Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Oct. 24-25
Bear Now (Tr: Reade Baker; ex. rider: Cassie Garcea ) – Cassie Garcea, the exercise rider for trainer Reade Baker, said that Bear Now has been training well and is at her best coming up to the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic.
“We couldn’t ask her to be any better,” said Garcea, who is the daughter of Woodbine-based trainer Eric Garcea and has been galloping two years for Baker, also based at the Ontario track.
The fact that Woodbine has a Polytrack surface should work to the 4yo filly’s advantage at Santa Anita.
Bear Now is proven on a variety of surfaces and has won eight of 12 races, including her last in the Kentucky Cup Distaff at Turfway Park on Sept. 27. She has earned $602, 822 on synthetic racing surfaces.
Eurico Da Silva will ride Bear Now on Friday.
Carriage Trail (Tr: Shug McGaughey) – The Shug McGaughey-trained mare Carriage Trail walked the shedrow Monday morning after arriving at Santa Anita from her New York base on Sunday.
Carriage Trail has blossomed this season, capturing the Spinster Stakes over Keeneland’s Polytrack surface by nearly eight lengths under Kent Desormeaux in her most recent start.
Desormeaux, who has been victorious in two starts aboard Carriage Trail, will get the return mount for Friday’s Ladies’ Classic.
“She’s a synthetic/turf specialist, you might say,” McGaughey’s longtime assistant Buzz Tenney said at Santa Anita Monday morning.
The daughter of Giant’s Causeway, who has won a minor stakes and is graded-stakes placed on turf, has won three of four starts on Keeneland’s Polytrack surface, including her career-best performance in the Spinster.
“They say (Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride synthetic surface) and Polytrack are different types of synthetics. I hope she gets over this track like she does at Keeneland, because her last race was a phenomenal race.”
Cocoa Beach/ Music Note (Tr: Saeed bin Suroor) – Godolphin’s 3yo Music Note and 4yo Cocoa Beach had their final workouts on Saturday at Santa Anita, and both will gallop into the Ladies’ Classic, according to Rick Mettee, U.S. assistant to trainer Saeed bin Suroor.
“Music Note’s (workout) was steady as always,” Mettee said. “It seems that she’s the same whether she’s on dirt at Belmont, Polytrack, or here. She’s had a good time of it since the Gazelle. We gave her a little freshening after that, shipped here, and Saeed wanted to breeze once over the track.
“Cocoa Beach is a much quicker work filly and sure enough it translated here. I don’t think it was as fast as they got her (57 4/5). I got her in about 46 2/5, out in about 59.”
Javier Castellano will ride Music Note. Ramon Dominguez is named on Cocoa Beach.
Ginger Punch (Tr: Robert Frankel) – The defending champ “is doing great,” according to trainer, Robert Frankel. The 5yo Frank Stronach homebred worked Saturday at Santa Anita in 1:00 3/5 and has limited her activities to walking since.
The Hall of Fame conditioner knows he is in tough in this year’s edition, primarily because of the presence of the undefeated Zenyatta, who is expected to be favored in the 9f race.
“John’s horse (trainer John Shirreffs trains Zenyatta) is obviously the one to beat,” Frankel said. “She’ll be the shortest price of the day. But you’ve got to give her a try. My horse is doing great and she’ll run well.
“I start seven horses over the two days and I like my fillies best (Frankel also runs Precious Kitten against colts in the Mile and Ventura in the Filly Mare Sprint). To be honest, these races are so tough I’d be happy if I can win one of them.”
Rafael Bejarano, who has ridden Ginger Punch in 16 of her 21 starts – including her tally in the Distaff at Monmouth Park last October, will once again have the call on Friday.
Hystericalady (Tr: Jerry Hollendorfer) – Hystericalady, stabled in trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s barn at Golden Gate, was due to arrive at Santa Anita on Monday afternoon.
“She won’t do too much here before the race except walk, jog, and go to the paddock and to the gate,” assistant trainer Denny Ward said. “The competition in the race is really tough, but we’re expecting her to run a good race. She never runs poorly.”
Garrett Gomez will ride.
Santa Teresita (Tr: Eric Guillot) – Fresh off her third-place run in the Lady’s Secret, the 4yo daughter of Lemon Drop Kid is set to take another crack at top Ladies’ Classic contenders Zenyatta and Hystericalady on Friday.
“She’s a freak,” Santa Teresita’s trainer Eric Guillot said of the undefeated Zenyatta. “I’m surprised they’re not going to take on Curlin. I think she can beat them (the boys). That (run in the Classic) is what I would do.”
Purchased privately in June by Southern Equine Stable LLC following her second-place run behind Zenyatta in the Milady, Santa Teresita threw a bad race in her first run for the new connections, finishing a distant seventh behind Hystericalady in the Delaware Handicap.
“I had only seen her for four days,” Guillot explained. “It was against our better judgment (to run there), but it was a million-dollar race. She got a horrible trip and ran badly. It knocked her out for a month. I took my time to get to know her and got her back right. Now she’s perfect.”
Michael Baze is slated to ride on Friday.
Zenyatta (Tr: John Shirreffs; ex. rider: Steve Willard) – Trainer John Shirreffs was shooting photos of the unbeaten 4yo filly Zenyatta for an album outside the stable before an exercise routine Monday at Hollywood Park when he noticed her purple Breeders’ Cup saddle cloth was placed inside out.
That minor mistake was quickly rectified, and the filly went to the training track with groom Mario Espinoza and regular exercise rider Steve Willard at 9:45.
“She jogged one and galloped three,” said Shirreffs, pleased with the filly’s four laps around the half-mile dirt oval.
“I train most of my horses 60-40: 60 percent on the training track and 40 percent on the main track (Cushion Track),” Shirreffs said. “I love dirt.”
Willard was impressed with the filly, seeking a ninth straight victory.
“She’s really coming into this race the way you want one to come into a race,” Willard said.
Regular rider Mike Smith, a three-time winner of the Distaff, will retain the mount.
Shirreffs plans to ship Zenyatta and stablemate Tiago (Classic), both owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, to Santa Anita Wednesday.
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