrabosky, who also pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves in addition to the Royals, currently is the color commentator on the Cardinals’ regular-season broadcasts on FSN Midwest. His nickname evolved due to his unusual last name and his colorful pre-pitch antics on the mound . . . With two wins Friday and three on Thursday, Rafael Bejarano has opened an 18-13 lead over runner-up Elvis Trujillo through 14 racing days. Having withdrawn his appeal of a ruling issued at Del Mar, Trujillo is suspended three days, Oct. 23, 24 and 25.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Friday, Oct. 17)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||73||9||8||11||12%||$362,352|
|Hector O. Palma||10||3||1||2||30%||$58,220|
|Robert Hess, Jr.||13||3||1||2||23%||$92,830|