He Be Fire N Ice – Early Wednesday morning He Be Fire N Ice, a 5yo son of Unusual Heat galloped 1 1/4 miles at Hollywood Park and then took a cross-L.A. van ride from Inglewood to Arcadia and the stable of trainer John Sadler.
“He’s in really good form, he has refreshed well since the last race and he seems really happy and good at the moment,” trainer Simon Callaghan said of the winner of two straight since being imported from England this summer. “I really feel that No Jet Lag in particular is going to go in with a really good chance. His form is to hang back and relax and make a run and I think he's going to run a really big race.”
Obviously – Trainer Mike Mitchell had his speedy Irish-bred Obviously out for a gallop on the 6f training track at Santa Anita Wednesday morning at 7. He had exercise rider Sherri Alexander onboard.
“I like to gallop him there instead of the main track,” Mitchell said. “He likes it better and responds better to it. If we put him on the main track he gets all wound up. The traffic on it in the mornings has something to do with it, but it just gets him too excited. Maybe he thinks there’s going to be a race, or something like that.
“But on the training track he settles down and goes well. I just tell Sherri that I want a good, long gallop and then I leave it up to her. She takes him around it several times until she feels it’s right. I want him to get something out of it and she makes sure that happens.”
Obviously is expected to be the pacesetter in a 10-horse lineup in the $2 million Mile, the penultimate race on the Saturday Breeders’ Cup program ahead of the Classic.
Olympic Glory – see European report
Silentio – The 4yo colt Silentio went trackside for a gallop Wedneday morning at about 8:15. Trainer Gary Mandella said he was happy with his charge’s preparations for Saturday’s Mile in which he’ll have to beat nine rivals, including Horse of the Year Wise Dan.
“He’s all but ready for Saturday,” Mandella said. “We gallop him about 10 furlongs, just enough so he doesn’t start kicking the walls.”
Silver Max – Trainer Dale Romans gave Silver Max a nice long break between Oct. 2012 and March 2013, and as a relatively fresh horse, the Badge of Silver colt enters this year’s Mile as one of the top contenders, having won four of his last five races, including an upset over defending Mile champ and Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the off-the-turf Shadwell ‘Turf’ Mile. Last year, he was prepping for a possible start in the Mile when he finished ninth in the Shadwell Turf Mile, his 10th start of the year, and did not reappear until the Appleton Handicap at Gulfstream March 30.
“He’s doing great,” said Romans. “We may have squeezed the lemon dry last year with so many races, but I wouldn’t change things because he had such a great 3-year-old year. This year, he’s much fresher and doing really well.”
Wise Dan – Trainer Charlie LoPresti had a welcome sight awaiting him at Barn 36 Wednesday morning when Wise Dan emerged from the shedrow.
“When we took the blanket off, he put on quite a show bucking and kicking,” LoPresti said of the reigning North American Horse of the Year and defending champion in Mile. “It was great to see. You don’t want to see them come out dull and almost sound asleep.”
LoPresti said Wise Dan’s schedule for the week would mirror last year’s initial trip to Santa Anita, right down to the traveling party of three that is comprised of LoPresti, exercise rider Damien Rock and groom Reeve McGaughey.
“I probably could have taken him out there this morning, but he had a long day yesterday,” LoPresti said of Wise Dan’s journey that started with a van ride from Keeneland to Louisville for a flight that left shortly after 2 and arrived here shortly before 5 local time.
“I will take him to the turf in the morning, paddock school tomorrow afternoon and jog him on the dirt Friday morning,” LoPresti said. “He is on the same schedule as last year except we got here a day later last year because of Hurricane Sandy.
“He had the one work two weeks before the race (47 2/5 for 4f) and the little blowout down the lane Saturday at Keeneland that did not make the tab.”
Za Approval – Live Oak Plantation’s Za Approval arrived on Tuesday night as part of the contingent of New York-based horses competing in the Breeders’ Cup and was out on the track for a jog once around under Christophe Lorieul, the longtime assistant to trainer Christophe Clement, and then he walked through the paddock.
The 5yo gray gelded son of 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Ghostzapper was bright and alert after his long trip.
“He got over the track really good this morning,” said Lorieul. “It’s easy to tell that he really likes this kind of weather and he trains better in it.”
Za Approval, winner of a trio of Grade III races this year, also enjoys competing in California. In June, he was second to fellow Mile competitor Obviously in the Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park before finishing second again to prohibitive Mile favorite and defending champion Wise Dan, who is also the reigning Horse of the Year, in the Woodbine Mile. Next time out on Oct. 12, he captured the Knickerbocker Handicap at Belmont, but that race was at 1 1/8m.
“We think he’s better at the mile and a mile and an eighth is probably stretching him out a little bit,” said Lorieul. “I know he won the other day at that distance, but the Mile has got the pace scenario that I think is good for him. As he gets older, the mile is probably his best distance.”
In 10 starts on the turf at 1m, Za Approval has won four times and been second four times.