“He ran a big race time, showed he could handle the synthetics in the Breeders’ Futurity,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “He’s definitely improving race-by-race.”
Jockey Alan Garcia rides Aikenite in the Juvenile Saturday.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien was traveling from Ireland on Monday and is expected at Santa Anita on Tuesday.
Alfred Nobel, a son of Danehill Dancer, won the Railway Stakes and the Phoenix Stakes during a seven-race career that began on April 18
Aspire – The Tale of the Cat colt worked 4f in 47 on Monday at Santa Anita with regular exercise rider Georgiana Baxter aboard. The colt, third last time out in the Champagne Stakes, arrived in California with a large Kentucky contingent on Saturday, Oct. 31.
“He’s doing well,” said trainer Eddie Kenneally, who arrives himself on Wednesday. “Georgiana said he went super.”
Jockey Julien Leparoux, aboard for the colt’s first two races, but not in the Champagne, gets the mount back on Saturday.
Awesome Act – see Juvenile turf (fourth on preference list in Juvenile)
Beethoven – The most experienced of the Juvenile prospects with 10 starts since May arrived at Santa Anita at 7:15 Sunday evening with the Coolmore contingent of seven horses.
He clears the 42-hour quarantine period Tuesday and is expected to visit the track for the first time on Wednesday morning.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien was traveling from Ireland on Monday and is expected at the track on Tuesday.
The son of Oratorio won the Dewhurst Stakes on October 17 to improve his career record to 2-1-3.
Buzzword – see Juvenile Turf
D' Funnybone – Multiple graded stakes winner D’ Funnybone breezed 5f over Aqueduct’s main track Monday morning in 59 4/5 under jockey Rudy Rodriguez. By virtue of his New York victories in the Saratoga Special and Futurity, D’ Funnybone is one of the leading contenders in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
“The horse is really doing good,” trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said. “He’s been training unbelievable since the Futurity. It just seems like the light went on with him after that race. He’s different now in the mornings. When we breezed him, we used to have to ask him. Now, we can’t stop him. Judging by that we love where we’re at with him.”
Jockey Edgar Prado has the mount aboard D’ Funnybone, who is scheduled to fly from New York Tuesday at 4:30 a.m.
Dave in Dixie – The Dixie Union colt, who was one of the “buzz” horses for Saturday’s Juvenile, was put on hold instead and officially withdrawn from the race Monday morning.
“I’m going to have a real nice horse for this winter,” trainer John Sadler said at his Santa Anita barn. “There’s nothing wrong with him; we just thought we’d do better to give him some time.”
Dave in Dixie has raced only twice, smartly scoring in a straight maiden race at Del Mar in August and then finished a fast-closing, better-than-it-looked sixth in the Norfolk at Santa Anita last month.
Eskendereya – Trained Todd Pletcher pre-entered Eskendereya in both the Juvenile and Juvenile Turf. Monday morning, Pletcher said Eskendereya, a minor stakes-winning son of Giant’s Causeway, would start in the Juvenile. Jockey Javier Castellano has the mount.
“The horse has been training very well on dirt so we’re going to go into the Juvenile,” Pletcher said. “Even though the horse has never run on synthetics it seems like a lot of the (Giant’s Causeway offspring) like that track.”
Eskendereya flies to California Tuesday.
Fist of Rage – Trainer Ken McPeek reports he did not send Fist of Rage to California. The colt was unlikely to make the field for either the Juvenile or Juvenile Turf because of his place on the preference list.
Gallant Gent – see Juvenile Turf
Lookin At Lucky – The 2yo son of Smart Strike turned in his final preparations for the Juvenile Monday morning when he went 4f in 47 1/5 for trainer Bob Baffert.
“That was just a little work, he’s been ready,” Baffert said. “He’s really fit right now and I want to keep him happy; the distance is not a problem. As long as they don’t have distance limitations, you don’t have to worry. That’s the fun part about him.”
