- TRAINER BALTAS CONFIDENT BIG MACHER WILL RUN HIS RACE
- TEMPERATURE PUTS BEHOLDER OUT OF BREEDERS’ CUP
- UNTAPABLE, TAPITURE GET OVER TRACK WELL FOR ASMUSSEN
BIG MACHER IN SHARP DRILL FOR BREEDERS’ CUP SPRINT
Bargain claim Big Macher worked five furlongs on a picturesque Sunday morning at Santa Anita in a bullet :58.60 for the $1.5 million Xpressbet Breeders’ Cup Sprint at six furlongs on Nov. 1. It was the fastest of 67 drills at the distance, the average time of which was 1:00.83.
Haltered out of a maiden claiming race for $20,000 at Del Mar in July of 2013, Big Macher not only went on to win the Grade II Potrero Grande Stakes by a nose on April 12, but added the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes to his resume on July 27 at Del Mar, defeating Santa Anita Derby winner and Dirt Mile winner Goldencents in the process.
Big Macher disappointed in the Grade II Pat O’Brien on Aug. 24, finishing sixth, but trainer Richard Baltas feels the California-bred son of Beau Genius can make amends in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Under regular rider Tyler Baze, Big Macher broke off two lengths outside of work mate Unusual Fleet this morning, drew closer turning for home, then inhaled his pacesetter at the eighth pole and was five lengths clear at the wire.
“He finished in (one) 10 and four (fifths) for the last eighth, 23 flat for the last quarter and galloped out (six furlongs) in (one) 11 and change,” Baltas said. “He couldn’t be working any better coming up to this race. I’m real happy.
“I’m confident in the horse, but it is the Breeders’ Cup, obviously. He’ll be running against the best horses in the world so even though he’s a Grade I winner he still has to step it up. I’m confident he’s going to run his race.”
Baltas has been down the Breeders’ Cup road before, but pretty much ruled out any chance of winning after the post position draws.
“In 2001 I was in the Classic with Freedom Crest going a mile and a quarter at Belmont, and in 2012 I was in the Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita with Flashy Ways. We drew the 13 hole both races. As soon as we got the draw, I knew it was over with. We were finished.”
Freedom Crest “was never a factor while racing wide,” finishing 13th and last at 68-1, beaten some 33 lengths. Flashy Ways prompted the pace in third before fading in a wide trip and crossed the wire 11th at 7-1.
BEHOLDER SPIKES FEVER, TO MISS BREEDERS’ CUP DISTAFF
Two-time Eclipse Award-winning filly Beholder will miss the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita on Oct. 31, Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella said early Sunday afternoon.
“She had a little bit of a temperature this morning and it got higher (peaking at 104), so we had to treat it,” Mandella said. “We hope she doesn’t get sicker, but she won’t run in the Distaff.”
Pre-entries for the Breeders’ Cup races will be taken on Monday and announced on Wednesday. Beholder is scheduled to be sold at the Fasig-Tipton November sale.
A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Henny Hughes owned by the Spendthrift Farm of B. Wayne Hughes, Beholder was champion 2-year-old filly of 2012 and champion 3-year-old filly last year, when she captured both the Grade I Zenyatta Stakes and the Grade I Distaff at Santa Anita.
The bay filly won the Zenyatta again this year on Sept. 27 and was favored to repeat in the Distaff.
With 10 wins and three seconds from 15 starts, Beholder has earned $3,368,300.
In other Breeders’ Cup news:
Kentucky Oaks winner Untapable (Distaff) and West Virginia Derby winner Tapiture (Dirt Mile) each worked five furlongs, in a bullet 58.60 and 59.60, respectively, while Lucky Player (Juvenile) also went five furlongs in 59.60.
“They’re getting over the track really well,” trainer Steve Asmussen said of the trio. “They’ve settled in nicely.”
Gary Stevens was aboard Sprint candidate Fast Anna in a five furlong workout timed in 1:01 for Kathy Ritvo.
Dirt Mile hopeful Tonito M. went five furlongs in 1:00.80 for Jerry Hollendorfer, while Dirt Mile contender Fed Biz worked six furlongs for Bob Baffert in 1:12.80. Distaff candidate Tiz Midnight also went six furlongs for Baffert in 1:12.40.
Filly & Mare Sprint hopeful Little Alexis went five furlongs in 1:00.80 for trainer Carlo Vaccarezza.
On a firm turf course, Tom’s Tribute, winner of the Grade I Eddie Read, worked six furlongs for James Cassidy in 1:14, while Del Mar Handicap winner Big John B went the same distance in 1:12.20 for Phil D’Amato.
Daddy D T (Juvenile Turf) went six furlongs for John Sadler in 1:12 flat, while Silentio (Turf Sprint) worked seven furlongs in 1:25 for Gary Mandella. Rusty Slipper, third behind Emollient in the Rodeo Drive, worked five furlongs in 1:03.40 for Graham Motion.
Horsemen and media are welcome to attend HRTV’s live telecast this Wednesday, Oct. 22, of the Breeders’ Cup pre-entry of all 13 World Championship races that will be contested at Santa Anita on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.
The pre-entry event will take place at 8 a.m. in the Baldwin Terrace conference room on the third floor of Santa Anita’s grandstand.
FINISH LINES: Get Back Anne, a 2-year-old filly in today’s seventh race, is named for Anne Von Rosen, the jockey who was paralyzed in a riding accident at Turf Paradise earlier this year. Owners W.C. Racing (Glenn Sorgenstein and Josh Kaplan) are donating 100 percent of the filly’s earnings to Von Rosen to aid in her recovery She currently is undergoing experimental treatment in Puerto Rico . . . Tyler Baze celebrates his 32nd birthday today, while Martin Garcia turns 30 on Thursday . . . Congrats to Clockers’ Corner waiter Roy Franz, who will be 71 next Wednesday but makes the rounds like he’s still in his teens. “He’s the best waiter from Del Mar to Santa Anita,” says hostess Rosie Ybarra.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Saturday, Oct. 18)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||79||10||8||11||13%||$375,072|
|Robert Hess, Jr.||14||4||1||2||29%||$104,230|