BALTAS COUNTING DOWN FOR BREEDERS’ CUP
RESTRAINEDVENGENCE POINTING TO DIRT MILE
TRIPOLI BREEZES FOR BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC
BALTAS NOT SITTING ON ‘IDOL’FOR BREEDERS’ CUP
Richard Baltas is counting down to the Breeders’ Cup with Grade I Santa Anita Handicap winner Idol for the Classic and Ginobili for the Dirt Mile, both at Del Mar on Nov. 6.
Idol is coming off a 16-length defeat by front-running Medina Spirit in the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita on Oct. 3 in which he had a wide trip, while Ginobili drew away last out to win the Grade II Pat O’Brien by nearly two lengths on Aug. 28.
Baltas is staunchly on record as saying Idol was in need of the Awesome Again Stakes, his first start in seven months, and that the four-year-old Curlin colt is ideally suited for a mile and a quarter, the distance of both the Big ‘Cap and the BC Classic.
“Idol came out of the race really good,” said Baltas, a 60-year-old native of Gary, Indiana. “I think the pace (in the Awesome Again) was kind of slow but he looks good, he’s been galloping at Santa Anita and I’ll probably breeze him before we ship to Del Mar.
“Ginobili is going in the Dirt Mile. He breezed (six furlongs) in 1:11 and three at San Luis Rey yesterday like nothing. We’re pretty happy with him.”
DIRT MILE ON AGENDA FOR RESTRAINEDVENGENCE
Restrainedvence, the sometimes-irascible cash cow for trainer Val Brinkerhoff and his owners, Bobby Grayson Jr. and Val’s wife, Kelly, will face the most daunting test of his long career when he runs in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar on Nov.6.
“The Mile (on turf) is too tough with the likes of Mo Forza, and the Dirt Mile is coming up light, so that’s where we’re going,” said Brinkerhoff, who has had Restrainedvengence since Day One, running the six-year-old gelded son of Hold Me Back on turf, dirt, synthetic, in sprints and routes from coast to coast.
In 34 career starts, Restrainedvengence has 10 wins, four seconds and three thirds with earnings of $917,682. He worked four furlongs Friday in 50 seconds flat.
“It was an easy breeze,” said Brinkerhoff, who celebrates his 65th birthday next Tuesday, Oct. 19. “He’ll have one more here before we go to Del Mar.”
Edwin Maldonado, who piloted Restrainedvengence to a courageous nose victory as the 13-10 favorite in the $200,000 Downs at Albuquerque Handicap on Sept. 18, will be back aboard in the Dirt Mile. Restrainedvengence won the same race last year by a head under Ruben Fuentes.
Restrainedvengence is a cut below racing’s A-List Thoroughbreds, but on the track he’s all race horse. Anyone who doubts that should watch a replay of his victory in New Mexico.
Winning the Breeders’ Cup would be a fitting fairytale finale.
“The Breeders’ Cup is a big step,” Brinkerhoff allowed, “but we might not get another chance.”
FINISH LINES: TVG Pacific Classic winner Tripoli, a candidate for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, worked four furlongs in 47.40 Monday for John Sadler. It was one of 119 recorded workouts, 22 on the training track . . . In a continuing effort to attract new horses and ensure larger fields, Santa Anita again will offer significant bonuses to horsemen bringing out of state horses to run at San Anita’s upcoming Winter/Spring meet which starts Dec. 26. Eligible horses will receive a $5,000 bonus as well as purse money 35 percent above their allotted purse percentage for one start. Horses that become eligible at the 2021 Del Mar Fall meet will also be eligible for Ship & Win bonuses for their first start at Santa Anita’s Winter/Spring meet. For additional information, please visit Santa Anita’s website or call the Racing Office at 626 574 RACE . . . Santa Anita will be dark for live racing Tuesday through Thursday. Live racing resumes 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15.
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