Thursday, October 31, 2013

Breeders’ Cup Turf notes Thurs., Oct. 31

Big Blue Kitten/Real Solution – Trainer Chad Brown’s pair of stakes winners sired by Kitten’s Joy, Big Blue Kitten and Real Solution, galloped Thursday morning. Brown said he is happy with the way they are coming up to the race.

The two-time Breeders’ Cup winning trainer said the bottom line for his Turf runners is that they have to be very good Saturday.

“I’m not going to change their running styles for this race,” he said. “They need to do two things. They need to work out clean trips and they need to run their career-best race to win.”

While both of his Turf runners are Ken and Sarah Ramsey homebreds, Brown said he doesn’t have a problem entering a number of horses with different ownership in the same race.

“I don’t worry about it too much anymore,” Brown said. “When you get to this level, you’re running in championship-type races, if my clients’ respective horse makes it into that race they are OK however many I have in there. If I don’t have them, someone else is going to have them. You’re going to have to run against them one way or the other.

“Everyone just focuses on their horse and I focus on the horses individually and if they take different paths and end up at the same meeting point somewhere down the line, so be it. I don’t consider it at all when I am entering horses at this level. If they earn their way in, I’ll run one, I’ll run 10 in a race.”

Indy Point – The chestnut Argentinian Indy Point galloped Thursday morning for trainer Richard Mandella as he continues to move forward toward Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Since Indy Point’s trip north to Mandella’s barn in California this year, he’s started three times, winning twice and finishing far back on the other occasion. Each time he’s been handled by the veteran Gary Stevens.

Mandella was asked about pre-race plans between himself and Stevens concerning Indy Point.

“I won’t be telling him much,” Mandella said. “He knows him now. We learned a lesson with this horse in Chicago (in the Arlington Million where he finished last of 13). We took ahold of him away from the gate and got him all mad and into all sorts of trouble. But in his last race (a winning effort in the John Henry Turf Championship at Santa Anita), we just dropped his head and he went right on with it. You make a mistake and you learn from it. At least you hope you do.”

Little Mike – Little Mike, the defending Turf champion, had his penultimate training day just after the break Thursday as he attempts to become only the third horse in 30 years to win the Turf twice. The only other horses to accomplish this are Conduit and High Chaparral.

“This is really exciting,” said owner Carlo Vaccarezza. “It’s quite an accomplishment to get a horse back here healthy and in top form.”

Magician – see European report

Point of Entry – Phipps Stable’s Point of Entry prepared for a return from a five-month layoff in the Turf by galloping 1 1/2m Thursday morning.

After the 5-year-old son of Dynaformer cooled out, assistant trainer Gene Recio led him to the edge of the horse path leading to the track, where the multiple-stakes winner stood quietly while observing the activity around him.

“It was just leaving him out of his stall a little while. We hosed him for a little while and instead of putting him back in the stall we decided to let him stand in the sun,” trainer Shug McGaughey said. “If we were in New York, we’d be grazing him. But there’s no grass here to graze. But he likes standing in the sun.”

McGaughey hopes the 2012 Turf runner-up has his day in the sun on Saturday afternoon.

“I think he deserves to win a race like this. Is the layoff a concern? Maybe. But I think we’ve got him where we want him. He gets better every day,” McGaughey said. “I think he’s fit enough, but we won’t know until Saturday afternoon. I’m looking forward to it.

Skyring – Routine work continued for Skyring as the Calumet Farm 4yo colt took another step toward Saturday’s Turf. Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas looked on as the son of English Channel galloped 1 1/2m over Santa Anita’s main track.

Tale of a Champion – With trainer Kristin Mulhall in the irons, Tale of a Champion jogged 2m Thursday morning and walked through the paddock.

“As usual, everything is good,” Mulhall said of the 5yo son of Tale of the Cat.

While Tale of a Champion has been kept to his usual routine, Breeders’ Cup week has been unusual for Mulhall in that she’s doing less than double duty. Outside Breeders’ Cup situations, Mulhall spends time at her barns at both Santa Anita and Hollywood Park, making a daily cross-L.A. commute in generally heavy traffic.

“But this week, I’m not,” Mulhall said.

So she’s out of bed at 2:45 a.m. and to Santa Anita by 4:30. The former Olympic equestrian hopeful exercises many of her own horses, around six or seven a day.

Teaks North – Southern Equine Stables’ Teaks North jogged 2m Thursday, as trainer Eric Guillot looked on from the trackside apron at Santa Anita.

As for how Guillot expects Saturday’s $3 million Breeders’ Turf to unfold, he said, “I expect he’ll be on the lead or close to the lead, and I hope he’ll hang on to get a piece of the pie. He’ll have to run a big race to do that.”

The Fugue – see European report

Vagabond Shoes – A 6yo Irish-bred son of Beat Hollow, Vagabond Shoes galloped 1 ½m at 9 a.m. Thursday.

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