Races listed to be run on
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)
Saturday’s race will be the final one for Groupie Doll with the ownership as she is scheduled to be sold next week at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.
“It’s very difficult,” Buff Bradley said of the sale. “She’s been a dream; a wonderful filly who has taken us places you only dream about. People ask how can we sell her when she is like one of your kids.
“It’s true. But you want to raise a good horse that is very marketable and if you do that you are very fortunate. From a business standpoint, it is the thing to do and I want to keep playing this game.”
Bradley was asked what the centerpiece would be of the Groupie Doll highlight reel.
“Her Humana Distaff last year,” Bradley said. “To win on your home track on Derby Day and set a track record … she was dead on that day. Winning the Breeders’ Cup last year was awesome, as good as it gets, and hopefully we can get another one.”
Aidan O'Brien (Cristoforo Colombo, Turf Sprint) – see European report
Antonio Avila (Great Hot, Filly & Mare Sprint) – Trainer A.C. Avila is hoping the third time is the charm for Great Hot as she is being prepared for the Filly & Mare Sprint for the third straight year.
“She’s doing super and she ran really well last time out (second in Santa Anita’s L.S. Woman Stakes). She has gained maturity over these years and she knows what she’s doing.”
Bob Baffert (Book Review, Filly & Mare Sprint; Secret Circle, Sprint) – The Giant’s Causeway filly Book Review galloped Wednesday morning at Santa Anita for trainer Bob Baffert. The Hall of Fame conditioner has the 4yo filly pointed toward the 7f Filly & Mare Sprint Saturday, but he knows she’s got her work cut out for her in the field of 12 quick distaffers.
“She’ll need a lot of luck,” Baffert said.
A six-time winner of nearly $900,000, Book Review will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano and a starting point of post two to aid her chances for luck in the $1 million race.
The 4yo Eddington offspring Secret Circle was a strong galloper for Baffert Wednesday morning. The comebacking colt is one of eight runners who are Breeders’ Cup-bound out of the Baffert barn with his particular assignment being in the 6f Sprint for a prize of $1.5 million.
Secret Circle made a winning start Oct. 14 at Santa Anita after being on the shelf for 18 months. Wednesday Baffert was asked what registered highest with him about the horse right now.
“I forgot how fast he was,” the conditioner quipped.
Chad Brown (Summer Applause, Filly & Mare Sprint) – Four-time stakes winner Summer Applause galloped on the main track at Santa Anita Wednesday morning for trainer Chad Brown.
The runner-up to Emollient in the Spinster in her last start, Summer Applause is making her final start for Brown before being sold at the Fasig-Tipton November sale next week in Lexington, Ky. Brown is moving the Harlan’s Holiday filly into a sprint race after nearly two years in longer events.
D. Wayne Lukas (Fast Bullet, Sprint) – Wednesday’s training session for Fast Bullet included a 1 1/2m jog, according to Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
Lukas, who took over training of the Zayat Stables’ runner from Bob Baffert at mid-year, said of the multiple winner, “He’s going really great right now.”
Darrin Miller (Havelock, Turf Sprint) – Silverton Hill’s Havelock jogged on the main track with trainer Darrin Miller aboard Wednesday.
It was the first day at Santa Anita for Havelock, who flew to California Tuesday from his home base in Louisville, Ky.
Winner of the Woodford at Keeneland in his most recent start, Havelock will be taking his second shot in the Turf Sprint. In 2011, he finished 14th in the 5f dash at Churchill Downs.
“The 6 ½ furlongs here is much better for him,” Miller said. “In 2011, the race was at our home track, so we thought we would take a shot.”
Now a 6yo, Havelock is a different horse than when he ran in the 2011 Turf Sprint.
“He takes things in stride a little easier and he is more relaxed,” Miller said. “But I guess the same can be said for us, too.”
A five-time stakes winner in turf sprints, Havelock will be ridden for the first time Saturday by James Graham.
David Fawkes (Bahamian Squall, Sprint) – Donald Dizney's 4yo homebred colt Bahamian Squall arrived Sunday on a FedEx flight from Miami, Fla., for his final week of preparation ahead of a start in Saturday's $1.5 million Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Sprint with jockey Luis Saez to ride breaking from post six as a 10-1 morning line chance.
Bahamian Squall worked a sharp 4f in 48 flat at Gulfstream Park Saturday morning for trainer David Fawkes, who sent out Harold Queen's Big Drama to win the Sprint at Churchill Downs in 2010.
