A bevy of blueblood talent bent on winning Breeders’ Cup races was out en masse on a spectacular Sunday morning at Santa Anita, among the most prominent of them undefeated Breeders’ Cup Juvenile favorite Bolt d’Oro.
The $630,000 two-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro, under regular rider Corey Nakatani, went five furlongs at the 7:45 a.m. break in 1:01.40.
“I thought it was great,” said owner/trainer Mick Ruis. “Corey knows the horse, and like everyone says, you don’t win the race in the morning. It looked like he got something out of it, but not much.
“He’s not even breathing (hard). He turned around like he was just on a gallop, so I’m happy; real happy.”
Ruis, who owns Bolt d’Oro with his wife, Wendy, said the bay colt that won the Sept. 30 FrontRunner Stakes by 7 ¾ lengths would breeze another five-eighths at Santa Anita next Sunday, walk here the next day, then “take him down there” for the Juvenile to be run Nov. 4.
Breeders’ Cup Classic contender West Coast worked in company with Hoppertunity, who is ticketed for next Saturday’s $70,000 Comma to the Top Stakes at a flat mile on dirt.
Drayden Van Dyke was aboard West Coast for Sunday’s drill, while Martin Garcia rode Hoppertunity, who has not raced since finishing sixth behind victorious stablemate Arrogate in the Dubai World Cup last March 25.
“The mile (of the Comma to the Top) is a little too short for him,” trainer Bob Baffert allowed, “but I’ve got to do something with him.
“West Coast went nice. He just sat behind Hoppertunity (on the outside) and they finished up together, so the plan worked. It was a good work for him.”
Baffert also breezed multiple Grade I winner Abel Tasman (Distaff) seven furlongs from the gate under Mike Smith, in company with Leading Score. Abel Tasman was clocked in 1:25.60; Leading Score got 1:13.40 for six furlongs.
“She went really well,” Baffert said of Abel Tasman, who was upset by It Tiz Well in the Grade I Cotillion at Parx after rushing up on her own prematurely approaching the backstretch.
“I’m really happy,” Baffert said of her breeze. “For some reason, in her last two races, she was a little bit confused but we got her in a nice gate drill today.
“She just sat back there like she has done before. She was getting in a bad habit of getting in the bit and running up, but she broke like a shot today.”
In other Breeders’ Cup news:
Midnight Storm (Dirt Mile) and Ransom the Moon (Sprint) each worked five furlongs in the identical time of 1:00.20 for Phil D’Amato, who called the drills “great.”
Hunt (Turf) worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s firm turf course for D’Amato in 1:13.40.
Multiple graded stakes winner Goodyearforroses, originally scheduled to work on the turf, went four furlongs on the main track in 47.20 for Richard Baltas, who, with two wins Saturday, took an 8-7 lead over Peter Miller in the race for leading trainer with five racing days left in the Autumn Meet.

FINISH LINES: Phil D’Amato plans to work Spin Me a Kiss Monday for Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Autumn Miss Stakes for three-year-old fillies at a mile on turf. “Our plans are to run,” the trainer said of the consistent daughter of Hard Spun owned by Francie Nilforushan. “She won twice going two turns down at Del Mar and I think this should be a nice spot. She has a lot of tactical speed and that’s what you need on this turf course.” Probable for the Autumn Miss: Beautiful Becca, Mario Gutierrez; I’m Betty G, no rider; Kathy’s Song, no rider; Lull, no rider; Meadowsweet, Evin Roman; Reverse, Drayden Van Dyke; Sandy’s Surprise, no rider; Spin Me a Kiss, Edwin Maldonado; Storm the Hill, no rider; and Tapped, Mike Smith. Beautiful Becca worked four furlongs for Jerry Hollendorfer Sunday in a bullet 47 seconds . . . Today’s second race is named the Northrup Grumman Commercial Bank of California, but it could be called The Comeback Kids. Five of the six entrants have been off a combined total of 6 ½ years, topped by Gonna Fly Now, who last raced on Nov. 15, 2013. Mesa Sky last ran on Oct. 29, 2016; Hot Sean Nov. 19, 2016; The Critical Way June 3 of this year; and Aristocratic two months ago on Aug. 20. Edwards Going Left, the 2-1 morning line favorite in the 6 ½ furlong race, raced most recently, finishing sixth and last in the Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 7, just over two weeks ago . . . Corey Nakatani celebrated his 47th birthday Saturday in a surprise session at Del Frisco’s Grill in Pasadena . . . Now through closing day, next Sunday, Oct. 29, just in time for Halloween, Santa Anita offers a Pumpkin Festival in the Family Fun Zone featuring an Infield full of activities for little jockeys. Inflatable jumpers, face painting, carnival games, pony rides, a playground and even a chance to meet the immortal “Seabiscuit” are part of the exciting package which can be purchased online at at a discount price . . . Santa Anita will be dark Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Live racing resumes Thursday, Oct. 26 at 1 p.m., the first of the final four days of the Autumn Meet. Admission gates open Thursday at 11 a.m.


(Current Through Saturday, Oct. 21)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won
Evin Roman 86 13 7 15 15% 41% $374,406
Kent Desormeaux 48 12 6 3 25% 44% $687,161
Corey Nakatani 29 9 2 1 31% 41% $474,605
Tyler Baze 79 8 14 10 10% 41% $527,906
Drayden Van Dyke 51 8 2 3 16% 25% $479,315
Stewart Elliott 38 7 4 3 18% 37% $201,638
Flavien Prat 78 6 17 15 8% 49% $996,047
Rafael Bejarano 47 6 9 5 13% 43% $367,665
Tiago Pereira 53 6 5 1 11% 23% $233,450
Joseph Talamo 49 5 9 9 10% 47% $415,206
Santiago Gonzalez 36 5 4 5 14% 39% $174,385
Gary Stevens 25 5 3 3 20% 44% $191,950
Austin Solis 14 4 2 1 29% 50% $83,645

Trainer Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% ITM% Money Won
Richard Baltas 42 8 7 2 19% 40% $324,433
Peter Miller 36 7 3 4 19% 39% $431,545
Philip D’Amato 42 6 11 5 14% 52% $392,655
Vladimir Cerin 19 6 4 1 32% 58% $154,080
Richard Mandella 20 5 4 3 25% 60% $490,725
Jerry Hollendorfer 33 5 3 8 15% 48% $238,180
Mark Glatt 30 4 6 3 13% 43% $178,481
J. Keith Desormeaux 22 4 2 3 18% 41% $236,180
Mick Ruis 16 4 2 0 25% 38% $256,525
Neil Drysdale 16 4 1 4 25% 56% $162,530