Saturday, November 2
$1.5 Million Xpressbet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (Grade I) 3-Year-Olds & Up 6 Furlongs
$1 Million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (Grade I) 3-Year-Olds & Up Fillies & Mares 7 Furlongs
$1 Million Geico Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (Grade I) 3-Year-Olds & Up About 6 ½ Furlongs (Turf)
Bob Baffert (Book Review, Filly & Mare Sprint; Secret Circle, Sprint) – Trainer Bob Baffert Tuesday morning said the heat was on with his Sprint entrant Secret Circle, a quick 4yo whose career has shown flashes of brilliance – when he’s been able to show.
The Eddington colt won the Juvenile Sprint at Churchill Downs two years ago, then was seen as Kentucky Derby timber when he won a pair of stakes at Oaklawn and finished second in the 2012 Arkansas Derby. But the bay went on the shelf for 18 months before re-emerging at Santa Anita in October to score handily in a sprint and earn a trip into Saturday’s $1.5 million dash.
“How about that Jon White (Santa Anita’s morning line maker) making my horse one of the favorites (he’s a co-second favorite at 4-1) for that race off just one start,” Baffert said. “He’s putting the pressure on. He likes to put the pressure on me.”
Martin Garcia handled Secret Circle for the trainer in his comeback race and again will be aboard the rapid runner when they break from post nine in the 12-horse Sprint field.
Chad Brown (Summer Applause, Filly & Mare Sprint) – Like the other nine members of trainer Chad Brown’s Breeders’ Cup team, Summer Applause jogged Tuesday morning. The multiple stakes winner has been effective in two-turn races during her 14-race career, but Brown is trying her at seven furlongs. It will be her first venture at the distance since she broke her maiden on the synthetic surface at Woodbine in December 2011.
“We’re taking a shot there,” Brown said. “Cutting her back to one turn is definitely an experiment. It’s her last race before she’s scheduled to be sold in the Fasig-Tipton sale next week. We thought it was chance worth taking. She’s training sharp. She’s going to need a lot of pace to run at and come late on the cutback. We’re going to take a shot and see how it works out.”
Javier Castellano will ride Summer Applause for the first time. She drew post seven in the 12-horse field.
D. Wayne Lukas (Fast Bullet, Sprint) – Fast Bullet galloped 1 1/2m Tuesday morning and schooled for a time in the gate.
The son of 2004 Sprint champion Speightstown drew post position eight in the 12-horse field and is posted at odds of 6-1 on the morning line. Jockey Joel Rosario has the mount.
Doug O'Neill (Private Zone, Sprint; Handsome Mike, Turf Sprint; Renee's Titan, Filly & Mare Sprint) –Assistant Leandro Mora was on his cell phone in the stable office Tuesday, filling in Rene Douglas on Private Zone's gallop and welcoming the former jockey on his scheduled trip from Florida to California Thursday.
Douglas is general manager of Good Friends Stable, a partnership that includes retired hockey Hall of Famer Denis Savard. Mora explained that Douglas bought the 4yo gelding, who started his career in Douglas' native Panama with his brother, trainer Rogelio Douglas, before he transferred him to O'Neill in the summer of 2012.
Douglas, who was paralyzed from the waist down in a riding accident at Arlington Park in 2009, will be reunited with Martin Pedroza, a close friend and Private Zone's jockey. Pedroza, who attended the same riding school as Douglas in their native Panama, has remained close friends with Douglas since their teen years and will see him for the first time since the horse raced in Dubai in March.
Private Zone blossomed in the O'Neill barn and won the Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont Park in his last start September 28. “Private Zone has changed so much since he came here,” said assistant Steve Rothblum. “He wanted to make a U-turn (training) when he arrived. He's made a huge transformation. We had him in company. Now he trains by himself.”
Although Private Zone has been on the lead in all his starts in the O'Neill barn, the trainer said he does not have to be in front early in a Sprint lineup loaded with speed. "He's really matured," said O'Neill. “Martin has a special thing with him. If they're going crazy out there, I'm confident he can track.”
Private Zone galloped 1 1/4m under exercise rider Jonny Garcia. Handsome Mike and Renee's Titan also galloped on the main track, the former under Tony Romero, the latter under Paulie Roberts. Handsome Mike will have blinkers taken off in the Turf Sprint.
Jerry Hollendorfer (Sweet Lulu, Filly & Mare Sprint) – Sweet Lulu jogged 1 1/2m Tuesday under the watchful eye of assistant trainer Dan Ward as trainer Hollendorfer tended to his large stable at Golden Gate Fields in Northern California.
“She’s finished with all of her serious training now. She put in her final work on Sunday morning and she schooled in the paddock that afternoon. She’s ready to roll,” said Ward.
Sweet Lulu will run Saturday in the 7f Filly & Mare Sprint, with Julien Leparoux riding.
Kiaran McLaughlin (Dance Card, Filly & Mare Sprint) – Dance Card, sidelined through most of 2013 because of ankle chips, drew post four in the Filly & Mare Sprint with jockey Joel Rosario.
