Thursday, November 05 2009

Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint notes Thurs., Nov. 5

California Flag – The speedy gelded son of Avenue of Flags galloped Thursday morning, none the worse for wear from his run-off Wednesday during training, when he was spooked by another horse after schooling in the gate and dumped his rider before running the wrong way through the stretch.

He returned to the barn without further incident.

As for strategy in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, trainer Brian Koriner said, “I believe he’s a much better horse this year than last,” when he led much of the way in the downhill sprint before fading to 10th. Barring some sort of mishap, Koriner said he expects to see California Flag on the lead.

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Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint notes Thurs., Nov. 5

Capt. Candyman Can – Both horse and trainer are Breeders’ Cup rookies, but according to Ian Wilkes, this might not be last time you hear from this team in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

“He’s a 3-year-old gelding,” Wilkes said. “You never want to look too far ahead in this game, but we hope he’s a fun horse to play with for years to come. Maybe he can win this race (Sprint) when he’s seven.”

Only one of Capt. Candyman Can’s six wins has come at a distance shorter than 7f, and that came in his 5 ½f career debut, but Wilkes isn’t concerned that Saturday’s 6f distance will be too short.

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Breeders’ Cup World Championships: TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile

Courageous Cat – Normally one of the more conservative trainers on the East coast, Bill Mott is taking a bit of a risk by sending the 3yo Storm Cat colt against older turf horses in the always contentious TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile.

“You just hope your horse shows up,” Mott said after Courageous Cat returned from a morning gallop and quick trip to stand in the starting gate. “This is a very deep race, but I think he fits there. Next year I’m sure he’ll fit even better.”

Courageous Cat comes into this race the least experienced of 11 contenders. Garrett Gomez will be his third rider in his last three starts.

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Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf Notes, Thursday Nov. 5

Dynaforce – Trainer Bill Mott said he has long ago put a line through Dynaforce’s last race (a 20-length defeat in the Flower Bowl on soft turf) and is expecting the Beverly D. winner to show up in the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf on Friday.

“It looks like she’ll be one of the speed horses in the field,” Mott said after Dynaforce returned from an early jog Thursday morning. “She was game in this race last year. She would have been more of a factor, but she ran into some trouble. She should be a factor this year.”

Dynaforce was unable to establish position in last year’s Filly & Mare Turf and was steadied on the inside when Halfway to Heaven interfered with her. She finished eighth, beaten only four lengths by the winner Forever Together, and was moved up to seventh by the stewards.

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Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf notes Thurs., Nov. 5

Allegre – Trainer Brian Koriner said Thursday morning his Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf prospect is dealing with a foot issue and the prospects of the 4yo Orientate colt running will be considered on Friday.

Koriner said the colt appeared to have the beginnings of an abscess.

Allegre did not go to the track on Thursday.

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$5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic Notes

Awesome Gem – “He's been great for the partners,” said Terry Finley, president of West Point Thoroughbreds, from trackside at Santa Anita Park Wednesday after watching the 6yo gelding gallop for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday.

“Look at the places he's taken us,” added Finley. “It's really been fun to be part of the ride.”

The chestnut son of Awesome Again, purchased for $150,000 as a 2yo at a Barretts sale, has taken his owners from California to New Jersey to Hong Kong to Washington to Illinois while earning $1,695,682 in 30 starts for trainer Craig Dollase.

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Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic Notes, Wednesday, Nov. 4

Careless Jewel – Careless Jewel, the morning line 2-1 second choice for the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic, galloped an easy mile Wednesday morning under regular exercise rider Moises Guce, according to trainer Josie Carroll.

“She’s doing really well,” Carroll said. “She’s done everything right so far. She seems to be steadily improving (from race to race) and I hope the trend continues on Friday.”

The filly has turned heads all year, winning five of six starts after finishing third in a maiden special weight race at Keeneland on April 5. Not only has she won five straight, but she’s dominated the competition, winning those last five by over 32 lengths. Her most impressive race of all was the Alabama, in which she drew away for an 11-length triumph despite being steadied sharply.

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Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile notes Wed., Nov. 4

Aikenite – One of two 2yo starters in the Juvenile from trainer Todd Pletcher, the son of Yes It’s True got his first look at Santa Anita’s synthetic surface in a Wednesday morning gallop.

“He had a good race at Keeneland (second in the 1 1/16m Breeders’ Futurity), and he’s doing well,” Pletcher said.

A maiden winner at Saratoga in his debut, Aikenite was third in the Hopeful, but showed some late run going 7f on that day.

Alan Garcia has been aboard in Aikenite’s last two starts and will get the mount from post 9 in a 13-horse field.

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Breeders’ Cup Marathon Notes, Wednesday Nov. 4

Cloudy's Knight – The 9yo gelding jogged once around Santa Anita’s training track Wednesday morning before galloping 1 1/4m on the main track, “extending a little bit through the stretch,’’ trainer Jonathan Sheppard said of his Breeders’ Cup Marathon entrant.

Cloudy’s Knight has won both of his starts this year after being transferred to the care of Sheppard. The son of Black Minnaloushe had been idle for more than a year due to a soft tissue injury in a hind leg that had threatened his racing career,

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Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile notes

Bullsbay – Trainer Graham Motion counted himself lucky just to be able to send Bullsbay to the Santa Anita track Wednesday morning for a 1 1/2m gallop under exercise rider Alice Clapham.

Rated second at 3-1 in the morning-line for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, Bullsbay was a longshot to make it to Santa Anita.

After winning the Whitney Handicap and finishing a solid third behind Rachel Alexandra in the Woodward Stakes at Saratoga, Bullsbay stepped on a piece of metal in early September.

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Filly & Mare Turf Notes, Wednesday, Nov. 4

Dynaforce – The 6yo daughter of outstanding turf sire Dynaformer went out for a gallop on the turf course Wednesday morning for trainer Bill Mott, who is hoping she can improve on a seventh-place finish in last year’s edition of the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

Despite being the oldest member of the eight-horse field entered in the race, Dynaforce has made just 16 career starts – all of them on the turf.

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TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile notes Wed., Nov. 4

Courageous Cat – One of only three 3yo runners entered in the 11-horse field for the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile, the lightly raced son of Storm Cat galloped Wednesday morning and was schooled at the starting gate by trainer Bill Mott.

“He trained well, just galloped,” said Mott, who has saddled five Breeders’ Cup winners but none in this race. “One more year of seasoning is probably going to be really good for him, but he’s pretty consistent.”

California’s leading grass rider, Garrett Gomez, will be aboard the colt for the first time in this race. He worked Courageous Cat over the Santa Anita grass course earlier this week.

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