With the clock inexorably ticking ever closer to the 29th Breeders’ Cup World
Championships at Santa Anita nine days hence, event participants went through their daily regimen without a hitch on a clear, crisp, sun-filled Thursday morning with the scenic San Gabriel Mountains providing their ever-present picturesque background.

Among the horses working on Santa Anita’s fast main track Thursday were Classic contender Richard’s Kid, Best Pal winner Know More (Juvenile, six furlongs in 1:15.40) and Pennsylvania Derby winner Handsome Mike (Dirt Mile or Classic, six furlongs in 1:15.20) for trainer Doug O’Neill; and Beholder (cross-entered in the Juvenile Sprint and the Juvenile Fillies) for Richard Mandella.

Richard’s Kid worked six furlongs in company with Cinco de Mario, with clockings of 1:15.40 and 1:17, respectively. Beholder, ridden by regular rider Garrett Gomez, worked five furlongs in company with In the Stars, each timed in 1:01.60. South Floyd (Juvenile Sprint) also worked for O’Neill, going six furlongs in 1:15.40.

“There was not a lot of deep thought going on” as to why O’Neill worked Richard’s Kid in company, the Kentucky Derby-winning trainer said. “I wanted to see a good three-quarters and let him finish up good, which he did. I got him in 1:14 with him finishing up faster than he started off. He galloped out great, so we’re very pleased.

“Know More and Handsome Mike both worked great. Today was a day for maintenance works and an excuse to give them an easy day tomorrow and then we’ll get right back into our normal good gallops right into the race.”

Also working for O’Neill was Boxeur de Rues, on the also eligible list for the Sprint, going six furlongs in 1:13.80.

“It was a nice work,” Mandella said of Beholder’s effort. “We’re pre-entered in both races but we’re leaning towards the open Sprint.” Added Gomez of Beholder: “We had her sit off another horse and she went around there real nice.”

Also Thursday, Moulin de Mougin (also eligible on the Juvenile Fillies Turf) worked five furlongs on the grass in 1:02.20 for Mandella, while Suggestive Boy (Mile) went six furlongs on turf in 1:13.60 for Ron McAnally.

In other Breeders’ Cup news:
Bob Baffert said Classic favorite Game On Dude would have his final breeze on Sunday, while unbeaten Juvenile Fillies contender Executiveprivilege would work Saturday.
Bill Spawr plans to work defending Sprint champion Amazombie Friday morning before sun-up as usual. “He schooled in the gate and galloped, then schooled in the paddock,” said Spawr, who owns the 6-year-old California-bred son of Northern Afleet with Tom Sanford.
“He’ll work a long five (furlongs) and (go) out three-quarters,” Spawr said. “Depending on how he works tomorrow, I’ll come back on Thursday (Nov. 1) and do something. I’m not sure about two-minute clipping or actually working three-eighths. That’s pretty much been standard for him and it’s been pretty successful.”

Asked his feelings about running at his home track as opposed to Churchill Downs, where he won the Sprint last year, Spawr said, “I’d feel real good if it rained a couple days before (next Saturday), but it’s not good for us: clear skies. But Amazombie tries anyway.”

Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen, said their Breeders’ Cup candidates will have their final major breezes at Santa Anita “Sunday or Monday.”

Tammy Fox, assistant to trainer Dale Romans, said all their Breeders’ Cup prospects at Santa Anita are scheduled to have their final workouts on Saturday. Romans is expected to arrive in California late Friday night. Pacific Classic winner Dullahan will work on the main track Saturday, after which a decision will be made on whether he runs in the Classic or the Turf.

Mandella-trained Jimmy Creed (Sprint) worked five furlongs at Santa Anita Wednesday in a bullet 59.80, fastest of 28 drills at the distance, the average time of which was 1:02.35.

HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, will present comprehensive live coverage leading
into, and continuing through, the 29th running of the Breeders' Cup, Thoroughbred racing's most prestigious global event, next Friday and Saturday at Santa Anita.

The Breeders' Cup consists of 15 races over the two days, with purses totaling more than $25 million. On both days, the network will televise all of the Breeders' Cup races live (which will also be available via http://www.hrtv.com), with the exception of the Classic, to racing fans as the only domestic horse racing cable channel of the event.

HRTV's coverage will mirror its in-depth production of major races, including paddock updates, full post parades, up-to-date key information, and expert race-by-race analysis. It will mobilize its well-respected stable of hosts/analysts, as well as additional correspondents, to handle all angles of racing's two-day extravaganza.

This summer, the Breeders' Cup and HRTV announced a multi-year media rights agreement that makes HRTV the official simulcast partner of the Breeders' Cup World Championships and the preferred Horse Racing Network provider of the event. HRTV will produce and simulcast the Breeders' Cup Players' Show (formerly the simulcast show) and air all Breeders' Cup races to off-track wagering sites around the globe, and streamed live on http://www.hrtv.com and breederscup.com.

In support of its live racing telecast and simulcast presentations, HRTV will also provide expansive programming leading up to the Breeders' Cup.

The network will offer the live telecast of the Breeders' Cup Post Position draw on Monday, Oct. 29 (1 p.m. Pacific Time), and its Pursuit of the Cup show, which has chronicled the road to the Cup and is currently on a twice-weekly basis, will expand to a daily show on this Saturday, offering the latest, up-to-date information on Cup entrants.

Also, during Breeders' Cup week, HRTV will televise the Westrock Coffee First Call program daily from Clockers' Corner and will provide special Cup-related presentations of the network's weekly staples--The Edge, Against The Odds, and Across The Board. Additionally, its daily Race Day America show will air prominently during the week.

