- ‘PHAROAH’ HAS POWERFUL DRILL FOR CLASSIC
- TRUMAN FILLY IS NO MICKEY MOUSE RUNNER
- BEHOLDER TO SHIP ON OCT. 19 FOR KENTUCKY
AMERICAN PHAROAH ‘CRUISES’ FOR BC CLASSIC
Triple Crown king American Pharoah worked five furlongs under Martin Garcia on Santa
Anita’s fast main track in 59.80 after the 6:30 a.m. break Saturday in advance of rain forecast Sunday as he prepares for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland Oct. 31.
“He went nice,” said Bob Baffert, who trains the three-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile for Ahmed Zayat. “He went around there like he always does, just cruising. I got him in 59 and two and let him do a little more today.
“He galloped out a strong seventh-eighths. I got him in (one) 12 and two (for six furlongs) and (one) 25 and four (for seven furlongs). He did it the right way. He did it without any effort. He’s right on schedule.
“I was going to work him tomorrow, but we just moved it up a day because of the weather (forecast). I don’t have a ship date right now. I was going to maybe ship him Monday, but we postponed that. We’re going to wait.” Asked if he would ship to Keeneland or Churchill Downs, Baffert said, “We don’t know yet.”
Clocker Toby Turrell of the Yellow Sheet said American Pharoah had “a powerful finish, the last eighth (of a mile) in 11 and three with his ears flapping like he was ready to keep on going all the way to Kentucky.”
BY ANY NAME, MISSY MOUSE RUNS IN CALIFORNIA DISTAFF
What’s in a name? In the case of Missy Mouse, who runs in Sunday’s $100,000 California Distaff Handicap at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf, it’s a well-intentioned mispronouncing of “Mickey Mouse.”
Trainer Eddie Truman explained.
“Howard and Janet Siegel, who own and bred the filly, would take their grandson, Donovan, to Disneyland when he was about four years old, but anytime he saw Mickey Mouse, he said ‘Missy Mouse,” so that was it. The filly was named Missy Mouse.”
A three-year-old chestnut daughter of the late McCann’s Mojave, Missy Mouse will return to a sprint after finishing ninth in a one-mile turf race at Del Mar Sept. 5.
“I had worked her on a muddy track at Del Mar (five furlongs in 1:05 on a sloppy track July 20) and she just didn’t handle that at all,” Truman said. “She ran fourth (by 6 ¼ lengths in the Fleet Treat at seven furlongs July 25), then came back at a mile. That was a mistake.
“I think two turns is too much for her, so going down the hill again will be the key.”
The Distaff is one of a series of races for California-bred or sired fillies and mares.
The field for the Distaff: Missy Mouse, Corey Nakatani, 15-1; Velvet Mesquite, Kent Desormeaux, 3-1; Kiss at Midnight, Alonso Quinonez, 5-1; Chaulk O Lattey, Santiago Gonzalez, 7-2; Our Pure Creation, Fernando Perez, 10-1; Harlington’s Rose, Joe Talamo, 20-1; and Home Journey, Rafael Bejarano, 6-5.
FINISH LINES: Richard Mandella said two-time Eclipse Award champion Beholder would ship to Kentucky on Oct. 19 for the Breeders’ Cup, and still has the $5 million Classic on Oct. 31 as her top priority as opposed to the $2 million Distaff on Oct. 30 . . . Santa Anita Oaks winner Stellar Wind, a candidate for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, worked five furlongs Saturday for John Sadler in 1:00.60 . . . Triple Crown-winning jockey Victor Espinoza also rides at Keeneland today, while Joe Talamo is in New York to ride stakes-winning Appealing Tale for Peter Miller in the Grade II Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park . . . There is a Pick Six carryover into Saturday of $31,579. The total pool should top $250,000 . . . Six-day Jeopardy champ Matt Jackson had no problem coming up with the correct response to this answer Friday night: “The most exciting two minutes in sports happens each May in this city.” Duh, “Louisville,” natch. Jackson has won $166,401 over six consecutive shows, an average of more than $27,733 a day . . . Santa Anita offers special holiday racing next Monday, Oct. 12, Columbus Day. It will also be Dollar Day on track with beers, hot dogs and sodas available at the bargain price of a buck apiece. The feature race will be the $100,000 California Flag Handicap for California-bred or sired horses, age three and up, at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.