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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• BAFFERT BREEDERS’ CUP WORKERS BOUNTIFUL ON SUNDAY
• GOMEZ AT HOME WITH HIS BREEDERS’ CUP MOUNTS
• THERE’S ROOM AT THE INN FOR BREEDERS’ CUP RIDERS
• VETERAN TRAINER ROLLINS PASSES AT 92
‘DUDE’ HEADS BREEDERS’ CUP WORKERS FOR BAFFERT
Breeders’ Cup Classic favorite Game On Dude worked seven furlongs under regular rider Rafael Bejarano on Santa Anita’s conventional dirt track Sunday morning in 1:25 for next Saturday’s $5 million World Championship event at 1 ¼ miles.
Game On Dude, who worked in company with Blueskiesnrainbows (six furlongs in 1:13.60), was one of 12 Baffert horses on Sunday’s work tab.
Others in their final major drills for their Breeders’ Cup engagements next Friday and Saturday included Sprint contenders Coil and Capital Account, one-two finishers in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship, four furlongs in 48.20 and 48.60, respectively; Fast Bullet (Sprint), four furlongs in 48.20; Power Broker (Juvenile), ridden by Bejarano, in company with Title Contender (Juvenile), each a bullet 59 flat for five furlongs.
Also, Fed Biz (Dirt Mile), four furlongs in 48 flat, breezing; and Contested (Filly & Mare Sprint), six furlongs in a bullet 1:11.40.
“He worked like he’s been working right along,” Baffert said matter-of-factly of Game On Dude, owned in part by baseball icon Joe Torre. “It was his last workout (before the Classic). So far, so good.
“Coil and Capital Account went really nice; Fast Bullet went real nice, and Power Broker went real nice with Title Contender. Contested worked really fast early but I didn’t think she was going that fast.”
Baffert said he was satisfied with how his Breeders’ Cup candidates were doing at the moment, but cautioned, “a lot can happen in a week.”
In other Breeders’ Cup news:
Unbeaten My Miss Aurelia (Ladies’ Classic) worked four furlongs for Steve Asmussen in 48 seconds, breezing. “Very happy, very excited” is how the trainer summed up the move.
Juniper Pass (Marathon) worked five furlong for trainer Ray Bell in 1:00.60, while Monument (Juvenile) went six furlongs for John Sadler in 1:13.20.
Turf workers at Santa Anita Sunday included Bridgetown (Turf Sprint) and Doubles Partner (Mile) for Todd Pletcher, four furlongs in the identical time of 46.80; California Flag (Turf Sprint), four furlongs under Joe Talamo in a bullet 46.20 for Brian Koriner; and Tale of a Champion (Turf Sprint), four furlongs in 47 flat for Kristin Mulhall.
Bourbon Bay was declared from the Turf by trainer Neil Drysdale.
Know More, pre-entered in the Juvenile and the Juvenile Turf, will run in the Juvenile Turf, trainer Doug O’Neill said.
Amazombie’s fourth in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 6 was the worst finish in his last 18 starts. The defending Breeders’ Cup Sprint king had never been worse than third in 17 straight races prior to that, winning nine and being disqualified from a 10th when he was moved from first to third in the Los Angeles Handicap in May of 2011.
Since a maiden victory in her first start on Dec. 13, 2009, the John Sadler-trained Switch (Filly & Mare Sprint) has run in stakes races 22 straight times, 13 of them Grade I’s, winning two and earning more than $1.3 million for owners Lee and Susan Searing (CRK Stable).
Friday’s local weather update calls for partly cloudy skies, a high of 76 degrees and a 10 percent chance of rain. Saturday: sunny with a high of 81.
BREEDERS’ CUP DRAW MONDAY TELEVISED LIVE ON HRTV
HRTV will televise live Monday the post position draw for the 29th Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita next Friday and Saturday.
At 1 p.m. Pacific Time, 13 of the 15 Breeders’ Cup races will be drawn. At a separate ceremony at 4 p.m., the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic and the Breeders’ Cup Classic will be drawn.
GOMEZ HOPES FOR ANOTHER BREEDERS’ CUP ‘GRAND SLAM’
Garrett Gomez is no stranger to winning Breeders’ Cup races, especially at Santa Anita. The 40-year-old Tucson native has 12 such victories overall on his growing and glowing resume, including four in 2008 and one in 2009 when the World Championship events were held at The Great Race Place.
Gomez hit a “Grand Slam” in 2008, winning the Dirt Mile on Albertus Maximus, the Sprint on Midnight Lute, the Juvenile aboard Midshipman and the Filly & Mare Sprint on Ventura. In 2009, he won the Ladies’ Classic on Life Is Sweet.
Among his mounts this year are probable favorite Beholder, a filly that would be running against males in the Juvenile Sprint; talented 3-year-old Jimmy Creed in the Sprint, both trained by Richard Mandella; and Richard’s Kid for trainer Doug O’Neill in the Classic.
Additionally, agent Tony Matos has booked Gomez on the following Breeders’ Cup horses: Grassy (Marathon); Switch (F&M Sprint); Marketing Mix (F&M Turf); Reneesgotzip (F&M Turf Sprint/F&M Sprint); Slim Shadey (Turf); and Jeranimo (Mile).
Gomez was happy with Beholder and Jimmy Creed after he worked them recently. “Both went really well,” he said. “They sat off of other horses and kind of cruised. Both have good races coming into the Breeders’ Cup. Richard wasn’t looking for hard works for them but both worked very well.”
