Trevor Denman has called six of Zenyatta’s victories, and the sharp-eyed Oak Tree race caller sees no reason the brilliant mare can’t defeat males should she run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic next Saturday.
“Categorically, she can beat the boys,” Denman said. “In Europe, it’s done all the time, and why shouldn’t she? She’s such a big filly. She’s strong, she’s almost like a male. Definitely she can beat the boys. It’s tough for a filly to beat the colts, but it has been done and always will be done. What does it take? An exceptional filly. Is she exceptional? Oh, yes.”
“I think they’re going to spread themselves out,” he said. “Last year, they bunched up on the turn, and I think that cost Curlin pretty dearly. I don’t see it happening in this race, especially with all those English horses
“Most of them are going to come from behind. They don’t have speed, so I think Zenyatta is going to find her way through. Might she have to go wide? Oh, yes. Will she be a Curlin? I don’t think so.”
SMITH OPTIMISTIC ZENYATTA WOULD CONQUER NEW OBJECTIVES
Despite the fact that she has never faced males and never run at a distance of a mile and a quarter, Mike Smith has every confidence that Zenyatta can stretch her unbeaten streak to 14 when she takes on the boys as anticipated in next Saturday’s $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Oak Tree at Santa Anita.
“The extra eighth of a mile certainly should benefit her,” said the 44-year-old Hall of Fame jockey, who has ridden the 5-year-old mare in her last 10 races. “She shows that in her races, anyway. She runs a mile and an eighth all the time (three races), and she’s always galloping out with plenty left. You wouldn’t think an extra eighth would matter to her. I should hope not.
“But she’s training well and she’s ready to go, wherever they decide to run her.”
“They” in this case means owners Jerry and Ann Moss and trainer John Shirreffs, who have pre-entered Zenyatta in the both Classic and the Ladies’ Classic, which she won at Oak Tree last year.
In other Breeders’ Cup news:
Godolphin had its Blue Crew out early as usual on the first morning of Daylight Standard Time. Ancient Title Stakes winner Gayego (Sprint) worked five furlongs 1:00.80; Girolamo (Classic) went the same distance in :59.20; Pyro (Dirt Mile) went five furlongs under Angel Cordero Jr. in 1:03.40; Regal Ransom (Classic) the same distance in :59.20; and Midshipman (Dirt Mile) six furlongs in 1:13.
“Everything went according to plan,” said Henry Spiller, assistant to trainer Saeed bin Suroor. “I’m very happy with how they worked. Regal Ransom worked first at 5:10. He went off a lot better today. He went off in :12 and four (fifths) and galloped out in :59 1/5 and did it all very much in hand. I’m very happy with him.”
Added Richard Migliore, who worked both Regal Ransom and Gayego: “Both couldn’t be better. They’re as good as a horse can be. Regal Ransom was aggressive with me again, but as aggressive as he was, he was more reasonable today. He went off in :12 and change instead of :11 and change, like last week. Gayego is just a very happy horse.”
Oak Leaf Stakes winner Blind Luck (Juvenile Fillies) worked five furlongs for Jerry Hollendorfer in 1:01.20. “It was a very good work,” the trainer said. “She went real slow early and finished up real good, her last eighth in :11.47. I got her a little faster than that, but we don’t care. She’s ready.”
Oak Leaf runner-up Always a Princess worked five furlongs in company under Joey Steiner in a bullet :58.40 for Bob Baffert. “She felt really good,” the former jockey said. “We had kind of an easy pace. She was on the bit, and she finished up good. She’s strong; she’s really doing good.” Always a Princess worked with Miss Heather Lee, who was clocked in :58.60.
Other workers on Pro-Ride Sunday included: Santa Anita Handicap winner Einstein (Classic), four furlongs in :47.80 for trainer Helen Pitts; Lethal Heat (Ladies’ Classic), four furlongs in a bullet :46.60 for trainer Barry Abrams; Crown of Thorns (Dirt Mile or Sprint), five furlongs in :59.80 for Richard Mandella; On Fire (Marathon), five furlongs in 1:00.60 for Abrams; Norfolk Stakes runner-up Pulsion (Juvenile), five furlongs in 1:02.60 for trainer Patrick Biancone; and Cost of Freedom (Sprint), six furlongs in 1:12.40 for trainer John Sadler.
On Santa Anita’s turf Sunday, Morvich Handicap winner California Flag (Turf Sprint) went four furlongs in a bullet :48 for trainer Brian Koriner, equaling the time of Cowboy Cal (Mile) for Todd Pletcher.
Fractional times provided by Oak Tree clocker John Malone included the following: Regal Ransom, :13 1/5, :24 1/5, :35 3/5, :47 4/5 and a gallop out of 1:12 3/5; Midshipman,
:13 3/5, :26 1/5, :37 3/5, :49 2/5, 1:00 1/5 and a gallop out of 1:26 2/5; Pyro, :13 4/5, :26 3/5, :38 4/5, :51 and a gallop out of 1:17 4/5; Gayego, :13 2/5, :25 4/5, :37 3/5 and :49 4/5; and Girolamo, :36 2/5, :48 1/5 and a gallop out of 1:11 4/5.
Also, Pulsion, :12 4/5, :25 2/5, :38 and :50 2/5 (Pulsion worked with stablemate Sea of Marmara, who was clocked in 1:02.20); Cost of Freedom, :24 2/5, :36 1/5, :48 3/5 and 1:00 3/5. Crown of Thorns, who worked with Meteore (:59.80), :12, :24, :35 3/5 and :48 1/5; Cowboy Cal, :12 3/5, :24 1/5, :36 3/5; and California Flag, :11 2/5, :23 3/5 and :35 4/5.
