Wednesday, October 30, 2013

$2 Million Breeders’ Cup Mile Notes

Bright Thought – Trainer Jorge Gutierrez Tuesday explained why Bright Thought, a 4yo colt who set a world record for 1 1/2m on turf at Santa Anita in March, will be making his first start in more than seven months in the Breeders' Cup Mile against the likes of reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan.

“He had the tip of his splintbone broken in his last race, and we removed it,” said Gutierrez, explaining the layoff. “We were just getting him ready to run, and he came along quickly; quickly enough to go a mile, but not yet longer, certainly not a mile and a half.

“We didn't have many other places to go, so we're going to give it a try and see what happens. “It's a tough spot. I feel bad throwing him to the wolves but I've got to get him ready. He won here at a mile on the turf and he's tight enough to run a good race.”

He Be Fire N Ice – Tuesday morning the 5yo son of Unusual Heat galloped 1 1/4m at Hollywood Park. He will take the cross-L.A. van ride from Inglewood to Arcadia on Wednesday morning.

“He's been running very well and he's been improving,” trainer John Sadler said. “We know it's a very tough race, and we know our horse is good and ready to go. You hope he's good enough.”

He Be Fire N Ice worked 6f in 1:13 on Saturday at Hollywood, best of four at the distance. He drew post position seven.

“He Be Fire N Ice got a good draw,” Sadler said. “He drops back a little bit, so I don't think it's going to hurt him.”

Cristoforo Colombo – see European report

No Jet Lag – see European report

Obviously – The double-quick Irish-bred, who has found a happy home in California over the past two years, just galloped on the training track for conditioner Mike Mitchell Tuesday morning. All systems are go, said the trainer.

“I just want to keep him happy,” Mitchell said. “He’s doing great and we know what our plan is. We’ve just got to get him to Saturday.”

At the draw for post positions Monday, Mitchell made the point that it really didn’t matter much for his 5yo gelding, who regular rider Joe Talamo discovered likes it best of all when he’s given his head away from the gate and simply allowed to fire with his sprinter speed that has carried well at 8f.

“There’s only one way for us to go,” the trainer said. “We know it and so does everyone else. Catch us if you can.”

For the record, Obviously will break from post four and is listed at 10-1 in the morning line in the 10-horse Mile field.

Olympic Glory – see European report

Silentio – Though he’s one of the longshots in Saturday’s Mile, trainer Gary Mandella is feeling some good vibes about his 4yo colt who is a grandson of champion Sunday Silence by the Japanese sire Silent Name.

“This race is always one of the toughest ones on the card,” noted Mandella, the son of Hall of Fame conditioner Richard Mandella. “But this may be a good year for a horse like mine. Wise Dan comes into the race off a loss. Obviously comes into the race off a loss. A couple of the big Europeans that I thought we’d have to take on didn’t come.

“The one tough Euro who came (Olympic Glory) raced only three weeks ago. So it seems to me that this might be a good time to take a shot. He’s training really well; he’s feeling good and I think he’ll fire his good one Saturday.”

Silentio will have the West Coast’s top rider – Rafael Bejarano – in the irons as they break from post two in the 10-horse Mile.

Silver Max – The Badge of Silver colt has been one of the most consistent horses in Dale Romans’ barn the last two years with 11 wins from 17 starts and the trainer is hoping that by following a proven path of sending his horses to California early will bring him a win in the Mile. Silver Max completed his major work at Santa Anita last Saturday by breezing 4f in 47 2/5.

“He’s doing great,” said Tammy Fox, trainer Dale Roman’s longtime significant other and main assistant who was handling the training duties Tuesday morning because Romans was a little under the weather. “We’ve been here two weeks and all of our horses have had two good works here. It worked well with Little Mike (winner of the Turf) last year, so we’re hoping for the same luck again. Everyone is really doing well.”

In addition to Silver Max, Romans will start defending champion Little Mike in the Turf, Cleburne in the Juvenile and Suns Out Guns Out in the Marathon.

Wise Dan –Morton Fink’s Wise Dan, established as the even-money morning line favorite to repeat in the Mile, galloped on the training track at Keeneland Tuesday morning before boarding a van to Louisville for a flight to Southern California.

“Everything is good here,” said Amy LoPresti, wife of trainer Charles LoPresti who caught an early morning flight from Lexington to Los Angeles. “He trained on the little track and will load on the van at 10:30 to go to Louisville for the flight.”

John Velazquez, who was aboard Wise Dan last fall at Santa Anita when he established a course record in the Mile victory, has the mount Saturday and will break from post position eight.

Za Approval – Za Approval, who was bred and is owned by Charlotte Weber’s operation comprising Live Oak Stud and Live Oak Plantation, was sent out for a routine 1¼m gallop Tuesday morning at Belmont Park and then boarded the plane as part of the East Coast contingent of Breeders’ Cup hopefuls.

“All systems are go. He’ll be there this afternoon and will be out on the track tomorrow morning,” said Christophe Lorieul, the assistant to trainer Christophe Clement.

The 5yo son of 2004 Horse of the Year and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Ghostzapper, who has won three Grade 3 races and been second in a pair of Grade 1s this year, tuned up with a final 4f workout of 48 4/5 on Belmont’s main track on Oct. 26 after firing a bullet on Oct. 4, when he worked 5f in 1:01 2/5.

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