“He (Bahamian Squall) came on the same flight from Miami with Kathleen’s (O’Connell - Scandalous Act in Juvenile Fillies) and Manny Azpurua (Street Girl in Distaff). He’s finished working and will just gallop up to the race from here. He's had some rough trips on occasion this year, particularly in the Sunshine Millions Sprint, which he probably should have won, but got shuffled back early”
The homebred son of Gone West will bid to bounce back from a fifth-place effort last out in the Vosburgh Stakes on Sept. 28 at Belmont Park. He posted his lone victory in six starts this year in the Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder on July 13, a “Win and You're In” race for the Sprint Division.
Bahamian Squall made his last two starts in New York, finishing second to Sprint rival Justin Phillip in the A.G. Vanderbilt Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 4 and a disappointing fifth behind Sprint rival Private Zone in the Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont Park on Sept. 28.
“He ran a good race at Saratoga, but he didn’t like the track at all at Belmont. He’s done well here and I feel good going into Saturday,” Fawkes said.
Doug O'Neill (Private Zone, Sprint; Handsome Mike, Turf Sprint; Renee's Titan, Filly & Mare Sprint) – Trainer Doug O’Neill watched from the grandstand as sprinters Private Zone, Renee's Titan and Handsome Mike galloped on the main track for Breeders' Cup engagements Saturday.
Private Zone ranks as a morning-line favorite, but O’Neill cautioned not to dismiss longshots Renee's Titan and Handsome Mike lightly either.
“Renee's Titan had the biggest win of her life at Santa Anita,” said O’Neill in reference to a 20-1
upset victory in the Santa Ynez Stakes here in January at the expense of champion Beholder. “We hoped to draw the rail and did. She'll drop back and make one powerful run.”
O’Neill also hopes that Handsome Mike regains previous form from here. “He's won down the hill before,” O’Neill said in reference to a maiden score in his only try on the hillside turf course in October 2011. “We're taking the blinkers off. He's going to be a huge longshot, but he will outrun his odds.”
Jeff Bonde (Majestic Stride, Sprint) – A 1 1/2m gallop was the order of the day Wednesday morning for sprinter Majestic Pride, who comes to the race off an allowance victory at Santa Anita, only his second start of the year.
Bonde had high hopes for Majestic Stride during 2012, but the gelded son of Trippi came out of Oaklawn Park’s Southwest Stakes with an injury and was sidelined for the year. So at this point, he might be the freshest horse in the race, and Bonde has warned, “A fresh horse is always dangerous.”
Jerry Hollendorfer (Sweet Lulu, Filly & Mare Sprint) – Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who arrived at Santa Anita Tuesday afternoon, watched Sweet Lulu gallop 1 1/2m over the main track as she continues her preparation for Saturday’s 7f test.
“She’s been doing very well and I expect a big race out of her,” Hollendorfer said, adding that she might school in the paddock during the Thursday race card.
Kiaran McLaughlin (Dance Card, Filly & Mare Sprint) – Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin arrived from New York on Tuesday and was at the barn on Wednesday morning to supervise preparations for all four of his Breeders’ Cup hopefuls.
“Everything is right on schedule,” he said.
Godolphin Racing’s Dance Card, who will be making just her second start this year since recovering from ankle chips, galloped 1 3/8m under exercise rider Rob Massey and plans called for her to go to the gate for schooling on Thursday morning.
Mark Casse (Laugh Track, Sprint) – Gary Barber and WinStar Farm’s Laugh Track, who has only finished out of the money once in nine starts, galloped 1 1/2m on Wednesday morning under exercise rider Juan Bernardini and trainer Mark Casse reported that he is pleased with the way the son of Distorted Humor is coming into his race.
Casse, who captured his fifth Sovereign Award as Canada’s outstanding trainer last year, said that he considered working Laugh Track and his three other Breeders’ Cup hopefuls (My Conquestadory
in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, Conquest Titan in the Juvenile and Pool Play in the Marathon) once more before their races but decided that after shipping from Churchill Downs they will gallop up to the race.
Casse, who has been under the weather this week, reported that he is feeling better and will arrive at Santa Anita on Wednesday and be at the barn on Thursday morning. In his absence, assistant David Adams has been in charge.
Martin Wolfson (Starship Truffles, Filly & Mare Sprint) – Starship Truffles, a 4yo daughter of 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, arrived without incident after shipping from trainer Marty Wolfson’s Gulfstream Park base and jogged 1 mile on the main track on Wednesday morning.
“She shipped very well and she got over the surface fine,” said Raja Malek, who is supervising her care for Wolfson. “We’re not going to school in the paddock or at the gate and will just gallop up to the race.”
The winner of the Princess Rooney Handicap, which was her first Graded stakes win as well as her only Grade 1 victory three starts back at Calder Race Course, seemed to relish the Southern California climate.