On Hollywood Park’s Cushion Track Sunday, Whatsthescript (Mile) went six furlongs in a bullet 1:11.80 for Sadler.
Tim Ice said Summer Bird came out of his five-furlong workout Saturday in :59.40 in good order. “He looks good this morning,” the trainer said Sunday. “He ate up everything last night, he ate all of his breakfast this morning. He’s a happy horse.”
Chip Woolley Jr. remains confident there will be enough pace in the Classic to benefit the late run of Mine That Bird. “You can’t let Regal Ransom steal away to an easy lead,” the trainer of the Kentucky Derby winner said. “I can’t get a read on the foreign horses, but there should be enough speed going a mile and a quarter to help the closers.”
Woolley is sentimental about a leather motorcycle jacket he has had for 20 years. An inscription on the back reads, “Chip Woolley Racing Stable,” but more significant is the number “8” in the center.
“That’s the number Mine That Bird wore when he won the Derby,” Woolley pointed out.
BREEDERS’ CUP LISTS POST TIMES AND WAGERING MENU
Gates at Santa Anita open to the public at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 6, and 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, for the 26th Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Following are the scheduled post times and wagering menu for the upcoming Breeders’ Cup races:
Friday, Nov. 6: race 1, allowance, 11:15 a.m.; 2, allowance, 11:49 a.m.; 3, Marathon, 12:35 p.m.; 4, Juvenile Fillies Turf, 1:08 p.m.; 5, Juvenile Fillies, 1:45 p.m.; 6, Filly & Mare Turf, 2:23 p.m.; 7, Filly & Mare Sprint, 3:02 p.m.; 8, Ladies’ Classic, 3:45 p.m.; and 9, Las Palmas Stakes, 4:25 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 7: 1, Damascus Stakes, 10:05 a.m.; 2, Juvenile Turf, 10:45 a.m.; 3, Turf Sprint, 11:23 a.m.; 4, Sprint, 12:10 p.m.; 5, Juvenile, 12:49 p.m.; 6, Mile, 1:28 p.m.; 7, Dirt Mile, 2:12 p.m.; 8, Turf, 2:57 p.m.; 9, Classic, 3:45 p.m.; and 10, Oak Tree Derby, 4:25 p.m.
There will be win, place, show, exacta, trifecta and superfecta wagering on each race, and a super high five on the Ladies’ Classic and the Classic. In addition, daily double wagering will be offered on the Ladies’ Classic to the next day’s Classic.
Also, there will be Pick 3 betting on races one through seven on Friday, and one through eight on Saturday. There will be Pick 4 betting on races one, five and six on Friday, and two, six and seven on Saturday. Pick Six betting will start with race three on Friday and race four on Saturday, so that only Breeders’ Cup races are included.
Head-to-head wagering on which rider will win the most Breeders’ Cup races starts on Friday’s third race, the Marathon.
BREEDERS’ CUP SHUTTLE BUSES AVAILABLE FRIDAY AND SATURDAY
The Oak Tree Racing Association and Breeders’ Cup Ltd. will run continuous shuttles between Santa Anita and the Sierra Madre Villa Train Station in East Pasadena between 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6, and between 7:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7.
It is estimated that buses will arrive at the station every 45 minutes. Shuttle buses will be marked with a purple “Gold Line Shuttle” sign and will be parked in berth 4 on the ground level of the Sierra Madre Villa Station.
FINISH LINES: Joel Rosario, battling the flu, took off his scheduled five mounts at Oak Tree Sunday . . . Phyllis S. Adams, 86, of Arcadia, widow of jockey Johnny Adams, died on Oct. 27. She was born to the late John and Rose Bucalo on March 19, 1923, in Covington, Ky. She was preceded in death by their daughter, Rosella Adams. Phyllis was married to John Adams on Jan. 22, 1943. Adams was inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall Of Fame in 1965. He was also leading rider in America by number of wins in 1939, 1942 and 1943. Among his stakes victories were the 1939 and 1946 Santa Anita Handicaps on Kayak II and War Knight, respectively, and the 1956 Preakness on Hasty Road. Phyllis enjoyed entertaining friends and family at their home, Thoroughbred horse racing and bingo. She is survived by siblings Angela Glaser, Sam Bucalo, Benny Bucalo and John Bucalo, her niece, Angela Meadows, nephews John H. Bucalo, Charles Peters and other nieces and nephews. The family requests in lieu of flowers that donations be made to Vitas Hospice at 877-800-2951. Service arrangements are pending. An online memorial will be held at legacy.com . . . Probable for Friday’s Grade II $200,000 Las Palmas Handicap for fillies and mares at one mile on turf: Bel Air Sizzle, Joe Talamo; Exquisite, Alex Solis; Made for Magic, no rider; Meydan Princess, Mike Smith; Tuscan Evening, Rafael Bejarano; and Zardana, Victor Espinoza . . . Probable for Saturday’s $100,000 Damascus Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs: Feisty Suances, Joel Rosario; M One Rifle, Smith; and Supreme Summit, Bejarano . . . Probable for Saturday’s Grade II $150,000 Oak Tree Derby at 1 1/8 miles on turf: Acclamation, Talamo; Battle of Hastings, Tyler Baze; Black Bear Island, Garrett Gomez; Gretsky, Kieren Fallon; Meteore, Bejarano; Rendezvous, Rosario; and The Usual Q.T., Espinoza . . . There were 17 participants alive in Oak Tree’s online handicapping contest ShowVivor prior to Saturday’s races . . . Race caller and renowned celebrity impersonator Frank Mirahmadi drew rave reviews in his first morning entertaining fans with his comments on Breeders’ Cup horses going through their drills at Clockers’ Corner Sunday. Mirahmadi will continue his gig Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings.