Critics who would chastise Mike Mitchell for strategy that might have cost Obviously victory in the City of Hope Mile Stakes would do well to hold their tongues before expressing their rant.

To that end, the trainer holds a philosophy similar to that of Lincoln when members of his Cabinet admonished Grant for over-imbibing.

“I’m going to find out what he drinks,” Lincoln told Grant’s detractors, “and send it to all my Generals.”

Mitchell isn’t second-guessing himself for Obviously’s fourth-place finish as the 1-2 favorite in the City of Hope. In fact, he’s more resolved than ever that the Irish-bred gelding is best when loose on the lead, and come the Breeders’ Cup Mile on Nov. 2, Wise Dan and all, that’s where he intends to be.

Obviously wants to be in front and that’s where he’s going to be from now on. This time, Mitchell means it.

“He’s doing great. He’s all ready to go,” Mitchell said. “We’re just going to try
different tactics now. We’re going to send him. I don’t care if they go three-quarters of a mile in (one oh) seven and one. I’m sending the sonofagun, because we’ve had two times now where we kind of sat him off the pace when they were going real fast early, and he doesn’t want that. He just wants you to let him roll. That’s the way he’s always been.”

Despite Wise Dan’s defeat in the Shadwell Mile, moved from turf to Polytrack due to heavy rains, Mitchell hasn’t lost any respect for the 2012 Horse of the Year and defending Mile champion.

“That’s a good horse and a good trainer,” Mitchell said of Wise Dan’s conditioner, Charles LoPresti. “He’s a good horseman.”


Paynter, Bob Baffert’s “other horse,” worked five furlongs in company Monday morning for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, going in a minute flat under jockey Martin Garcia. Workmate Den’s Legacy was given the identical time.

“He went awesome,” Baffert said of Paynter, who survived life-threatening ailments after winning the Grade I Haskell Invitational in 2012. “He really worked great today. In fact, both horses worked well.”

Game On Dude, the likely Classic favorite trained by Baffert, is scheduled to work Tuesday at Santa Anita for the $5 million Classic at 1 ¼ miles on Nov. 2. Pre-entries for the Breeders’ Cup races will be taken a week from today, Oct. 21.

Two Breeders’ Cup candidates trained by Steve Asmussen also worked on Santa Anita’s main track Monday, Justin Phillip (Sprint, five furlongs in 1:01, breezing), and Unbridled’s Note (Turf Sprint, five furlongs in 1:00.20). Argentine-bred Ever Rider (Marathon) worked four furlongs in 48.80 for Maria Munoz.
John Henry Stakes winner Indy Point worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s firm turf course in 1:13.60. “He couldn’t look better,” trainer Richard Mandella said.

Breeders’ Cup candidates have special dispensation to work on turf Mondays and Fridays, rather than Santa Anita’s normal turf work days of Thursday and Saturday.

Mandella said Zenyatta Stakes winner Beholder is scheduled to breeze “Tuesday or Wednesday” as the two-year-old filly champion of 2012 prepares for the $2 million Distaff on Nov. 1.
Mike Smith appears loaded for bear in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Nov. 1 and 2. Agent Brad Pegram has the Hall of Fame jockey booked on Game On Dude in the Classic; Royal Delta in the Distaff; Points Offthebench in the Sprint; Little Mike in the Turf; Fascinating in the Juvenile Fillies; and Mizdirection in the Turf Sprint.


Setsuko, like the fabled Seabiscuit a two-time runner-up in the Santa Anita Handicap, worked four furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Monday in 52.20 as he nears a return to the races for Richard Mandella.

“He’s about six weeks from running,” said the Hall of Fame trainer, a three time winner of the Big Cap. “He had a long time off with a suspensory problem, but it looks great now. We’re doing a Seabiscuit.”

Setsuko, a 6-year-old gelded son of Pleasantly Perfect, has not raced since his second to Ron the Greek in the Big Cap on March 3, 2012. Setsuko also was second in the Santa Anita Handicap to Game On Dude in 2011.

Seabiscuit, who missed the 1939 Santa Anita Handicap due to injury, was second in 1937 and 1938 before finally winning in 1940.


Jorge Periban was bursting with pride Monday morning. Not because the 54-year-old trainer won a race, but because his son, 17-year-old Jorge Jr., won his first fight as an amateur.

A student at Downey High School, Periban Jr. won a three-round decision yesterday in the
light flyweight or junior flyweight class of 108 pounds at the Ultimate Fighting Gym in Valencia.

“I’m very proud,” Periban said. “That’s my boy. He’s tall and lean, and at 108 pounds, light enough to be a jockey, but he’s never showed much interest in racing.”

Periban Jr. is scheduled to have his next fight on Nov. 8 in the San Fernando Valley.

FINISH LINES: Today’s two-day Pick Six carryover pool of $430,034 could exceed $2 million . . . Agent Brad Pegram reports that Mike Smith rides Silsita for Todd Pletcher Saturday at Keeneland in the Raven Run . . . Next Saturday, Oct. 19, all THOROUGHBREDS members at Santa Anita will receive a practical and attractive Santa Anita Throw Blanket, free with paid admission, while supplies last.


(Current Through Sunday, Oct. 13)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Rafael Bejarano 75 10 13 13 13% $553,610
Edwin Maldonado 67 9 7 6 13% $320,550
Corey Nakatani 47 9 3 7 19% $456,230
Mike Smith 24 9 3 2 38% $522,650
Joe Talamo 73 8 7 8 11% $398,344
Gary Stevens 36 8 6 6 22% $756,118
Mario Gutierrez 40 6 5 2 15% $307,790
Agapito Delgadillo 43 6 4 1 14% $152,020
Irving Orozco 45 5 2 5 11% $200,126
Julien Leparoux 38 4 6 5 11% $424,388
Martin Pedroza 40 4 3 2 10% $143,680
Victor Espinoza 61 3 11 9 5% $369,764
Martin Garcia 47 3 6 7 6% $272,980
Garrett Gomez 24 3 3 6 13% $163,206
Chantal Sutherland Kruse 16 3 3 1 19% $97,634

Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% Money Won
Doug O'Neill 51 7 4 2 14% $453,888
Bob Baffert 41 7 2 7 17% $479,290
John Sadler 46 5 10 9 11% $356,640
Peter Miller 33 5 3 5 15% $164,816
William Spawr 11 4 3 0 36% $114,710
Thomas Proctor 18 4 2 1 22% $217,430
Ronald Ellis 12 4 1 0 33% $121,980
Barry Abrams 16 4 1 0 25% $132,654
Jeff Mullins 18 4 1 0 22% $136,880
Jerry Hollendorfer 23 3 4 3 13% $184,968
Richard Mandella 15 3 1 1 20% $320,060
Eddie Truman 5 3 0 1 60% $78,010