Bob Baffert seeks to add to his record of three Breeders’ Cup Classic wins–all consecutive–with West Coast and McKinzie in this year’s edition of the $6 million event at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3.

Towards that end, the two-time Triple Crown-winning trainer worked both horses Sunday morning at Santa Anita, West Coast going five furlongs in company with Lookie Loo, receiving a clocking of 59.40 with a six furlong gallop out of 1:12 under jockey Drayden Van Dyke at 9 a.m., while McKinzie, who had not had a recorded workout since winning the Pennsylvania Derby at Parx on Sept. 22, went six furlongs in a bullet 1:12, with Joe Talamo up at 7:45.

“McKinzie went nice, I’m very happy with his work,” said Baffert, who won the Classic with Bayern in 2014, American Pharoah in 2015 and Arrogate in 2016. “He’s doing very well.”

West Coast, second to Breeders’ Cup Classic favorite Accelerate in the Sept. 29 Awesome Again Stakes, his first start in six months, understandably might have needed the race and should benefit.

“He came out of it really well,” Baffert said. “I didn’t have a choice but to run him in the Awesome Again. I had to do something. I couldn’t just bring him up to that race on works. He’s happy and he’s training well.”

In addition to Accelerate, who went four furlongs for John Sadler in 47.80 and galloped out in 1:01.20 under assistant trainer Juan Leyva, Sadler sent out two other Breeders’ Cup candidates: Dirt Mile favorite Catalina Cruiser (six furlongs in a bullet 1:12 with a gallop out of 1:25.20 under Van Dyke); and Selcourt (Filly & Mare Sprint, six furlongs with Van Dyke up in 1:12.80).

“He’s going to go further the next two weekends, so it was a good work,” Sadler said of Accelerate, who missed his scheduled breeze Saturday when the main track was closed due to rain. “We were off one day on our timing because of the weather, but he worked really nice. I couldn’t be happier.”

Added Baffert of his prime competition in the Classic: “I think Accelerate looked better today than he has.”

Trainer Michael McCarthy sent multiple Grade I winner City of Light (Dirt Mile, Classic) four furlongs in 50 flat; Liam the Charmer (Turf) also four furlongs, in 48.40; and Vibrance (Juvenile Fillies) the same distance in the same time, 48.40.

How times have changed: when Wild Again won the initial Breeders’ Cup Classic under Pat Day for trainer Vincent Timphony in 1984, the purse was $3 million. In 2016 it doubled to $6 million, where it stands today.

West Coast’s work (XBTV video)

McKinzie’s work (XBTV video)

Accelerate’s work (XBTV video)



For the 10th consecutive racing day, Santa Anita’s popular 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot went unsolved Saturday, resulting in a Jackpot carryover into Sunday of $450,619.30.

Due to significant overnight rains, there was no turf racing Saturday at Santa Anita, contributing to 16 scratches in the Rainbow Six, which was comprised of races five through 10.  With no rain forecast Sunday, races are expected to be run on both the main track and turf.

There were 134 winning tickets in Saturday’s Rainbow Pick Six, each worth $827.80.

With a nine-race card today, the 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six will be comprised of races four through nine. Approximate post time for the fourth race is 2:11 p.m. PT.



What began in March of 1990 will draw to a close at Fairplex Park this Tuesday, as Barretts Equine Sales will conduct their Fall Yearling and Horses of All Ages Sale beginning at 11 a.m.

“This is the last hoorah for Barretts and we plan to go out with guns blazing,” said Kim Lloyd, longtime Barretts General Manager, from his office at Fairplex this morning. “It’s been a great run and we’ve been an important part of the industry here in California for more than 29 years, but things change.  We were elated to see Bob Baffert’s first time starter, Cruel Intention, win yesterday’s fourth race at Santa Anita. He was one of the top colts ($200,000) in our April 2-year-old sale and I think he might be a ‘breakout’ horse for Smiling Tiger, who’s already a top sire here in California.

“This colt looked the part in April and it was nice to see him show it on the racetrack yesterday. We’ve got all the horses on the grounds now and people are here today inspecting a good many of them. With supplements, we’ve got 250 yearlings catalogued and a lot are Cal-breds. We’ve got broodmares, many of them in foal and we’ve got a few weanlings as well.

“Like I say, it’s been a great run and we’ve enjoyed every minute of it.  We’re looking forward to seeing a lot of good friends over the next couple days and we’re looking forward to having a solid sale here on Tuesday.”


Axelrod and Liam the Charmer (McCarthy) 

Selcourt (Sadler)

Catalina Cruiser (Sadler)

Gunmetal Gray and Mo Dinero (Hollendorfer)

FINISH LINES: Also working Sunday for Bob Baffert was venerable multi-millionaire Hoppertunity, who went six furlongs in company with Dabster, each clocked in 1:12.80 . . . Martin Garcia, looking fit and formidable, was back working horses this morning and ready to resume his riding career after recovering from a training mishap on Oct. 22 . . . Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, whose mounts have earned more than $282 million in his stellar career, 14 career wins shy of 6,000, standing at 5,986 . . . Flavien Prat, who leads Drayden Van Dyke, 11-9, in Santa Anita’s jockey standings, rides Richard’s Boy for  leading trainer Peter Miller in Saturday’s $100,000 California Flag Handicap at five furlongs on turf. Also expected in the Golden State Series event for Caifornia-breds is Eddie Haskell, with Geovanni Franco . . . Gary Stevens rides Sparky Ville for Jeff Bonde in next Sunday’s $70,000 Sunny Slope Stakes for two-year-olds at 6 ½ furlongs . . . If You Like It, 2-1 morning line favorite in today’s third race, has been claimed in her last four races, although the latest one was voided. Trained by Andrew Lerner, the seven-year-old California-bred daughter of First Samurai has 11 wins from 39 starts . . . Santa Anita will be dark for live racing Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, but be open for simulcast wagering Wednesday in the Paddock Room, with free general admission and parking. Admission gates open at 10 a.m. Live racing resumes Thursday, Oct. 18, at 1 p.m.

(Current Through Saturday, Oct. 13)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won
Flavien Prat 51 11 12 7 22% 59% $954,926
Drayden Van Dyke 41 9 9 6 22% 59% $592,900
Assael Espinoza 57 8 5 0 14% 23% $196,825
Gary Stevens 27 8 2 4 30% 52% $415,522
Tiago Pereira 38 7 2 7 18% 42% $311,744
Rafael Bejarano 43 6 5 6 14% 40% $257,423
Mike Smith 14 6 3 1 43% 71% $283,415
Joseph Talamo 34 5 5 6 15% 47% $410,430
Heriberto Figueroa 22 5 0 4 23% 41% $104,185
Trainer Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won
Peter Miller 34 10 8 5 29% 68% $670,716
Doug O’Neill 37 7 6 5 19% 49% $315,733
Jerry Hollendorfer 34 7 3 3 21% 38% $521,535
Bob Baffert 17 6 2 1 35% 53% $596,750
Richard Baltas 33 4 7 4 12% 45% $244,870
Michael McCarthy 17 4 4 2 24% 59% $350,590
Robert Hess, Jr. 13 4 1 1 31% 46% $84,715
Philip D’Amato 23 3 2 3 13% 35% $223,665
Simon Callaghan 10 3 1 1 30% 50% $272,425
J. Keith Desormeaux 19 3 1 0 16% 21% $90,145