Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Breeders’ Cup World Championships Oct. 24-25: Tuesday notes
Spring House (Turf) – The 6yo son of Chester House worked a sharp 4f Tuesday to complete his serious preparation for Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Turf for trainer Julio Canani.
Exercise rider Iggy Puglisi was in the irons for the work in 47 4/5 at Santa Anita.
Canani made the decision overnight to run in the Turf, rather than in the $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Marathon, to which Spring House was cross-entered.
“No problems whatsoever,” said trainer Rick Dutrow Jr., who already owns three Breeders’ Cup victories. “The hardest part of my job with Kip at this point is figuring how much money I’m going to bet on him to win. I’m counting my money right now.”
Kip Deville, a 5yo Oklahoma-bred, will be attempting to join Miesque (1987, 1988), Lure (1992-1993) and Da Hoss (1996, 1998) as a two-time Mile champion.
He enters the Mile off a less-than-stellar performance, however, having finished a well-beaten fifth – by his lofty standards – in last month’s Woodbine Mile as heavy favorite. Dutrow says the Woodbine Mile will not have any bearing on Kip Deville’s performance this Saturday.
“We went over him a bunch of times after the Woodbine race and couldn’t find anything wrong with him,” Dutrow said. “The only thing I can say is I guess he didn’t like the turf course. Even if he had won that race I don’t think we would have trained him any differently going into the Breeders’ Cup.”
Regular rider Cornelio Velasquez has the mount.
Dutrow had originally planned to fly to California later in the week, but “after seeing Kip and (Turf Sprint entrant) Salute the Count leave (Aqueduct) this morning, I gotta be with my horses. They both look unbelievable. I belong with them, babe.”
Bold Chieftain (Mile) – “Russell told me he felt like a million bucks. We’re a go,” said trainer Bill Morey Jr. of rider Russell Baze and his horse Bold Chieftain, who had just clipped off 4f in 48 1/5 on the Tapeta surface at Golden Gate Fields Tuesday morning.
The 5yo California-bred horse, a winner of 11 races and currently the best horse in Northern California, went trackside following the morning renovation break at 8:30 and went about his business.
“I couldn’t have been happier with it,” reported Morey by phone. “We’re going to come and give them a try.”
The conditioner said he’d lined up a van ride for his horse leaving the Bay Area track at 4 a.m. Wednesday. He said he and his wife would drive down separately starting at around 6 a.m.
“My van guy gets down there pretty good,” he noted. “They stop for water along the way, but he’ll be there in seven or eight hours. When we ship down we always go in with (trainer) Jeff Metz (Barn 116). He holds a couple of stalls for us and it has always worked out fine.”
Bold Chieftain once again will be handled by Russell Baze in the Mile. North America’s winningest rider has been aboard the son of Chief Seattle in 16 of his 22 starts, including nine of his wins.
Daytona (Mile) – The Shoemaker Mile winner tuned up for Saturday’s race with a 4f workout in 47 4/5 over the main track on Tuesday. Exercise rider Francisco Alvarado was aboard for the work.
“It was just what we wanted,” said trainer Dan Hendricks. “We were looking for somewhere around 48. It was just a nice easy move to stretch his legs. We just have to keep our fingers crossed now.
“He’s just like he’s been all year. He’s fresh and ready. He doesn’t look like a horse that has been racing for a year-and-a-half.”
Mine That Bird (Juvenile) – Trainer Richard Mandella has decided to enter the 4-for-5 son of Birdstone in the Juvenile as he indicated Monday.
The colt, on a four-race win streak at Woodbine Racecourse prior to coming to the Mandella barn, had been cross-entered in the Juvenile Turf.
Mine That Bird walked Tuesday morning.
Doremifasollatido (Juvenile Fillies) – New York-bred Doremifasollatido schooled in the starting gate and galloped over Santa Anita’s main track today.
“Her gallop was in two parts because she galloped to the gate and galloped after she schooled,” said trainer Jimmy Jerkens, a two-time winner in the Breeders’ Cup. “She was very well behaved. She seems to like the track.”