“It’s much cooler and less humid here than it is in Miami,” said Malek. “She was definitely on her toes this morning and ate well. She’s a quiet filly who doesn’t get too excited. Now the plan is to just keep her happy and good right up until the time I saddle her for the race.”
After Starship Truffles won the Princess Rooney, she went through the ring in the 2013 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July Horses of All Ages sale and was bought by Castelton Lyons for $1 million. Instead of retiring her to a second career as a broodmare or transferring her to a different trainer, her new owners put her right back on a van bound for Wolfson’s barn.
Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens will be aboard for the first time on Friday.
“After she won the Princess Rooney, she had a bad experience at Saratoga in the Ballerina when the horse next to her flipped (in the gate) an then everything went south from there,” Stevens said. “I like her style of running and I’m looking forward to riding her. Marty usually doesn’t ship them from South Florida unless he’s serious.”
Wolfson, who has run seven previous starters in Breeders’ Cup events and won the 2006 Mile with Miesque’s Approval, certainly has a way with the fillies as he has won the Princess Rooney a record-setting four times. Castleton Lyons has been represented in four Breeders’ Cup renewals by Gio Ponti, who was eighth in the 2007 Juvenile Turf, second in the 2009 Classic, second in the 2010 Mile, and fourth in the 2011 Mile.
Mike Pender (Boat Trip and Jeranimo, Turf Sprint) – The two Mike Pender trainees, both in part owned by his premier client B.J. Wright, jogged Wednesday, a day after walking the shedrow Tuesday to recover from a strong gallops on Monday.
In something of a rarity these days Jeranimo, a fully intact son of Congaree, is racing at seven when many contemporaries of high accomplishment have long been retired to stud. This is prompting inquiries regarding whether this will be Jeranimo's last race.
“I think from the beginning of the year right on through we've taken the approach that we're going to follow his lead," Pender said. “We've got the Citation looming at Hollywood Park going a mile and a sixteenth. On Saturday if he falls off a little too far off the pace then makes a run but doesn't get there, then this race is a perfect prep for the Citation.
“He's one of those rare horses that comes back exactly as he was. It's mind boggling to have an iron horse like this. In a time in horse racing when so many horses are retired so quickly, we literally have a throwback.
“The first race he won was at 6 1/2 furlongs here, so it would kind of come full circle and be a nice way to wrap things up if in fact we were going to do it. But I don't think we're going to do it. I think this horse will keep rolling right through his 8-year-old year. We've turned him out at the farm before and he gets depressed. He really has a home here at this barn.”
Mike Puype (Mizdirection, Turf Sprint) – Defending Turf Sprint champion Mizdirection galloped her customary 1 1/2 miles on Wednesday. And trainer Mike Puype continued to exude confidence regarding the 5yo daughter of Mizzen Mast's first start since the June 8 Just A Game at Belmont Park that produced a fifth-place finish, her only loss in four 2013 starts.
“It was a Grade 1 and there are very few Grade 1 races for her,” Puype said of the decision. “There aren't many Grade 1 sprints on turf for fillies. It was a logical race for distance, a one turn mile. We were just unfortunate that it rained the night before the race and she doesn't like the turf wet or deep, she likes it fast and firm.”
“There weren't any races after that I liked for her, so I decided our best chance to win this race was to just come in fresh. It worked once, so why not try it again. She loves to run fresh, and the best race of her career was this one last year off a five-month layoff.”
Mizdirection won the 2012 Turf Sprint after going unraced from late May to early November.
Peter Miller (Reneesgotzip, Turf Sprint) – Reneesgotzip tested the Santa Anita main track for the first time this week with a 1m gallop Wednesday morning on her way to Saturday’s projected battle with 13 other sprinters in the 6 1/2f Turf Sprint down the hillside turf course.
“She’s doing really great,” said trainer Peter Miller, who intends to gallop her up to Saturday’s race with schooling in the paddock planned during Thursday’s race card.
Ron Ellis (Teddy's Promise, Filly & Mare Sprint) – Trainer Ron Ellis hopes that Teddy's Promise replicates the form that carried her to a 16-to-1 upset victory in the $300,000 La Brea Stakes here on Dec. 31, 2011, and again rewards the faith of modest owner-breeders Ted and Judy Nichols.
The couple is understandably close to the filly. "We pulled her out when she was foaled at Golden Eagle Farm," said a jubilant Ted Nichols after the La Brea, in which the California-bred filly numbered Turbulent Descent among her victims. "It took five us to get her out. That's how big she was."
Teddy's Promise has continued big during a career in which she has won 10 of 26 starts and earned $822,397. The couple entered ownership in 2008 when they bought Braids and Beads, the dam of Teddy's Promise.
