Koriner is not dismayed by post 7 for his 4yo son of Orientate.
“It’s a small field, so that helps,” Koriner said.
Koriner bought the colt following a third-place finish in the W.R. Cluer Memorial Handicap at Turf Paradise.
“He acts like that at home, too,” said trainer Michael Stoute. “Likes to let them know who’s the boss.”
Spanish Moon, a 5yo by El Prado who got himself banned in Britain last year after several starting gate incidents, schooled in the gate Wednesday morning with jockey Kieren Fallon aboard.
Conduit, a 4yo son of Dalakhani, comes into Saturday’s race off a strong fourth behind Sea of Stars in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Before that, the colt won the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
“He ran well in the Arc,” Stoute said, “and he’s taken this journey very well. The King George was his main target this year.”
Conduit drew post 2 for the Turf and will have regular rider Ryan Moore in the irons. The colt wins his races with one strong run in the stretch, as he demonstrated here last year.
Stoute was asked about the presence of Presious Passion, who has been known to open huge early leads and have something left for the finish.
“I haven’t looked at the form closely yet,” he said. “I plan to study it tonight.”
Spanish Moon, who comes into Saturday’s race off two wins in France, has definitely improved his gate manners, Stoute said.
“He’s been fine in France this year,” the trainer said. “and this morning he had no problems at the gate.”
Dar Re Mi – Trainer John Gosden said distance had everything to do with the decision to run the 4yo filly against males in the Turf. Da Re Mi enters the Breeders’ Cup off a fifth-place finish in the the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Europe’s most important race, where she also faced males.
“She’s a top filly at a mile and a half,” Gosden said. “This is a pretty quick mile and a half, you know. You run downhill for the first section. And the ground will be firm.”
Gosden said the Filly & Mare Turf, a 1 1/4m race, was considered for Da Re Mi.
“We thought about it, but the problem with the mile and a quarter here is it rides like a nine-furlong race,” he said. “You come straight over the main track and around the flat oval. She’s a mile and a half filly. I think to be fair to the filly you’ve got to run her over a trip. It’s as simple as that.”
Dar Re Mi, winner of three consecutive Group I races against females this year, will be ridden by jockey Frankie Dettori.
Monzante – Trainer Mike Mitchell said drawing the outside post in a field of eight will not compromise the chances of the 5yo gelding.
“He just drops out of it anyway,” said Mitchell of the stretch-running son of Maria's Mon.
Monzante galloped on the main track under exercise rider Jose Dominguez on Wednesday after being shipped from Hollywood Park on Tuesday.
Presious Passion – The 6yo gelding, who won the Clement Hirsch Stakes over the Santa Anita turf course last out, had a leisurely morning as he just jogged around the main track to stretch his legs under exercise rider Fernando Espinoza.
Trainer Mary Hartmann, who arrived Tuesday afternoon, said she was happy with the way her horse is coming up to his toughest assignment yet in Saturday’s Turf.
“He’s been here since Oct. 8, and he loves Santa Anita,” Hartmann said. “He likes warm weather and he likes a firm turf course, so this is the ideal place for him.”
Presious Passion has won two major grass stakes this year with dramatic performances on the front end. He took the United Nations at Monmouth after opening up a 20-length margin the first half-mile, and in the Oct. 11 Clement Hirsch gained a long lead on the backstretch and cruised to a 2 ½-length score with only minor urging from jockey Elvis Trujillo.
“That was an effortless win,” Hartmann said. “Elvis just gave him one tap in the stretch, and that was it. He was cruising at the wire.”
Presious Passion, a son of Royal Anthem, will be meeting world-class horses – including 2008 Turf winner Conduit -- for the first time Saturday, and Hartmann said it will be interesting to see how he reacts.
“Conduit has a big late kick, and ‘Presious’ has never met a horse with a kick like that,” Hartmann said. “But he won’t be looking back, anyway. And he could take the Europeans out of their game the way he runs, because I don’t think they’ve ever seen anything like him.
“The best thing about him,” Hartmann said, “is that he gives it everything he has every time. He lays it all on the line every race, and he’ll do it again. Win or lose, he runs his best.”
Presious Passion, owned by Patricia Generazio, came into his own last year at 5, when trainer and jockey finally figured out that the horse just wanted to do what he wanted to do, which was set sail from the gate and play catch-me-if-you-can.
“In the McKnight at Calder last year, Elvis let him go from the start,” Hartmann said, “and ‘Presious’ took off on a long lead. He won that race, and we knew after that we should just let him run his own race.”
The trainer said the instructions to Trujillo will be the same as the previous eight races – give Presious Passion his head and see what happens.
“You have to let him be who he is,” Hartmann said philosophically. “You have to let him do what he wants to do. He knows how he likes to run, and he’s been good at it. No reason to change now.”
Red Rocks – The 6yo son of Galileo, who will be competing in his fourth straight edition of the Turf, was out early Wednesday morning for a once-around the main track gallop with stablemate Radiohead, who goes in the Juvenile.
Trainer Brian Meehan, who saddled Red Rocks to win the Turf in 2006 at Churchill Downs and run third at Monmouth in 2007, has named Julian Leparoux to ride the horse for the first time Saturday.
Red Rocks, who was trained by Mark Hennig when he ran 10th in last year’s Turf here, returned to Meehan’s care this fall, and finished fourth in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes most recently on Sept. 27.
Telling – The Steve Hobby-trained 5yo galloped 1 ¾ m over the Santa Anita training track on Wednesday morning as he continues his preparation for Saturday’s Turf.
“Tomorrow morning we get to train him down the hill,” Hobby said. “He’s doing great.”
Following his 33-1 upset in the Sword Dancer Invitational, his connections immediately circled Nov. 7 on their calendar, but in order to make the Breeders’ Cup trip, Telling needed to prove to his connections that he could be competitive in a comparable race.
“We wanted to make sure we belonged,” Hobby said.
Telling crossed the line third in the Turf Classic Invitational on Oct. 3, only to be disqualified and placed fourth for causing stretch run interference.
“The ground was so soft,” Hobby said. “He didn’t like it at all. Half way through the race he looked like a horse who wasn’t even going to try, but he didn’t throw in the towel. He gutted it out.”
Telling drew the rail for Saturday’s Turf, but the post was of little concern to Hobby.
“Presious Passion will go, so it should be a strung out field. It’s not a big field, and there’s a lot of running to do over this distance. Any ground we can save is in our favor.”