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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• ‘HOME BOY’ SADLER HOPES TO ROLL ON AT SANTA ANITA
• STEVENS TO RIDE MUCHO MACHO MAN IN AWESOME AGAIN
• OBVIOUSLY WORKS FOR BC MILE REMATCH WITH WISE DAN
• CARACORTADO EYES EDDIE D. STAKES AFTER SMART DRILL
• BC TURF SPRINT QUEEN MIZDIRECTION WORKS ON TURF
SADLER EYES BREEDERS’ CUP AFTER DOMINATING DEL MAR
John Sadler captured more than leading trainer honors at the recent Del Mar meet. The 57-year-old Long Beach native not only exceeded his expectations at the seaside venue by winning 27 races to fend off onrushing Doug O’Neill, who was second with 24 wins, he led in stakes victories with six, purse money earned with $2,487,554, and also trained for brothers Kosta and Pete Hronis, the leading owners in wins (six, which tied them with two other owners) and purse earnings with $625,550.
That’s good news but old news. Now Sadler is at his home base of Santa Anita Park focused on the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which the Great Race Place hosts for the second of three consecutive years on Nov. 1 and 2 and for the seventh time in the 30 years the Breeders’ Cup has generated interest worldwide.
“There wasn’t a category we didn’t lead in at Del Mar, and that included (most) starts (157),” Sadler said as his he prepares his diverse stable for Santa Anita’s stakes-laden 24-day meet that starts next Friday, Sept. 27.
“We had a great meet,” Sadler said. “It was a fun summer, and the thing I really liked was all the horses ran really well as a group. Not only were we winning, we had a lot of seconds and thirds, and that helped increase the earnings.
“My favorite race was probably the Pacific Classic, a race that we didn’t win (Game On Dude rolled to an 8 ½-length triumph), but we ran second and third, and there was no pace in there.”
Del Mar’s main track is a synthetic surface--Polytrack--while Santa Anita’s is traditional dirt. Sadler envisions a successful transition.
“We’re going to be well-represented in Breeders’ Cup prep races right from the start of the meet,” Sadler said, alluding to six Grade I events over the first two weekends. “We have to make choices on which races some horses will go in.
“For sure we’re going with More Chocolate in the Zenyatta, Lady of Shamrock in the Rodeo Drive, Gonna Fly Now in the (Santa Anita) Sprint (Championship), and Vagabond Shoes in the mile and a quarter John Henry (Turf Championship). Those are all definite. Kettle Corn might also go in the John Henry.”
Vagabond Shoes worked seven furlongs on Santa Anita’s firm turf course Friday in 1:27.60.
As to whether the late-running Kettle Corn is also under consideration for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at 1 ¼ miles on dirt Nov. 2, Sadler said, “Last year he was fourth here to Obviously (in the Mile), but he’s been running further distances this year, so he’ll probably go in the mile and a quarter.”
Asked if he was comfortable with Santa Anita hosting the Breeders’ Cup again, Sadler’s answer was like the anticipated track conditions on opening day: fast and firm.
“It should be here all the time,” he said.
STEVENS RIDES MUCHO MACHO MAN IN AWESOME AGAIN
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens will ride 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up Mucho Macho Man in the Grade I, Win and You’re In Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita a week from Saturday, Sept. 28, agent Craig O’Bryan said Friday.
Mucho Macho Man is ticketed for a return engagement in the $5 million Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 2, should all go well.
Absent from the races since Aug. 3 when he finished third in the Grade I Whitney Handicap at Saratoga, Mucho Macho Man is scheduled to work five furlongs at 6:30 Saturday morning on Santa Anita’s main track, trainer Kathy Ritvo said.
A 5-year-old bay horse by Macho Uno, Mucho Macho Man has a 6-5-6 record from 21 career starts, with earnings of $2,440,410. He was beaten a half-length by Fort Larned in a stirring stretch duel in last year’s Classic at Santa Anita.
STREAKING OBVIOUSLY PREPARES FOR MILE REMATCH WITH WISE DAN
Wise Dan is the horse to beat in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, obviously. Or should that be, Obviously?
Obviously, the horse, is trained by Mike Mitchell, who plans to take on reigning Horse of the Year and defending Mile champion Wise Dan in this year’s edition, Nov. 2 at Santa Anita, after finishing third to the champ in last year’s Mile. As is his wont, Obviously set the pace until late in the race and was beaten just two lengths.
“This (main) track has been super for him,” Mitchell said of the 5-year-old Irish-bred gelding, who has won his last three races, the Grade II American Handicap, the Grade I Shoemaker Mile and the Grade II Del Mar Mile. “He’s been hitting the ground really well.”
Obviously’s half-length victory under 125 pounds as the 3-10 favorite in the Del Mar Mile came on Aug. 25, his first start in two months. “We didn’t stop on him because of a leg problem or anything,” Mitchell said. “We just freshened him up.
“He’s put some serious weight on and he’s training super. I’m not excited about running against Wise Dan, but that said, I’m not going anywhere.”
Obviously is scheduled to work five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track tomorrow morning under regular rider Joe Talamo, just back from New Orleans in his native state of Louisiana.
Obviously is nearing millionaire status. With a 9-4-2 record from 16 starts, he has earned $968,361.
CARACORTADO SET FOR RETURN AFTER TWO-YEAR ABSENCE
Caracortado, away from the races almost two years while recovering from an ailment to his right front hoof, worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s fast main track Friday morning in 1:13.80 under Mary Donald, assistant to trainer Mike Machowsky.
Machowsky plans to enter Caracortado in the Grade III Eddie D. Stakes, opening day feature at The Great Race Place a week from today, Sept. 27. Entries for the opening day card will be taken this Tuesday.
Caracortado worked in company with stablemate Born Lucky, a filly who was clocked in 1:14.40.
“Caracortado went great,” said Machowsky, who is part owner of the 6-year-old California-bred gelding, unraced since Jan. 8, 2012. “He galloped out good and went the last three-eighths in 35 and two.”
FINISH LINES: Workers on Santa Anita’s firm turf course Friday morning included 2012 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Mizdirection for trainer Mike Puype, and promising Irish import Clenor, unbeaten in two U.S. grass starts for Doug O’Neill, who has her targeted for the $100,000 Surfer Girl Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at one mile on turf Oct. 6. “Awesome” is how Puype termed the work by Mizdirection, who will train “straight up” to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint against the boys on Nov. 2 . . . “Clenor just cruised around there,” said O’Neill, who had jockey Joe Steiner aboard for the drill . . .Oceanside Stakes winner Gervinho, second in the Grade I Del Mar Derby, breezed five furlongs on turf in 1:00.80 for Carla Gaines, while multiple stakes winner Wilkinson went a half on grass in 50 flat for Jeff Mullins…Agent Tony Matos said Garrett Gomez will ride New Years’s Day for Bob Baffert in the Grade I, Win and You’re In FrontRunner Stakes for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on Sept. 28 . . . Agent Susan McBrayer will represent journeyman riders Aaron Gryder and Kevin Krigger this meet.