Doremifasollatido, winner of last month’s Matron at Belmont Park, has yet to race beyond 7f and around two turns. She has, however, competed like a seasoned pro, running inside of horses, outside of horses, on the lead and from off the pace. Overall she is 2-2-0 from four starts.
“She’s gritty that’s for sure,” Jerkens said. “You don’t get too many young horses like her that run from anywhere, even when things are really crowded.”
Salute the Count (Turf Sprint) – Salute the Count, hampered by a brief hind leg filling Monday, left Aqueduct Tuesday morning on a van with stablemate, 2007 Breeders’ Cup Mile champ Kip Deville. Salute the Count is running in Saturday’s inaugural Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. On Monday, trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. flirted with the idea of withdrawing the 8yo.
“We’re going in,” Dutrow said. “The filling is gone. We walked him for an hour yesterday morning, hosed him down and then walked him for another hour and hosed him down again in the afternoon. Everything looked perfect this morning and we put him on the van.”
Salute the Count was to have worked Monday morning at Aqueduct, but Dutrow scrapped those plans because of the filling. Now, Dutrow says Salute the Count will breeze “a basic three-eighths” Thursday at Santa Anita.
Idiot Proof (Turf Sprint) – Trainer Clifford Sise Jr. was a bit anxious as the speedy 4yo son of Benchmark started his 4f work on Santa Anita’s Hillside Turf Course, but wound saying, “Perfect” as the colt rolled by toward the finish line in his final preparation for Saturday’s Turf Sprint at Santa Anita.
“He really wanted to go today,” he said. “The last time he worked on the turf, he was looking all around and not doing much. But today he wanted to run and he looked good doing it.” It was the first time Idiot Proof had been on the Hillside course.
The colt was clocked in 49 seconds flat. Sise was looking for an easy work and he was happy with the outcome.
“He came over the dirt perfect,” the trainer said of the portion of the course that sometimes causes problems for horses crossing it for the first time.
Mast Track (Dirt Mile) – Despite dealing with a small quarter crack, Robert Frankel reported Tuesday morning that his charge Mast Track, who it appeared would run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and likely be the pacesetter in the 1 1/4m race, instead will be entered in the TVG Dirt Mile this morning at Santa Anita.
“The quarter crack is in his right front, on the outside,” the Hall of Fame conditioner noted. “It’s a small one; you could even say it is tiny. My blacksmith wanted to put a patch on it, but I told him I didn’t think it was that bad. I think it’s going to bust out through his coronet band. By the time we get to the race, I think we’ll have it all cleaned up.”
Tuesday morning Mast Track went to the track and galloped 1 1/4m, coming off the track at 6:45 dancing and feeling full of himself.
“He doesn’t know he’s got a quarter crack,” stated Frankel, nodding toward the horse that he owns, trains and bred. “If you push on it, he knows, but otherwise he could care less. I’m going to train him like he doesn’t have one and bring him up to the race right.”
Simply, a quarter crack is a break in the continuity of the horn wall at the quarter of the hoof. They can be superficial, or cracks that go through the full thickness of the horn wall. Horses can train and run with small quarter cracks, but more extensive ones need to be closed, or patched, if training is to continue.
“It’s a better spot for him; he fits better there,” Frankel said of the change to the Dirt Mile from the Classic. “And the (entry) money is a whole lot less. The money is a factor, absolutely.”
As owner, Frankel will be saving himself $100,000 in fees by switching races. Pre-entry and entry fees for eligible horses for the Classic come to $125,000. Those fees amount to $25,000 for the Dirt Mile.
Tyler Baze has the call on Mast Track. The pair combined to win the Hollywood Gold Cup in June.
Awesome Gem (Dirt Mile)– With no major defections expected from the Breeders’ Cup Classic, trainer Craig Dollase chose to enter the 5yo gelded son of 1998 Classic winner in the Dirt Mile on Saturday.