As a fitting tribute to the wonderful champion Zenyatta, HRTV will present a special half-hour documentary on her brilliant career on Friday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. Pacific Time.

The Breeders’ Cup Celebrity Poker Invitational tournament benefiting CARMA and hosted by poker champion Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi will be held Tuesday, Oct. 30, at the Commerce Casino.

Festivities will start with a 6 p.m. cocktail hour, followed by a 7 p.m. Shuffle Up and Deal segment.

Entry into the Breeders’ Cup betting challenge at Santa Anita on Nov. 2 and 3 offers a first prize of $11,000 in value. Second prize is a box for four at the Breeders’ Cup World Championship events and a $1,000 wagering voucher for the Classic, a $4,200 value.

CARMA is a non-profit, charitable organization created to raise money for retired California race horses. The tournament structure features a $200 buy-in and re-buys in the first three levels. For more information, e-mail or call (626) 574-6622.

Eight celebrity racing fans and owners are being honored as Breeders’ Cup Ambassadors in the inaugural year of a program launched by the organization. The honor comes with rewards which allow the Ambassadors to enjoy horse racing all over the world, including concierge service, tickets, and more. Additionally, they will serve as spokespersons for the 2012 Breeders’ Cup World Championships and help promote this prestigious international event.

The participants include: renowned chef Bobby Flay (Breeders’ Cup Board Member), iconic actress Bo Derek (California Horse Racing Commissioner), actress Elizabeth Banks, singer/songwriter Toby Keith, sports radio talk show host Jim Rome, former Major League Baseball manager and player Joe Torre, actress and singer Laura Bell Bundy, University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, professional skateboarder and actor Rob Dyrdek, and New England Patriots Wide Receiver Wes Welker.

“We are so excited to have such talented and diverse participants for our inaugural Ambassadors Program. Many of our Ambassadors have grown up around horses, and even own thoroughbred horses that have run in past Breeders’ Cup races,” said Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Craig Fravel. “They have proven that they love horse racing, love the Breeders’ Cup, and are happy to share their enthusiasm about this event, and racing in general, with others around the world.”

The list includes the part-owner of the pre-race favorite in Breeders’ Cup weekend’s marquee event, Joe Torre, who is part-owner of Breeders’ Cup Classic entrant Game On Dude.
Jim Rome and Rick Pitino also own entrants in this year’s Breeders’ Cup. The list also includes someone who has tasted Breeders’ Cup success first-hand, Bobby Flay.

“Two years ago, I had the thrill of a lifetime when I won a Breeders’ Cup race with my filly, and have relived that moment in my mind hundreds of times,” said Flay. “The Breeders’ Cup is the pinnacle of thoroughbred horse racing competitions, and it’s an honor to serve with all of these fantastic Ambassadors in sharing our passion and long history with the sport.”

Others are lifelong fans, such as Banks and Derek. “Breeders’ Cup weekend is marked on my calendar ever year. I grew up going to the races with my dad, and my love of the sport has only grown. The racing, the fashion, the beautiful tracks and the parties…the Breeders’ Cup has it all,” said Banks.

FINISH LINES: Bob Baffert’s Lady Ten has been installed the tepid 7-2 morning line favorite for Saturday’s Grade III Autumn Miss Stakes, which attracted a field of 11. The one mile turf event for 3-year-old fillies has the look of one of the best betting races of the meet . . . Recent reports of the retirement of Paco Gonzalez were premature. The 67-year-old trainer was a visitor at Clockers’ Corner Thursday morning. “I just took a little time off,” said Gonzalez, looking fresh and fit after visiting his younger brother Salvador in Kentucky. “I came out to see the nice horses getting ready for the Breeders’ Cup and visit with everybody here. I hope to be back training when the opportunity presents itself. I’ve spent my whole life at the track and I miss it.” . . . Agent Ron Anderson reports 10-time Southern California riding champion Joel Rosario resumes riding at Santa Anita next Thursday in advance of the Breeders’ Cup events Friday and Saturday . . . Santa Anita’s online handicapping contest ShowVivor was down to two entering Thursday’s races.

(Current through Sunday, Oct. 21)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Joseph Talamo 114 25 13 9 22% $914,782
Rafael Bejarano 83 17 24 10 20% $1,259,236
Martin Garcia 86 14 11 9 16% $896,740
Garrett Gomez 60 12 9 10 20% $857,652
Edwin Maldonado 85 10 7 5 12% $281,074
Agapito Delgadillo 46 8 3 3 17% $182,730
Corey Nakatani 35 8 1 8 23% $361,698
Tyler Baze 55 7 5 7 13% $315,852
Juan Hernandez 75 6 8 13 8% $343,790
Martin Pedroza 66 5 8 10 8% $329,274
David Flores 52 5 5 7 10% $261,000
Aaron Gryder 56 4 5 6 7% $179,258
Kevin Krigger 36 4 5 2 11% $131,550

Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Bob Baffert 42 12 12 3 29% $1,041,960
John Sadler 53 9 9 7 17% $508,350
Peter Miller 40 9 6 7 23% $360,838
Mike Puype 30 5 3 1 17% $188,642
Carla Gaines 20 5 1 3 25% $182,870
Jeff Mullins 20 5 1 3 25% $118,670
Doug O'Neill 53 4 7 7 8% $326,840
Michael Machowsky 18 4 5 3 22% $98,460
Robert Hess, Jr. 14 4 2 4 29% $185,150
Richard Mandella 15 4 1 1 27% $190,080