Congor Bay, unbeaten in two starts at Woodbine, will be flown here for the $100,000-added Hollywood Prevue Stakes for 2-year-olds Nov. 23, trainer Mark Casse said Thursday from Toronto.
“He is going to fly out on the 19th with an assistant,” said Casse, who plans to race in California all winter for the first time.
Congor Bay, a son of Speightstown, broke his maiden by 6 ¾ lengths at first asking at six furlongs Oct. 1 and returned with a two-length score in a 6 ½-furlong allowance race Oct. 26. He is owned by Eugene Melnyk.
Casse will be here to saddle the colt in the Grade III Prevue, which serves as a prep for the $750,000 CashCall Futurity at 1 1/16 miles Dec. 20.
Casse said the flight will also include Insurgent, another colt scheduled to race in the $100,000-added Generous Stakes for 2-year-olds at one mile on turf Nov. 29.
“In his second start, he was impressive winning on the turf at Woodbine,” said Casse.
Casse, who shipped Sealy Hill and Clearly Foxy to Hollywood Park for Grade I stakes engagements this summer, said the two colts will be the first arrivals for his California winter stable.
“I’m hoping to have 18 or so for the winter,” said Casse, who plans to stable at Santa Anita. “We have a lot of nice horses. We have gone to New Orleans and Miami in the past but I love synthetic. We had laid up a lot of horses in the past during the winter, but we have a lot of young horses that need to be racing all winter.”
WINCHESTER WORKS FOR HOLLYWOOD DERBY
Winchester worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 on the Hollywood Park turf course in company with Towzee in preparation for the $500,000 Hollywood Derby on Nov. 30.
“He went quicker than last time,” said Tom Daly, assistant and exercise rider for trainer Dermot Weld in reference to a five-furlong drill in 1:04 Nov. 6.
“He picked it up nice,” said Daly of the 3-year-old colt, who broke off two lengths behind Towzee from the Paddy Gallagher barn where he is stabled. “It was nice to get a little blowout into him. I was real happy. He traveled real easy all the way around.”
Winchester, a Virginia-bred owned by Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Firestone, began his career with Weld in Ireland, where he made his first five starts. He shipped to Chicago to win the Grade I Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park on Aug. 9 and returned to finish seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.
Either stable jockey Patrick Smullen or Rene Douglas, who was aboard in the Secretariat, will ride in the Hollywood Derby. Other probable starters in the Grade I test at 1 ¼ miles on turf include Court Vision (Ramon Dominguez), Dixie Chatter (Tyler Baze), Gio Ponti (Garrett Gomez), Madeo (Mike Smith), Muny (David Flores), Sailor’s Cap (Alan Garcia) and Cowboy Cal (John Velazquez).
MAGICAL FANTASY DRILLS FOR MATRIARCH
Magical Fantasy worked six furlongs on turf in 1:14 under regular rider Alex Solis as the 3-year-old filly targeted the $500,000 Matriarch on Nov. 30. The Grade I test is for fillies and mares at one mile on grass.
“Very nice; she went even the whole way,” said Solis of the filly who won the Grade I Del Mar Oaks as a 42-to-1 longshot before finishing a troubled sixth in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 11.
Trainer Paddy Gallagher, also pleased with the work, hopes Magical Fantasy enjoys a cleaner trip in The Matriarch than in her last start. “She broke sharp and got in a bit tight on the turn, clipped heels and dropped back,” said Gallagher of the Keeneland race. “That didn’t help her, and she still only got beat four or five lengths.”
Matriarch foes are expected to include defending champion Precious Kitten (Rafael Bejarano), Visit (Garrett Gomez), Cocoa Beach (Ramon Dominguez), Roshani (John Velazquez), Rosinka and Passified.
MITCHELL, GOMEZ SEEK MOCCASIN REPEAT
Trainer Mike Mitchell and jockey Garrett Gomez, who teamed to win the Moccasin Stakes last year with Spring Awakening, hope to be in the winner’s circle again Sunday in the $100,000-added seven-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies with Mi Chiamano Mimi.
Mi Chiamano Mimi remained unbeaten in two starts with a front-running 1 ¼-length victory in the Anoakia Stakes at Santa Anita on Oct. 19 in a swift 1:07.93 for six furlongs.
“I was surprised he put her on the lead the other day,” said Mitchell. “Post position will probably dictate what he does in the Moccasin.”
Mi Chiamano Mimi is owned by Nate Friedman, a lawyer from Beverly Hills. “I bought her privately from Jim Chapman during an April sale in Florida,” said Mitchell.
A Kentucky-bred daughter of Came Home, Mi Chiamano Mimi broke her maiden at first asking at Del Mar in August.
MITCHELL DUO WORKS FOR UPCOMING STAKES
Church Service, runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon, worked six furlongs on Cushion Track in 1:14.20 for trainer Mike Mitchell. “He will probably come back in the Hollywood Turf Cup,” said Mitchell of the $250,000 Grade I test at 1 ½ miles on turf Dec. 6.
Delta Storm, fourth-place finisher in the Ancient Title Stakes, worked a bullet five furlongs in :59.60 for Mitchell for the $150,000 Hollywood Turf Express at six furlongs Nov. 29. “He ran a good race from the fence,” said Mitchell of the Ancient Title. “He had a rough trip.”
KINESIOLOGY DRILLS FOR MIESQUE
Kinesiology worked five furlongs on turf in 1:02.60 under exercise rider Juan Olivera for trainer Craig Dollase for the $100,000-added Miesque Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at one mile on turf Nov. 28.
“She broke her maiden on turf at Del Mar and is by Dixie Union, a good turf sire,” said Dollase. “We tried the Oak Leaf. That didn’t work, so we gave her a little freshener and are taking a swing at the Miesque.”
Kinesiology is owned by Mike Shustek and Dawn Stanley. “The filly is named for Mike’s daughter,” explained Dollase. “She is a graduate of Penn State and majored in kinesiology, the study of motion.”
COST OF FREEDOM FIRES BULLET FOR UNDERWOOD
Cost of Freedom, winner of the Grade I Ancient Title Stakes but a veterinarian scratch from the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, worked six furlongs in a bullet 1:10.60 for the $100,000-added Vernon Underwood Stakes on Nov. 22.
John Sadler, who trains the 5-year-old gelding, also plans to start Noble Court in the Grade III test at six furlongs. Noble Court won a six-furlong allowance race at Santa Anita in a torrid 1:07.87 on Oct. 4 in his first start in 14 months.
Tyler Baze will ride Cost of Freedom, and Mike Smith has the call on Noble Court.
FINISH LINES — Artiste Royal, winner of the Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap in his last start this summer, worked seven furlongs on turf in 1:29.80 for trainer Neil Drysdale, who said he is being pointed to the Hollywood Turf Cup on Dec. 6...Jack o’ Lantern, a maiden winner at Santa Anita in his second start Oct. 23, worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 for trainer Richard Matlow for the Nov. 23 Hollywood Prevue Stakes.