- AMERICAN PHAROAH, BEHOLDER GALLOP ALONG
- PAULINA’S LOVE SET FOR AUTUMN MISS STAKES
- GRAHAM IS AT HOME IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
- UNDEFEATED SONGBIRD ‘PERFECT’ IN BC DRILL
BEHOLDER, PHAROAH ON COURSE FOR BC SHOWDOWN
American Pharoah and Beholder galloped along Monday morning as they continue on the road to the Breeders’ Cup Classic in what could be a showdown for Horse of the Year honors in the $5 million race at Keeneland Oct. 31.
Each horse galloped on yet another warm Southern California morning, Beholder going a mile and three-eighths on a fast main track for Richard Mandella, and Pharoah doing his thing for Bob Baffert. Each horse worked last Friday.
Beholder is scheduled to ship to Kentucky a week from today, on Oct. 19, while Baffert has mentioned Oct. 25 or 27 as possible departure dates for the Triple Crown winner.
“He’ll ship a week out,” Baffert said. “He looks good. I’ll continue to see how he does in his gallops.” While Baffert did not reveal a day for Pharoah’s next breeze, it likely would be six or seven days from his last workout, meaning it could be Thursday or Friday, depending on the weather. The forecast calls for a 20 percent chance of rain Thursday or Friday.
“I’m sizing things up; it could be any day,” Mandella said of Beholder’s next work. “It depends on when someone says it’s going to rain. Right now, I’m looking at Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. It’ll be five or six (furlongs). I don’t know.”
BLINKERS OFF PAULINA’S LOVE FOR AUTUMN MISS
Paulina’s Love seeks her first stakes triumph when she runs in next Saturday’s Grade III Autumn Miss Stakes for three-year-old fillies at one mile on turf.
Trainer Richard Baltas plans an equipment change for the Louisiana-bred daughter of Mizzen Mast owned by Kenji Morinaga of Arcadia, who runs as KM Racing Enterprises, Inc.
“She’s doing great, but I think I’m going to take the blinkers off her,” Baltas said. “I tried them for a while but I don’t think she needs them.”
Tyler Baze, who has ridden Paulina’s Love in her last two races, including a third in the Grade II San Clemente Handicap July 19, retains the mount.
Paulina’s Love was seventh of eight after setting the pace in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks at a mile-and-an-eighth on Aug. 15, but in the Autumn Miss cuts back to a mile, a distance at which she has run eight times, winning twice.
“I think a mile suits her better,” Baltas said.
Majestic Heat makes her debut for Richard Mandella in the Autumn Miss after having been transferred by owner Madeline Auerbach.
OVERNIGHT SENSATION GRAHAM AT HOME IN SO CAL
James Graham has been somewhat of an “overnight sensation” since he began riding at Del Mar this summer.
The 37-year-old native of Dublin moved his tack from the Chicago area when he deemed racing there to be “in distress right now, and I just needed a change. Change is better than giving up.”
But why Southern California, one of the most competitive circuits in North America?
“I didn’t want to go to Saratoga and sit in the jocks’ room,” said Graham, whose 13 wins at Del Mar placed him 11th in the standings and included two Grade I victories.
“I’m doing OK here. I left home when I was 15 and started to ride when I was 20 or 21, but only had 86 mounts in Ireland before coming here, and now it’s 2,000 winners later.
“I’m enjoying myself but I don’t get excited about much. I try to maintain an even keel emotionally, but winning two Grade I’s at Del Mar helped get me noticed.
“I’ve never been shy about working hard,” continued Graham, who is represented by agent Brad Pegram, “but I don’t look at this as work. If you enjoy what you do, it’s not work.”
FINISH LINES: Undefeated Chandelier Stakes winner Songbird worked five furlongs after the 6:30 renovation break Monday morning in 1:00.20 under regular rider Mike Smith as she prepares for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on Oct. 30. “Mike had her out in the middle of the track; it went perfect,” said Dan Ward, assistant to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. “Right now the plan is to have two more works here, on the 18th and the 24th, then ship early morning of the 25th.” . . . Santa Anita Derby winner Dortmund and multiple stakes winner Hoppertunity worked for Bob Baffert, Dortmund going four furlongs under Martin Garcia in a bullet 46.20 and Hoppertunity five furlongs in a bullet 59.20. Barretts Juvenile winner Toews On Ice, nominated to next Sunday’s $70,000 Speakeasy Stakes for two-year-olds at six furlongs, went six furlongs for Baffert in 1:13.60. Toews On Ice also is nominated to the Grade II, $200,000 Belmont Futurity at six furlongs the same day . . . Masochistic, ticketed for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, went four furlongs for Ron Ellis in 47.20, breezing . . . With three wins yesterday, Rafael Bejarano opened a14-8 lead over runner-up Santiago Gonzalez in the race for riding honors. Gonzalez won two races Sunday . . .There was one winning ticket in Sunday’s Pick Six, worth $53,867. The ticket was purchased for an as yet unspecified amount through TVG… 7-Up: Horses wearing saddle cloth No. 7 won races two through five Sunday, producing a 50-cent Pick 4 payoff of $151.60 on 820 winning tickets . . . Agent Susan McBrayer has taken the book of Hall of Fame jockey Alex Solis . . . Live racing resumes at Santa Anita at 1 p.m. Thursday with free Grandstand Admission and free general parking.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Sunday, Oct. 11)|
|Drayden Van Dyke||19||3||1||2||16%||$281,470|
|J. Eric Kruljac||13||2||2||2||15%||$59,060|