Unbeaten winner of the Norfolk Stakes, Del Mar Futurity, and Best Pal Stakes for owners Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman, Lookin At Lucky had a previous work of 6f in 1:12 2/5 on Oct. 27, and had turned in three bullets before then – an Oct. 21 move of 6f in 1:11 4/5, an Oct. 15 4f work in 46 flat, and a Sept. 30 work going 4f in 46 4/5.
“The thing about ‘Lucky’ is that he’s really on his game right now,” Baffert said. “But you need luck; you go into it with the best horse but you still need the trip. At least the track is playing fair right now, the track maintenance guy has done a great job, he’s putting the water on it and it’s playing like dirt right now so that’s good.”
Jockey Garrett Gomez has been the only rider aboard Lookin At Lucky, who will shedrow Tuesday. He retains the mount on Saturday.
Mint Chip – Trainer Rusty Arnold opted not to send Mint Chip to California because he was unlikely to make the field for either the Juvenile or Juvenile Turf because of his place on the preference list.
Noble's Promise – Trainer Ken McPeek reports that the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity winner was doing well one day after working 5f in 59 1/5 at Santa Anita on Sunday. He just walked on Monday.
“It was a good work, just what we wanted,” said McPeek.
Jockey Willie Martinez has the mount.
Piscitelli – Preparations for Juvenile contender Piscitelli, who will be ridden in the race by Kent Desormeaux, continued on Monday morning as the 2yo colt was sent out for an easy gallop over the main track.
“He’s doing great,” said Rick Sacco, brother of trainer Gregg Sacco and the racing manager for owner William Schettine.
“He went nice and easy and he’ll only gallop up to the race. He breezed six furlongs in 1:17 at Keeneland (over the synthetic surface) on Friday and flew in on Saturday. Everything’s good.”
Piscitelli, whom Schettine named for his barber, is being housed in trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s barn at Santa Anita. On Monday Angel Rangel, who works for Hollendorfer, galloped the son of Victory Gallop.
Pounced – see Juvenile Turf
Pulsion –Pulsion, who turned in a 5f workout in 1:02 3/5 over the Santa Anita main track on Sunday morning, was out for a jog on Monday by exercise rider Daron Long.
“His work was exactly what we wanted,” said Chris Crowe, assistant to trainer Patrick Biancone. “All is good with him.”
The 2yo son of Include, second in the Norfolk Stakes here last out on Oct. 4, will have the services of regular rider Mike Smith in the Juvenile.
Radiohead – The son of Juvenile winner Johannesburg remained in quarantine Monday after arriving on Sunday. The colt will try to emulate his sire on Saturday while racing on a synthetic surface for the first time.
Brian Meehan trains Radiohead, who was a closing second in the Middle Park Stakes last out on Oct. 2. Martin Dwyer will again be in the irons Saturday.
Vale of York – The Godolphin runner who tries a synthetic track for the first time in Saturday’s Juvenile, remained in quarantine Monday after his Sunday arrival at Santa Anita.
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor will name a rider on Tuesday. The colt has been ridden recently by Ahmed Ajtebi, who was aboard in Vale of York’s narrow defeat in the San Siro Gran Criterium last out.
William's Kitten – With exercise rider Derek Smith aboard, Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey's Juvenile hopeful William's Kitten, currently third on the preference list, worked a handy 4f Monday morning in 46 2/5 at Santa Anita.
“He's fit and didn't need a whole lot,” said trainer Mike Maker. “He did it well within himself. If he gets in, Ramon Dominguez will ride.”
The first three starts in the career of William's Kitten came on grass, but with Dean's Kitten and Kera's Kitten intended for the Juvenile Turf, this 2yo son of Kitten's Joy was pre-entered for the Juvenile.
“He ran a creditable race on Polytrack in the Grey at Woodbine, and didn't have the greatest of trips,” Maker said. “Of the three males we brought, we think he's the most adaptable.”
William's Kitten broke his maiden on the Ellis Park grass, and won the Sunday Silence at Louisiana Downs on dirt after the race was washed off the turf course. All five of his races have come at different tracks.
“It's safe to say that he's used to shipping,” Maker said with a chuckle.