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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


Compiled from various sources, the activity from Saturday morning with the players at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships –

By Breeders’ Cup Notes Team: LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP TURF 

Horse: Gold Phoenix 

Trainer: Phil D’Amato 

Set: 7 a.m. 

Morning Activity: Worked 5f in 1:02 on the training track under Tony Gutierrez. 

Planned Activity: Will walk tomorrow, then go back to the track to jog on Monday. 

Quote: “He’s plenty fit and doing well.  There’s not much more to do before Saturday.” – Phil D’Amato 


Horse: Du Jour 

Trainer: Bob Baffert 

Set: 8:45 a.m. 

Morning Activity: Worked 4f in :47.40 over the main track. 

Planned Activity: Will walk Sunday, jog Monday and gallop into the race. 

The Quote: “The time off did him good.  He ran great in his last two races at Del Mar.  Now we’ll hope for a good draw; post position will be really important.” 

(Du Jour is owned by Natalie “Jill” Baffert and Debbie Lani. On whether his wife is his toughest owner): “Previously, when this horse wasn’t running as well, my wife (co-owner) wanted to fire me, but she couldn’t find another trainer that offered her the same deal.” – Bob Baffert 

Horse: Exaulted 

Trainer: Peter Eurton 

Set: 7:15 a.m. 

Morning Activity: Worked 4f on training track in 47 3/5 with Patrice Roux up. 

Planned Activity: Walk day Sunday and probably jog Monday. 

The Quote: “That was good enough. I didn’t want to overdo it. I got him in 48 and out five-eighths in a minute and change.” — Peter Eurton 

Horse: Mawj (IRE) 

Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor 

Set: 7:30 a.m. 

Morning Activity: Worked 7f in 1:28 1/5 under rider Michael Greig with stablemate White Moonlight. 

Planned Activity: Will walk Sunday 

Quote: “I’m very happy with Mawj. She worked nicely this morning and Michael said she felt good. The team said she traveled down from Keeneland well. She’s eaten well and done everything right since she arrived in Santa Anita. It’s great to be back at the Breeders’ Cup.” – Saeed bin Suroor 

Horse: Master of the Seas (IRE) 

Trainer: Charlie Appleby 

Set: 5:30 a.m. 

Morning Activity: Light gallop 

Planned Activity: Same as Saturday 


Horse: Cody’s Wish 

Trainer: Bill Mott 


Morning Activity: 

Planned Activity: 

Closer Look: The closing act on the racetrack is here for Godolphin’s Cody’s Wish. The 5-year-old horse, who has tugged on people’s heart strings from coast-to-coast for his unique relationship with a 17-year-old boy, will race for the final time in Saturday’s $1 million Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1). 

His biggest fan, Cody Dorman, and his family from Richmond, Kentucky, will be at Santa Anita to root him on. 

“He has been a very good horse and this is a great story,” Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said. 

Cody’s Wish, the defending Dirt Mile champion, will be making his 16th career start. He has never missed the board, winning 10 times, finishing second once and third four times. He is undefeated in seven starts at a mile. 

Cody, along with dad Kelly, mom Leslie and 10-year-old sister Kylie, are making their first trip to California. On Wednesday, they will be honored at the annual National Turf Writers and Broadcasters’ Awards Dinner. 

Young Cody has developed a special bond with the horse, who is named for his pal. Cody Dorman was born with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. He is confined to a wheelchair and communicates via tablet. 

            The horse met Cody Dorman when he was a weanling in a 2018 Make-a-Wish Foundation visit to Godolphin’s Gainsborough Farm in Versailles, Kentucky. 

The connection was instantaneous, love at first sight.  

“From the very start, I never questioned it or tried to figure it out,” Kelly Dorman said. “I appreciated it and admired it for what it is. I know what it does to me. It will make the hair stick up on our neck and send chills down your spine.” 

The Dormans visited Cody’s Wish at Saratoga in August before he ran third in the 1 1/8 -mile Whitney Stakes (G1) (which snapped a six-race winning streak). Mott brought the horse out of his stall and he immediately went to Cody, who was patiently waiting for him. 

The horse walked up to Cody’s wheelchair, acknowledged his friend with a nuzzle. 

“For some reason, there seems to be something there,” Mott said. “Horses tend to be sometimes frightened from something different or they can be very inquisitive. The horse is very inquisitive about him.” 

Cody’s Wish won the Vosburgh (G2) at Aqueduct in his last start on Oct. 1. 

After the Dirt Mile, Cody’s Wish will start his new career as a stallion at Darley’s Jonabell Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. A stud fee will be announced after the Breeders’ Cup. 

“Cody (Dorman) will be able to see him whenever he wants,” Kelly Dorman said. “It’s nice. Cody loves being around the horse and Cody’s Wish loves being around him, too. It’s like they have some kind of language … they speak to each other. You can’t hear it, but you certainly can feel it.” 

Cody’s Wish will be ridden by Junior Alvarado in the Dirt Mile. Of all of the 14 races over the two-day Breeders’ Cup, Cody’s Wish will certainly be the overwhelming sentimental favorite. 

“He is going to be the fan favorite and one of the favorites in the race,” Mott said. “It’s a horse race and anything can happen. Wouldn’t it be great if he went out on top? It would be really special for a lot of reasons. Even if the story wasn’t part of it, it would be great, but the story would make it really special.” 

Horse: Practical Move 

Trainer: Tim Yakteen 

Set: 7 a.m.  

Morning Activity: Worked 5f in 1:00 1/5 as final prep for the Dirt Mile. 

