- WEST COAST BREEZES FOR BC CLASSIC; VALE DORI IS OUT
- CHAMPION STELLAR WIND WORKS IN FOG FOR BC DISTAFF
- FIRST SANTA ANITA WIN IS BITTERSWEET FOR RISENHOOVER
- STREAKING BLACKJACKCAT SET FOR BREEDERS’ CUP MILE
- BARRETTS FALL YEARLING SALE HELD AT FAIRPLEX OCT. 17
WEST COAST ‘MOVES BEAUTIFULLY’ TOWARDS BREEDERS’ CUP
Travers and Pennsylvania Derby winner West Coast, one of four potential Breeders’ Cup Classic starters on Nov. 4 for Bob Baffert, worked four furlongs in 48.80 at 7:50 Sunday morning under Martin Garcia.
“He went nice,” Baffert said. “It worked out perfect. He was moving beautifully. He really looked good.”
Baffert’s other probables for the Classic, a race he has won the last three years in a row, with Bayern, American Pharoah and Arrogate, are the aforementioned Arrogate, Pacific Classic winner Collected and Awesome Again Stakes winner Mubtaahij.
One Baffert trainee that will not make the Breeders’ Cup is multiple graded stakes winner Vale Dori, listed high among those expected to run in the Filly & Mare Sprint on Nov. 4.
“She just wasn’t showing me a lot and has tailed off in her works,” Baffert said of the Argentine-bred mare. “We’re going to freshen her up, give her 60 days off and have her ready for the Spring meet.”
FOG OR NO, STELLAR WIND BREEZES FOR DISTAFF
Champion Stellar Wind, favored to win the Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Nov. 3, worked six furlongs Sunday morning as the fog rolled in at 6:10 preventing clockers from giving her an official time, although her trainer, John Sadler, said Jose Contreras, his exercise rider aboard the mare, caught her in 1:14 1/5.
“It was just what I wanted and she’s right where I want her,” said Sadler, who has had the chestnut daughter of Curlin on a Sunday to Sunday work schedule, but will deviate for her next breeze, moving it up a day to next Saturday.
RISENHOOVER’S FIRST SANTA ANITA WIN IS ‘AMAZING’
Sasha Risenhoover won her first race at Santa Anita Saturday when she piloted Oh Man ($8.80) to a half-length victory for trainer Richard Baltas in the seventh race, a six furlong sprint for $50,000 maiden claimers, but the 27-year-old Oklahoma native didn’t have much time to rest on her laurels.
“It felt amazing,” Risenhoover said Sunday morning. “I never gave up, kept encouraging the horse, he came back (on the inside to edge favored Royal Trump) and we pulled it off.”
Her celebration, if you will, was short-lived. “I went home, had dinner, watched TV, and relaxed,” she said.
Risenhoover leaves Monday night for Oklahoma where her mother, Sherry, is being moved to an assisted living facility, will visit her father, Archie, who is recovering from surgery, and attend the funeral Wednesday of an uncle who died Friday.
A native of Sallisaw, Oklahoma, near Tulsa, Risenhoover rides Friday and Saturday night at Retama in San Antonio, Texas, and will resume riding at Santa Anita next Sunday, according to her agent, Vince DeGregory.
GLATT EYES BREEDERS’ CUP MILE WITH BLACKJACKCAT
Mark Glatt is optimistic that streaking Blackjackcat will draw into the Breeders’ Cup Mile field on Nov. 4 after winning his fourth straight race Saturday, the Obviously Mile, by a length-and-a-half under Kent Desormeaux.
“He looks good this morning,” Glatt said of the Kentucky-bred son of Tale of the Cat owned and bred by Al and Sandee Kirkwood. “We’re all set. Hopefully he’ll get in; I think he will. We’ll see what happens.
“He’s not a hard horse to ride. When he gets in the clear by himself, he gets to messing around a little. He kind of runs to his competition, so when he spurted away a couple of lengths, Kent just stayed after him to keep his focus, but I think he won pretty easy.”
FINISH LINES: Attention horsemen–The Barretts Fall Yearling and Horses of All Ages Sale will be conducted Tuesday, Oct. 17 at Fairplex Park. “Game time” is 11 a.m. . . . There will be holiday racing Monday when Santa Anita offers another of its popular Dollar Days. Beer, soda and hot dogs will be on sale for a buck apiece. First post time is 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. Santa Anita will be dark Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Live racing resumes at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13 . . . Peter Miller reports that Roy H came out of his one-length victory in the Win and You’re In Santa Anita Sprint Championship Saturday “great and we’re on schedule for the Breeders’ Cup (Sprint on Nov. 4). He had rated in his first three wins, but in the Bing Crosby he was up on the lead, which I didn’t particularly like,” the trainer said. “I like him stalking, third, fourth. I think that’s his best style, so Kent (Desormeaux) got him to relax really nicely and I think moving forward, that’s what we’re going to try and do.” As to 20-1 morning line longshot Cute Knows Cute‘s chances in Monday’s $100,000 Surfer Girls Stakes for two-year-old fillies, Miller said, “We’re taking a shot on the grass. She’s got Distorted Humor on the bottom (sire of her dam, Sign Off). She’s fast, she’s a nice filly, so we’re taking a chance.” . . . In a racing rarity, the first three finishers in Saturday’s third race all went off at odds of 7-2 in a field of eight maiden allowance runners: slight favorite Catalina Cruiser returned $9 to win under Drayden Van Dyke; Puig ($3.60-1) finished second by 2 ¼ lengths with Santiago Gonzalez up; and Little Juanito ($3.70-1) was third, a head further back with Evin Roman aboard . . . R Sunday Surprise, a three-year-old filly trained by Kristin Mulhall in today’s first race, is a full sister to two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome. The chestnut filly by Lucky Pulpit–Love the Chase broke her maiden last out in her eighth start, winning by a head at 7-2 going a mile on Del Mar’s turf course under Israel Ocampo, who is aboard again today . . . Kent Desormeaux, who won three races Saturday, has waived his appeal of a suspension issued Aug. 12 and will serve four days on Oct. 19, 20, 21 and 22.