Dance Card only has one start under her belt this year, a third-place finish in Belmont’s Gallant Bloom.
“She doesn’t always break well,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. “Last time she didn’t come out of the gate so sharp. She was a little rusty but she’s trained well since that race and reports are she’s doing very well at Santa Anita. I really would like to see her stalking, because if you kick her out of the gate she goes too fast.”
McLaughlin, who will be represented in three Breeders’ Cup races this year, is looking for his third career win in the Breeders’ Cup. He won the Classic in 2006 with eventual Horse of the Year Invasor and the Filly & Mare Turf in 2007 with Lahudood.
“We’re hoping to win all three, but we’d be happy with one,” McLaughlin said. “We’ve been lucky in two which is great. This is the Super Bowl of our industry and all eyes and ears will be focused on Santa Anita for two days. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Mark Casse (Laugh Track, Sprint) – Gary Barber and WinStar Farm’s Laugh Track went out for a 1 ½ m gallop on Tuesday morning under exercise rider Juan Bernardini.
“I’m very happy with the way he’s coming up to the race,” said trainer Mark Casse, who has saddled 15 previous Breeders’ Cup runners and has earned five Sovereign Awards as Canada’s top conditioner.
The 4yo son of Distorted Humor had his final breeze at Churchill Downs on Oct. 21 and traveled 5f in 1:01 3/5. He will have the services of Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith for the first time in the Sprint.
Casse, who is looking for his first Breeders’ Cup win, also will be represented this year in the Juvenile Filles by My Conquestadory, in the Juvenile by Conquest Titan, and in the Marathon with Pool Play.
Michael Hushion (The Lumber Guy, Sprint) – The Lumber Guy, who finished second in last year’s Sprint, walked his Belmont Park barn shedrow Tuesday morning, just hours before his flight to
California. The Lumber Guy, along with stablemate Artemis Agrotera, departed Long Island MacArthur Airport at approximately 11 a.m.
“He had an easy morning and got on the plane,” trainer Mike Hushion said.
The Lumber Guy, who is running in his second consecutive Breeders’ Cup, drew post two in the Xpressbet Sprint with jockey Mike Luzzi.
“The ‘two’ is ok,” Hushion said. “It’s all according to how they break in the Sprint. I don’t want to send him. I prefer to let him drag the rider early on his own without being asked. He’s as sound as ever and his feet are good. He’s going into the Sprint in great shape.”
Michael Machowsky (Caracortado, Turf Sprint) – Two years after finishing fifth in the Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs and one race following a 20-month layoff, Caracortado ,the 6yo gelded son of Cat Dreams, will make his second Breeders' Cup start.
“We're just glad to have him back and he's doing great," trainer Mike Machowsky said. “He worked a half mile on the grass Sunday with Gary Stevens up. The clockers gave him 47 and change, I had him at 48. Just nice and easy.”
The lengthy layoff was to recover from a foot problem.
“It was long process, basically trying to grow a new frog," Machowsky said. “A lot of time spent waiting, doctoring and tinkering with it. He wasn't quite ready for the race on opening day here at Santa Anita (Sept. 27) but he is now. We're excited to be here and counting the days now."
Caracortado translates from Spanish as “scar face.”
Mike Pender (Boat Trip and Jeranimo, Turf Sprint) – The two Pender trainees, both in part owned by his premier client B.J. Wright, walked the shedrow on Tuesday.
“On Monday we two-minute licked both of them and got some real strong gallops,” Pender said. "We'll incrementally increase their workload right up until race day, but the majority of the work has been completed.”
Boat Trip, a 4yo son of Harlan's Holiday and Jeranimo, a 7yo son of Congaree, were pre-entered in the Turf Sprint and Mile. The real decision was what to do with Jeranimo, a proven router who will be making his first start at less than a mile in three years.
“In the end, we thought the dynamics of coming down the hill would be just enough of a challenge for this horse and at this point in his career would be the best thing to do,” Pender said.
Mike Puype (Mizdirection, Turf Sprint) – Defending Turf Sprint champion Mizdirection galloped 1 1/2 miles on Tuesday, a routine that trainer Mike Puype said would be continued up to the race.
“She goes out early in the morning, we take care of her, put her away and keep her happy," Puype said. "That's it.”
The 5yo daughter of Mizzen Mast's last work was 5f in 57 4/5 last Friday at Santa Anita which easily qualifies as her favorite venue.
“Read her form. She's never lost at Santa Anita, 6-for-6 on the Santa Anita turf," Puype said. “She's a year older but no slower. We expect a big race out of her.”
Mizdirection drew the No. 12 post in a field of 14.
“I'd rather be outside than inside with this horse," Puype said. "The post is fine.”
Ollie L. Figgins III (Dance to Bristol, Filly & Mare Sprint) – A little more than two years ago, Susan Wantz’s Dance to Bristol made her racing debut at Charles Town in West Virginia, finishing second going 4 1/2f.