The couple lives on their Sun Run Farm, a 7 1/2-acre avocado grove on the border of Oceanside and Bonsall in north San Diego County. Judy comes from a show-dog background. "Best in show in dogs does not compare with this at all," she said after the La Brea.
Teddy's Promise, trying to give the couple even bigger things to shout about Saturday, walked shedrow Wednesday after being shipped from Betfair Hollywood Park Tuesday.
Steve Asmussen (Justin Phillip, Sprint; Unbridled's Note, Turf Sprint) – Last year, the one disappointment for trainer Steve Asmussen, who enjoyed a dream Breeders’ Cup with a victory and three second-place finishes among his six starters, was Justin Phillip’s fifth-place finish in the Sprint. That prompted him and owner Ahmed Zayat to devise a 2013 plan that to date has worked out perfectly. The 5yo First Samurai was made the 4-1 co-second choice in the 6f race.
“He’s obviously better this year,” said Asmussen. “We were concerned with what appeared like a lack of effort on his part in the Sprint, so earlier this year, we purposely chose races where he’d be heavily favored and we’ve spaced his races. His two races in Hot Springs (wins in both an optional allowance race and the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap) gave him confidence and helped propel him to where he is today.”
Most trainers would be upset to have drawn post 14, but after Unbridled’s Note finished a close second in the Turf Sprint last year from post 13, Asmussen sees the post more of an advantage this time.
“I might be worried if he hadn’t run well last year,” said Asmussen. “He has that experience now and it can’t hurt. There’s certain variables you just can’t control.”
Tom Amoss (Sum of the Parts, Sprint) – Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Sum of the Parts walked the shedrow at Barn 15 the day after arriving from Kentucky.
“He had a long day yesterday and Tom decided to give him the morning off,” said Maurice Sanchez, assistant to trainer Tom Amoss.
Fourth in the Sprint last year, Sum of the Parts is scheduled to go to the track in the morning at a time to be determined.
“This is the first time I have been here, so I am checking things out,” Sanchez said.
Todd A. Pletcher (Capo Bastone, Turf Sprint) – Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Capo Bastone galloped over Santa Anita’s main track Wednesday morning for his turf debut in Saturday’s Turf Sprint.
The 6 1/2f race will be run on Santa Anita’s unique downhill turf course, which includes a short stretch of dirt at the top of the stretch.
“I think you can have horses that find their niche here and get familiar with the course. That was one of the concerns we had. You’ve got to cross the dirt and that can be a little intimidating the horse’s first time,” trainer Todd Pletcher said.
“But he’s not going to be the first one over it, so I think there’s comfort knowing there are other horses around him and he can follow them across it. He’s got an explosive kick. I think he has the right style for it.”
Capo Bastone, who finished third in the Juvenile at Santa Anita last year, closed with a rush to win the 7f King’s Bishop by two lengths last time out.
Wesley Ward (Judy the Beauty, Filly & Mare Sprint) – Owner-trainer Wesley Ward’s Judy the Beauty arrived at Santa Anita late Tuesday afternoon after a flight from Kentucky and was settled into the barn of Blake Heap, who will oversee the filly’s preparations this week.
In compiling a record of 12-5-6-1, Judy the Beauty has shown to be a force on dirt or Polytrack, the latter surface on which she won the Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland.
Ward is sure what surface she is best on.
“The dirt, but I’m not sure about the Santa Anita dirt,” Ward said by phone from his barn at Keeneland. “She has trained and run her best on dirt and the best she ever worked was at Aqueduct.”
Judy the Beauty worked 5f at Keeneland in 59 4/5 Monday morning, a pleasing move to Ward.
Purchased for $20,000, Judy the Beauty has proved quite the bargain for Ward, earning $585,757. The success is no surprise to Ward.
“I was the first one to get on her back,” Ward said. “I could feel it from the first day.”
Bill Spawr (Ismene, Filly & Mare Sprint) – For the third straight year, trainer Bill Spawr will have a sprinter running in the Breeders’ Cup, but this time it will be a filly, Ismene, running in the 7f Filly & Mare Sprint on Saturday. For the past two years, it’s been Amazombie in the Sprint, winning in 2011 and finishing a disappointing eighth last year.
As for Ismene’s training, Spawr said the 4yo daughter of Tribal Rule, galloped 1 1/2 m Wednesday morning and said her serious training is finished. “We expect her to be in front for awhile,” he said with a smile and then quipped, “My job is to get her to the quarter pole and it’s Mike’s job to get her home.”
All-time leading Breeders’ Cup rider Mike Smith has the call on Ismene, as he did also on Amazombie.