Gomez was not overly concerned about Beholder facing males. “It doesn’t matter,” he reasoned. “When they’re this young, and when you look at some of the Beyer numbers on the fillies, they’re faster than the colts. This time of year, I don’t think it makes much of a difference.
“For me, it’s nice to ride at Santa Anita when my home is so close by. I enjoy being here for the Breeders’ Cup, and I had a couple lucky years here, too. Hopefully, I’ll have one of those four-baggers again.”
Added O’Neill: “Garrett is a great rider. He’s got ice in his veins, and I love the fact that he’s ridden Richard’s Kid for me once (to a third-place finish in the Awesome Again Stakes) and he’s gotten a chance to know him. Having a big-race rider like Garrett in the biggest race of the year, on a horse he’s already ridden and knows, I couldn’t ask for a better scenario.”
TRIO OF EUROPEAN TEAM FLIGHTS ARRIVED SATURDAY
Three flights carrying European-trained horses entered to run in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships next Friday and Saturday at Santa Anita arrived in Los Angeles on Saturday, and one more shipment is due Monday.
First to arrive Saturday around 12 noon was a private charter from England with four runners owned by Dubai’s Maktoum family that originated from Stanstead Airport near London.
Next to arrive was a flight from Luxembourg with French-trained contenders early evening after a refueling stop in Winnipeg, Canada, and another flight touching down soon after from Stanstead with English-trained runners as well as one for Irish-based trainer Dermot Weld.
The fourth and final flight from Europe due Monday will be a private charter from Ireland with the Coolmore team eight strong trained by Aidan O’Brien, led by defending 2011 Breeders’ Cup Turf hero St Nicholas Abbey and Excelebration, one of the favorites for the Mile.
SANTA ANITA READY FOR INVASION OF RIDERS FOR BREEDERS’ CUP
Charlie McCaul could hang up a “No Vacancy” sign outside Santa Anita’s jockeys’ room next Friday and Saturday.
That’s when Santa Anita hosts the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for the sixth time, so the assistant clerk of scales who directs operations amid the hubbub in the room where the riders reside on race days pretty much has it down to a science when it comes to accommodations for visitors, so panic is not in his mindset.
“Normally, we’ll have 15 to 20 riders in the room,” said McCaul, with any one valet taking care of the needs of up to as many as five riders on a given day. “But for the Breeders’ Cup, we have to make sure one valet doesn’t have too many jockeys.
“If one valet has eight guys and another three, then one valet will be overwhelmed, so I have to make certain there is balance but also see that every jockey is well taken care of.
“On Breeders’ Cup days, we could have as many as 30 riders in the room, but we’ve been through it before, so this is nothing new.”
VETERAN TRAINER LYMAN ROLLINS DIES AT 92
Veteran trainer Lyman Rollins, who won the 1992 California Cup Sprint with Answer Do, passed away at the age of 92 at his home north of Phoenix, Az. this past Friday evening, according to longtime family friend Barkley Porter.
“He apparently had had a full day and just went to sleep while sitting at his kitchen table,” said Porter. “There was no warning and he went all of a sudden.”
A 13-time leading trainer at the now-shuttered Centennial Park in Littleton, Colo., Rollins began training in the early 1940s.
A member of the Nebraska Racing Hall of Fame and a no-nonsense horsemen, Rollins responded thusly when asked following his Cal Cup victory if he regretted gelding Answer Do as a yearling: “Oh no, he’s a good gelding.”
In addition to his 1992 Cal Cup victory, Answer Do also won three consecutive runnings of the Hollywood Turf Express at Hollywood Park, in 1990, ’91 and ‘92. The son of To-Agori-Mou retired with earnings of $792,855.
According to Porter, a viewing for Lyman Rollins will be held Friday, Nov. 2, and a funeral service will be held on Saturday, in the Phoenix area.
FINISH LINES: With Joe Talamo 12 in front of runner-up Rafael Bejarano in the jockey standings with only five racing days left, the 22-year-old Louisiana native appears on his way to his first Southern California riding title. If so, Talamo will be the first jockey other than Bejarano or Joel Rosario to win a title on the circuit since Betfair Hollywood Park’s fall meet in 2007, when Garrett Gomez won . . . Corey Nakatani took off his lone scheduled mount Sunday after Polytechnicien was scratched from the Lure Stakes. “He was supposed to work a lot of horses this morning,” agent Brian Beach said, “but he called me at 5 a.m. with a 104 temperature.” Through Saturday, Nakatani had nine wins from 43 mounts for an impressive 21 percent win average . . . Agent Joe Griffin reports that apprentice Eswan Flores, currently working horses to get riding fit after serving a 60-day suspension, is scheduled to resume riding on Nov. 10 at Betfair Hollywood Park . . . George Ouzounian of North Hollywood became the eighth fan to win with his selection in the CashCall $1,000 to Win Contest Saturday. He picked Turn On the Brites and collected $1,600 on the $3.20 winner . . . Edward Hill won $3,000 by capturing first place in ShowVivor, ahead of Frank Baecher ($1,500 for second) and Faris Alsheikh ($500 for third). “I made it when Playful Humor ran third in yesterday’s first race,” said the 53-year-old Hill, a resident of Temple City who works at the USC Medical Center. “I’ve been playing horses since I was 18. It was great fun being in the contest. I was pretty lucky to last that long.”