“She just got beat, but she was the best horse in the race,” trainer Ollie Figgins III said of the nose defeat. “She’s a big, long filly and after that race the owners and I talked and we decided that we had to get her on a mile track (instead of the 6f track at Charles Town).”
What has followed has been an incredible run of consistency for Dance to Bristol who has been worse than second only once in 19 starts.
“The only pressure with her is to keep her healthy,” said the 39-year-old Figgins, who keeps 30 horses at Charles Town and another 12-15 at Bowie in Maryland. “There is no pressure when she runs because I know she will leave it all out there on the track.”
This will be the second trip to a Santa Anita Breeders’ Cup for Figgins. Rouse the Cat finished 12th in the Turf Sprint in 2008 behind Desert Code.
Dance to Bristol, who galloped 1 1/4m Tuesday morning, is the 5-1 second choice on the morning line for the Filly & Mare Sprint.
“They are showing her a lot of respect,” Figgins said of his filly who will break from post position eight. “I hope (2012 race winner) Groupie Doll is vulnerable, but she is still the champ. But we’ve got a nice post and she is doing well.”
Xavier Perez, who has ridden Dance to Bristol in her past eight starts that includes seven victories, has the mount Saturday.
Perez became a You Tube sensation this spring for his ride aboard Spicer Cub at Pimlico when the 4yo gelding bolted on the far turn and then in the stretch ran between the outside rail and starting gate before rallying to finish second.
“Believe it or not, I own Spicer Cub’s dam, Carni’s Luck,” Figgins said. “I bought her when she was in foal to A.P. Indy and got a nice colt.”
Peter Miller (Reneesgotzip, Turf Sprint) – – Reneesgotzip jogged 1 1/2m Tuesday in preparation for Saturday’s 6 1/2f Turf Sprint.
Miller said of the speedy 4yo filly, “She’s fast and fit, and mean and nasty. When she’s biting and kicking, we know she’s ready to run.”
The filly, one of two females in the 14-horse field, is tabbed at 5-1 odds on the morning line with Edwin Maldonado in the irons. Morning-line favoritism at 4-1 goes to the other female in the race, 6yo mare Mizdirection, who will be trying for a second straight win in the race.
Ron Moquett (Gentlemen's Bet, Sprint) – Gentlemen’s Bet was set to be reunited with trainer Ron Moquett by mid-morning Tuesday after Moquett arrived by air from Louisville. Wife and assistant trainer Laura Moquett has been putting the 4yo colt through his paces at Santa Anita as he trains up to Saturday’s Sprint.
Gentlemen’s Bet jogged a mile and galloped a mile Tuesday morning, according to Laura Moquett, who said also that the colt took a tour of the paddock on Monday and may do that again later in the week.
Tom Amoss (Sum of the Parts, Sprint) – Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Sum of the Parts galloped early Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs before boarding a plane for a return trip to Santa Anita and a second run in the Sprint.
Trained by Tom Amoss, Sum of the Parts finished fourth in last year’s Sprint behind Trinniberg. On Saturday, Sum of the Parts will break from post position five and be ridden by Leandro Goncalves. Sum of the Parts is 12-1 on the morning line.
“My assistant, Maurice Sanchez, is coming with the horse and he will be on him when he trains in the morning at Santa Anita,” Amoss said.
Todd Pletcher (Capo Bastone, Turf Sprint) – Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Capo Bastone is coming off a career-best performance, a two-length victory in the King Bishop over Saratoga’s main track, but the 3yo colt is slated to make his debut on turf in Saturday’s Turf Sprint.
The Turf Sprint will be run at 6 ½f over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course.
“The distance was the biggest factor. If the Sprint had been seven furlongs, we might have opted for that,” Pletcher said. “We just felt that six furlongs at Santa Anita for a horse that comes from far of the pace, it was going to be hard to do. We’ve worked him on the turf a couple times this summer and he seemed to handle it well. He’s got some synthetic history, and he handled that well.”
“It’s more about the dynamic of the race. I think it’s going to set up the way he wants it. Hopefully, they’re going to fly early and set it up for somebody to come from off the pace.”
Buff Bradley (Groupie Doll, Filly & Mare Sprint) – Defending Filly & Mare Sprint winner Groupie Doll, established as the 5-2 morning line favorite to score a repeat triumph Saturday, visited the paddock, jogged 6f and then galloped 1 1/4m under exercise rider Jada Schlenk Tuesday morning at Santa Anita.
“She took everything in stride and will do the same thing tomorrow,” trainer Buff Bradley said.
Coming into the Filly & Mare Sprint last year, Groupie Doll had won three consecutive races by a combined 17 ½ lengths. This year, Groupie Doll has won one of three starts with two thirds.
“I’m not totally surprised she’s the morning line favorite,” Bradley said. “She’s still the champ and she has not run poorly this year. She has been right there every time. In her race at Ellis (the 1m Gardenia) she was right there and in the TCA (Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland), she was not drilled and never stopped trying.”
Bradley does not feel the pressure of going for a repeat.
“I am just going to enjoy this,” Bradley said. “She is doing so well. The only pressure I have is figuring out who I am going to have breakfast with.”