- TRIPLE CROWN ACE AMERICAN PHAROAH GALLOPS
- STEADY TALCO SET FOR SUNDAY’S CITY OF HOPE
- MASOCHISTIC FIRES BULLET FOR SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIP
AMERICAN PHAROAH GALLOPS, TO WORK SUNDAY
American Pharoah, Thoroughbred racing’s first Triple Crown winner in 37 years,
galloped a mile and a half for the third straight day Saturday morning as the three-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile prepares for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland on Oct. 31, his final start before being retired to stud.
Under jockey Martin Garcia, trainer Bob Baffert plans to work American Pharoah at 6:30 Sunday morning at a distance yet to be determined.
BREEDERS’ CUP-BOUND TALCO SHARP FOR CITY OF HOPE MILE
Talco has been nothing if not consistent since coming in from France last year, winning three of his nine starts in the U.S., including the Grade I Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita in June, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge victory that gives him a fees-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland Oct. 31.
Next up: Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 City of Hope Mile on turf.
“We’re looking for another good effort,” said John Sadler, who trains the 4-year-old French-bred son of Pivotal for the brothers Hronis, Peter and Kosta. “He’ll be meeting the same horse that beat him a half-length in the Del Mar Mile (Avanzare), but all Talco’s races have been good.
“He was a bit unlucky at Del Mar with a slow pace and a wide trip, but he’s ready to go.”
Talco, a committed stretch runner, has been victimized by slow starts in at least five of his races in North America, but the chestnut is a gem of consistency, with a 5-5-3 record from 16 starts and earnings of $531,123.
The field for the City of Hope: Poshky, James Graham, 12-1; Hot Hot Seat, Tyler Baze, 20-1; Big Cazanova, Kent Desormeaux, 15-1; Silentio, Mike Smith, 15-1; Twentytwentyvision, Victor Espinoza, 5-1; Talco, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2; Avanzare, Gary Stevens, 3-1; Big Bane Theory, Joe Talamo, 5-1; and Alert Bay, Martin Garcia, 4-1.
FINISH LINES: Masochistic, prepping for next Saturday’s Grade I Santa Anita SprintChampionship at six furlongs, worked six furlongsunder Tyler Baze Saturday in a bullet 1:11.20, fastest of 14 drills at the distance, the average time of which was 1:14.54. “Phenomenal” is how trainer Ron Ellis termed the move by Masochistic, who won the Grade I Triple Bend at Santa Anita on June 27 before running second to Wild Dude in the Grade I Bing Crosby at Del Mar July 26 . . . J. Paul Reddam‘s Ralis, winner of the Grade I Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga Sept. 7, worked five furlongs at Santa Anita Saturday in 1:01.60 under jockey Mario Gutierrez. Ralis, a two-year-old California-bred son of Square Eddie, is ticketed for Saturday’s Grade I Champagne Stakes going a one turn mile at Belmont Park, where he will be ridden by Javier Castellano, who was aboard for a 5 ¾-length Hopeful romp at seven furlongs. “He worked great,” trainer Doug O’Neill said. “If he’s great tomorrow, he’ll fly out Wednesday (Sept. 30) for New York.” . . . After Sunday’s fifth race, Santa Anita will hold a brief “welcome back” ceremony for its world-class jockeys in the walking ring east of the Seabiscuit statue. Each rider will be introduced, after which they will pose for an Autumn Meet jockey colony photo . . . Tomorrow, Santa Anita hosts both a Latin Music Festival featuring Lupillo Rivera, and a certified Farmers’ Market in its spacious Infield from 12 noon to 5 p.m., with free parking and free admission. Fresh produce, local foods and artisans will be available . . . Congratulations to jockey Fernando Perez and his agent, Tommy Ball, on capturing the riding title at the 10-day Los Alamitos meet that ended Friday. Perez won 15 races . . . In a racing rarity, Santa Anita today has horses running conditioned by five trainers who have won the Kentucky Derby: Bob Baffert (Silver Charm, 1997; Real Quiet, 1998; War Emblem, 2002; and American Pharoah, 2015); Neil Drysdale (Fusaichi Pegasus, 2000); Graham Motion (Animal Kingdom, 2011); Doug O’Neill (I’ll Have Another, 2012); and Art Sherman (California Chrome, 2014).