Planned Activity: Gallop into the race and probably school in the gate and the paddock mid-week. 

Quote: “I had him galloping out 6f in 1:12 2/5.  He came back to the races strong and is training really well.” – Tim Yakteen 

Horse: Zozos

Trainer: Brad Cox

Set: 7:45 a.m. ET

Morning Activity: Worked 5f in 59 4/5 at Churchill with jockey Florent Geroux up.

Planned Activity: Will walk Sunday and ship on Monday to California.

Quote: “He’s on his game right now. I think he’s more on it right now than he was in the Ack Ack. I’m really happy with how he worked today.” – Brad Cox


Horse: Clearly Unhinged 

Trainer: Michael McCarthy 

Morning Activity: Worked 4f in 47 4/5 with Umberto Rispoli up 

The Quote: “I was very pleased with the way she did it.” — Michael McCarthy 

Horse: Kirstenbosch 

Trainer: John Sadler 

Set: 7:45 

Morning Activity: Worked 5f in 58 3/5 in company with Juan Lopez aboard 

Planned Activity: Walk day Sunday 

The Quote: “That was very nice for Kirstenbosch. She went very well. She has had a long year but she is ready to go.” — John Sadler 


Horse: Caravel

Trainer: Brad Cox

Set: Special turf training session for Breeders’ Cup horses

Morning Activity: Worked 4f in 51 3/5 over the Churchill Downs turf course with Kelvin Perez aboard.

Planned Activity: Will walk Sunday and ship to California Monday 

The Quote: “Very pleased with the work. We’re looking forward to getting her back on firm turf course.” – Brad Cox

Horse: Motorious 

Trainer: Phil D’Amato 

Set: 6:45 a.m.  

Morning Activity: Worked an easy 4f on the training track under jockey Kyle Frey in 50 3/5. 

Planned Activity: Will walk on Sunday, then jog on Monday and gallop into the race. 

The Quote: “His last work was a bullet, so this was just a maintenance work for him today.” – Phil D’Amato 

Horse: Live In The Dream (IRE) 

Trainer: Adam West 

Morning Activity: Strong “canter” under exercise rider Shoshana Cooksley 

Planned Activity: Will gallop Sunday and Monday with a work planned for Tuesday. 

The Quote: “I’m very happy with him. He’s been in great form since he came from Keeneland. He felt great this morning with his ears pricked throughout. His jockey Sean Kirrane flies into California on Monday with his trainer Adam West and will work on Tuesday morning.” — Shoshana Cooksley 


Horse: Muth 

Trainer: Bob Baffert 

Set: 7:15 a.m.  

Morning Activity: Worked 5f in 59 2/5 in company with stablemate Wine Me Up. 

Planned Activity: Will walk Sunday, then return to the track Monday and gallop into the race. 

Quote:  “He’s a big, long striding colt and I thought he’d appreciate a route of ground.  He’s coming into the race very well.” – Bob Baffert 

Horse: Wine Me Up 

Trainer: Bob Baffert 

Set: 7:15 a.m.  

Morning Activity: Worked 5f in company with stablemate Muth in 59 2/5. 

Planned Activity: Will walk tomorrow, then return to the track Monday morning. 

Quote: “He’s always been a good work horse.  His last race was really good and he’s only had two starts, so he’still improving.  I’ve got three really nice horses (Muth, Prince of Monaco) in the race.” – Bob Baffert 


Horse: Brightwork 

Trainer: John Ortiz

Set: 7:30 a.m.

Morning Activity: Worked 4f in 47 4/5 with jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. aboard.

Planned Activity: Will walk Sunday and ship to California Monday.

Closer Look: Trainer John Ortiz said he is really happy with the way Brightwork has turned around since her first career loss in five starts last out in the Alcibiades Stakes (G1) at Keeneland and after making some adjustments, he and his team are heading into the Breeders’ Cup with a lot of confidence. 

            “She’s doing really well right now,” Ortiz said. “We were discouraged after the Alcibiades, but after watching her replays and her works, we decided to go back to the drawing board and put a line through that race. I think it was a learning curve for her as well as myself.  

            “I’ve been galloping her most of the time myself. We know she’s fast. We’ve just been letting her settle. We’ve slowed down her gallops and we’ve slowed down her works. I was very happy with her work today and so was Ricardo.” 

            Ortiz, the son of jockey, will be making his Breeders’ Cup debut with WSS Racing’s Brightwork, but he has plenty of experience working around top level horses having learned from the ground up in the barn of Hall of Famer Bill Mott as well as trainers Graham Motion and Kellyn Gorder. 

            “I feel like a lot of hard work is finally paying off,” Ortiz said. “But’s it definitely has been a team effort. When you have owners like Bill Simon (WSS Racing), John Ed Anthony (Shortleaf Stable) and Steve Cauthen behind you, it gives you a lot of confidence. They’ve all been really supportive.” 


Horse: Gala Brand 

Trainer: Bill Mott 

Set: 8 a.m. 

Morning Activity: Worked 4f in 49 2/5 under Brittany Troxtell. First work at Santa Anita since shipping from Saratoga. 

Planned Activity: Will walk the shedrow and Mott said there is a possibility she will school in the paddock at some point Sunday. 

The Quote: “I asked for a similar work of what we had been doing at Saratoga and that is what we got. She was a second faster than what she usually works, but the track was probably faster than the training track (at Saratoga). She looked good going over it and the rider said she felt great.” – Bill Mot

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