Arriving at Santa Anita moments before a magenta sunrise that would have inspired van

Gogh, California Chrome nestled in comfortably at Barn 56 Sunday morning after an uneventful trip from his Los Alamitos headquarters and with less than a week to prepare for perhaps the most important race of his career, the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic next Saturday.

“He travels great,” said Alan Sherman, a trainer in his own right who rides shotgun for his father and the 3-year-old colt’s trainer, Art Sherman. “The horse worked yesterday so he walked today, jogs tomorrow, gallops into the race from there and we’ll school him in the paddock Thursday and Friday morning.

“You couldn’t ask for anything more from yesterday’s work (five furlongs in 59.60 at Los Alamitos). It was probably the best work I’ve ever seen him have.”

Unbeaten 3-year-old Shared Belief is also Classic-bound, with Horse of the Year and male Three-Year-Old of the Year potentially on the line, but a victory for California Chrome could have even further significance–as a stallion. Shared Belief is a gelding. Nuff said.

“I don’t know what the future holds beyond this race,” Sherman said. “I read the other day on Facebook from (co-owner/breeder) Perry Martin that he was going to retire him if he doesn’t run well. If it were up to me, I’d run him as a 4-year-old.”

Whatever the scenario, Alan Sherman has enjoyed the ride with his 77-year-old father, the oldest trainer ever to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.

“It’s been awesome,” Alan said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”

Ditto for Art, as this interview excerpt from the August-September issue of AARP magazine attests: “Do younger rivals give this great-grandpa guff about his age?” ‘Are you kidding?’ he asks. ‘They’d love to know what I know.’ . . . In life, ‘You never know what’s going to happen. Just keep your head down and keep going.'”

In other Breeders’ Cup news:

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile favorite American Pharoah worked five furlongs in company for Bob Baffert in a minute flat under Martin Garcia. Workmate Lamu was timed in 1:01.40.

Baffert also sent Bayern (Classic) five furlongs in company with Garcia up in 59.80. Workmate American Pride was clocked in 1:00.20.

Alfredo Velazquez plans a slower work Monday for two-time Vosburgh Invitational winner Private Zone ($1.5 million Expressbet Sprint) than the 1:09.40 from the gate he recorded Oct. 18.

“He’s doing real well,” the trainer said. “He’ll work maybe a half (mile). The last work, he went a little too fast, so Monday I’ll try to go as slow as he can, because he’s ready.” Regular rider Martin Pedroza will be aboard for the work.

Committed front-runner Obviously is razor sharp for the $2 million Mile after a bullet five furlong turf work Saturday in 58.40.

“It was a really nice drill; he gave us the green light,” trainer Phil D’Amato said Sunday morning. “He did it with ease and he’s really sharp this morning. He’s feeling good, so (it’s) kind of mission accomplished.”

Chandelier winner Angela Renee (Juvenile Fillies) worked four furlongs in company with Saint Dermot, going in identical time of 51.20.

Little Alexis (Filly & Mare Sprint) worked four furlongs in a bullet 45.40 for trainer Carlo Vaccarezza, while Majestic Harbor (Classic) went the same distance in 48.60 for Sean McCarthy, who termed the move “perfect; just right.”

West Virginia Derby winner Tapiture (Dirt Mile) went four furlongs in 50.40, while Kentucky Oaks queen Untapable (Distaff) went the same distance in 50.60. Trainer Steve Asmussen said he was “extremely pleased.” Fast Anna (Sprint) worked five furlongs for Kathy Ritvo in a bullet 57 flat.

On Santa Anita’s firm turf course, Reneesgotzip (Turf Sprint) went four furlongs under Edwin Maldonado in 48.40 for Peter Miller; Silentio (Turf Sprint) five furlongs in 1:00.80 for Gary Mandella, and Tom’s Tribute (Mile) five furlongs in 1:00.80 for Jim Cassidy.

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas and two of his most successful disciples, Todd Pletcher and Dallas Stewart, all have their Breeders’ Cup horses bedded down under the same shed row at Santa Anita, Barn 89.

Trainer Christophe Clement reports that his horses will ship Tuesday from the East Coast to Santa Anita for their Breeders’ Cup engagements.

Dale Romans won’t be riding overweight during his Breeders’ Cup stint at Santa Anita. The trainer is 70 pounds lighter than when he was here last year, matching the weight loss of fellow trainer Tom Proctor.

“It’s nothing formal,” Romans said. “We’re good friends and we started losing weight together. I just watch what I eat now; it’s better for my health.”



Reports of Beholder’s retirement have been greatly exaggerated.

With owner B. Wayne Hughes calling an audible, the two-time Eclipse Award-winning filly will not be on the block at the Fasig-Tipton Sale on Nov. 3 and instead will remain with Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella for the time being as she recovers fully from a fever that forced her out of $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff next Friday.

“We are so happy to announce that Beholder will resume training once she recovers from her recent illness,” Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm tweeted late Saturday.

Added Ned Toffey, general manager of Spendthrift: “Beholder continues to recover, and while her fever is down and she’s acting much better, veterinarian Jeff Blea of Von Bluecher, Blea and Hunkin in California has advised us not to ship her cross country right now.”

Asked what input he had in the decision, Mandella said, “Well, the input was her own. She got pretty sick, and the risk of having her get sick again from the stress of shipping (to Kentucky) was just too much to chance, so Mr. Hughes decided to keep her and run her again.

“She’s doing very well now. She’ll be here for a while but eventually we plan to send her to a farm to recover further before bringing her back to the track.”



Santa Anita hosts the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for the third consecutive year next Friday and Saturday, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. The two-day event includes live music, star sightings and the best Thoroughbreds worldwide vying for $26 million in prize money.

General admission tickets are $10 in advance online or $15 at the gate on Friday, and $25 in advance online or $40 at the gate Saturday. For access to infield only, admission on Friday is $5 and on Saturday $10, both available only via Gate 6 on Colorado Place.

In addition, City of Arcadia residents with ID and children under 14 are admitted free to the infield only on Friday.


FINISH LINES: Santa Anita has live racing Wednesday, Oct. 29, the start of Breeders’ Cup week which climaxes next Friday and Saturday with the 31st championship event offering $26 million in purse money for 13 races, four Friday and nine Saturday. First post time Wednesday is 1 p.m. . . . Congratulations to former jockey and current turf writer for The Province in Vancouver, British Columbia, Tom Wolski, who recently was voted into the British Columbia Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Wolski will be inducted on Dec. 4 . . . Eltoninadress, 7-5 morning line favorite in today’s first race, has been claimed eight times from his last 12 starts . . . Former agent Ivan Puhich, sharp of mind and spirit although hobbled with a walker from recent hip surgery, was a visitor at Clockers’ Corner Sunday. “The first 100 years are the toughest,” said the gritty ex-Marine, who celebrates his 88th birthday on Dec. 22. “I never thought I’d be here when I was with the 6th Marine Division on Okinawa in 1945. We were a nation at that time.”


(Current Through Saturday, Oct. 25)        
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won  
Rafael Bejarano 110 22 19 26 20% $1,232,444  
Joseph Talamo 104 18 18 15 17% $1,082,590  
Tyler Baze 123 15 19 9 12% $742,644  
Elvis Trujillo 102 15 12 11 15% $825,782  
Drayden Van Dyke 103 13 12 13 13% $496,582  
Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won  
Jerry Hollendorfer 53 10 10 8 19% $772,104  
John Sadler 43 9 7 5 21% $401,080  
Bob Baffert 40 8 4 3 20% $683,206  
Leandro Mora 32 8 4 1 25% $284,540  
Peter Miller 54 7 8 5 13% $394,892