“I think he’ll do very well there,” the trainer said of 2007 third-place finisher in the Classic. He acknowledged that he had been hopeful that some of the major runners such as defending champion Curlin might choose not to run over the Santa Anita main course in the 1 ¼ m Classic.
As for post position, Dollase said, with a big smile, “Right in the middle.”
Awesome Gem galloped a mile Tuesday at his Hollywood Park home.
Surf Cat (Dirt Mile) – In a change of plans, trainer Bruce Headley sent the Sir Cat 6yo 4f in a sharp 45 4/5 at Santa Anita with exercise rider Jack Stack up.
Headley’s original plan was to work the same distance on Wednesday as final serious work for Saturday’s Dirt Mile. “It was just a gut feeling,” said the “old school” conditioner.
As is his wont, the trainer sent his worker out before dawn.
Pyro (Dirt Mile) – Trainer Steve Asmussen said that after “further deliberation,” it has been decided to run Ron Winchell’s Pyro in the Dirt Mile rather than the Classic. It was reported on Monday that he would run in the Classic, giving Asmussen three starters in the race.
“I am still concerned with how fast the racetrack has been playing,” said Asmussen Tuesday morning. “Will he have time to catch anybody going a mile? That’s the concern. But things change day to day and we’ll see how the track itself comes up in front of him.”
Magnificience (Filly & Mare Sprint) – The 4yo daughter of Stormy Atlantic blew out 3f Tuesday before dawn as she completed her serious work heading into Friday’s $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint at 7f on the main track.
Exercise rider Mel Batnykolov handled he reins in the 35 1/5 work.
“She went real good. She’s ready,” said trainer Bruce Headly.
City Style (Juvenile Turf) – Stonerside Stable’s 2yo gelding City Style breezed 4f in 49 2/5 at Retama Park in northeast San Antonio, Texas, on Tuesday morning for trainer Cheryl Asmussen. The gelding is due to be picked up in Oklahoma on Wednesday for a flight into Southern California.
Skipadate (Juvenile Turf) – The 2yo son of Skip Away will wear blinkers for the first time when he makes his fourth career start in Saturday Juvenile Turf.
Skipadate, who missed winning the Summer Stakes at Woodbine by a head last out, galloped 1 ½ m on Tuesday morning and then schooled at the gate, where he was granted approval to add the equipment for the race.
“We thought all along that he needed blinkers and now he’ll run in them,” said Norman Casse, the assistant trainer to his father Mark Casse. “If you look at his last two races, he missed by this much (about two inches). You’ve always got to keep him honest. He can get a little lazy, so we think this will help him.”
Skipadate also lost the With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga by just a head in August after winning a maiden special weight race there on his first time out.
Shaun Bridgmohan will be in the irons on race day.
Coronet of A Baron (Juvenile Turf) – Trainer Eoin Harty, who cross-entered the 2yo colt owned by Darley Stable in the Juvenile and the Juvenile Turf, has opted to run him on the grass even though Coronet of A Baron has yet to run on anything but synthetic surfaces in three lifetime starts.
On Monday, Coronet of a Baron worked 5f in 1:02 4/5 on the Santa Anita turf course under exercise rider C. T. Lang.
Harty said he made his decision after the colt worked well and on the strength of the competition entered for each of the races.
Jockey Alan Garcia gets the call on Coronet of a Baron.
Forever Together (Filly & Mare Turf) – Forever Together tuned up for a start in the Filly & Mare Turf over the main track at Keeneland Tuesday morning, working 4f in 47. The clocking was the best of 29 workouts recorded at the distance. Danielle Hodsdon was aboard the 4yo daughter of Belong to Me.
“I was really pleased with the work,” said trainer Jonathan Sheppard, whose gray filly captured the First Lady at Keeneland in her most recent start. “She gave us what we were looking for.”
Forever Together, who has won three stakes since being shifted to the turf five starts ago, is scheduled to arrive in California on Wednesday.
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