(McKinzie / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
From the Breeders’ Cup Media Team:
MCKINZIE, MIDNIGHT BISOU WORK TOWARD SATURDAY’S
BREEDERS’ CUP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BIDS
McKinzie and Midnight Bisou, the likely favorites for the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic and the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Longines Distaff respectively, worked over a fast main track at Santa Anita Monday morning.
Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman’s McKinzie worked 5f in 1:00 1/5 for trainer Bob Baffert, who will be seeking his fourth victory in the Classic.
Bloom Racing Stable, Madaket Stables and Allen Racing’s Midnight Bisou worked 4f in 50 4/5 for trainer Steve Asmussen, who will be seeking his second victory in the Distaff.
Also working for Asmussen were Woodford Racing’s Engage for the Sprint (3f in 37 3/5) and Bloom Racing Stable’s Snapper Sinclair for the Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile (4f in 50 4/5).
Another Distaff candidate, Street Band, worked through the fog at Churchill Downs going 5f in 59 3/5 according to trainer and part-owner Larry Jones. Jockey Sophie Doyle was aboard.
(Code of Honor / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
Code of Honor – William S. Farish’s 3yo chestnut colt Code of Honor left Belmont Park on schedule Monday morning for cross-continent flight to Santa Anita, trainer Shug McGaughey said.
Elate/Yoshida (Bill Mott) – Assistant trainer Riley Mott reported “all good” with their Breeders’ Cup Classic duo one day after the two Bill Mott trainees put in their final serious works in advance of Saturday’s test.
While Yoshida visited the track under exercise rider Juan Quintero around 7 a.m. after working 4f in 50 flat Sunday, Elate walked the shedrow following her 3f breeze in 36 4/5. The two, along with stablemate and Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf contender Channel Maker, are all slated to return to galloping Tuesday.
Higher Power – The Pacific Classic winner Higher Power turned in an easy jog under exercise rider David Pineda two days after working 6f in 1:12 3/5 for trainer John Sadler.
Sadler captured the Breeders’ Cup Classic last year with Accelerate and a win by Higher Power would give him the distinction of joining Jay Robbins (Tiznow – 2000 and 2001) and Bob Baffert (Bayern – 2014, American Pharoah – 2015, and Arrogate – 2016) as the only trainers to saddle Breeders’ Cup Classic winners in consecutive years.
Math Wizard – Pennsylvania Derby winner Math Wizard returned to the track at Gulfstream Park Monday morning, two days after breezing 5f in 1:01.32 over a muddy track and the day before the son of Algorithms is scheduled to ship to Southern California for a scheduled start in Saturday’s Classic.
“He going to leave the barn at 6 a.m., his plane leaves at about 8 a.m., and he’s supposed to arrive in California at about 5:35 California time. He’s probably not going to get to the barn until like 7:40,” said trainer Saffie Joseph Jr., who is booked to arrive by plane midmorning Tuesday.
Math Wizard is owned by John Fanelli, Khalid Mischref, Cash Is King LLC, LC Racing LLC, Collarmele Vitelli Racing Stables LLC, Ioannis Zoumas and Bassett Stables.
McKinzie – Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert was upbeat Monday morning after watching likely Classic favorite McKinzie turn in a bullet 5f work of 1:00.20 at Santa Anita Park.
Baffert was in radio contact with the work rider, J.C. Avila, and congratulated him minutes later as he brought the 4yo colt back down the stretch back to the barn.
“I had him in :48 3/5 (for the half), out in a minute and out (six furlongs) 1:14 and then I slowed him down. It was nice, nice and smooth. He got into a nice rhythm. It was just enough. I wanted to give him something light. He’s had two pretty stiff works. It was just perfect and he handled it well. He should come out running.”
McKinzie has two wins and four seconds in six starts this year and earned $1.2 million. He won the “Win and You’re In” Whitney at Saratoga Aug. 3, but was second as the 1-5 favorite in the Awesome Again on Sept. 28 at Santa Anita. Baffert subsequently made a jockey change, replacing Hall of Famer Mile Smith with Joel Rosario.
Mongolian Groom – While Mongolian Groom came out of Sunday’s 5f work in fine shape, trainer Enebish Ganbat said Monday that he was not pleased with the time under exercise rider Jesse Cardenas.
“I was unhappy with it because the saddle moved back,” Ganbat said, “so he went very slowly, 1:02.”
Mongolian Groom was a surprise winner of the Awesome Again at 25-1 Sept. 28. The son of Hightail led from gate to wire in the “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge race and earned a berth in the Classic.
“His last breeze before the Awesome Again, he went an easy one minute (1:00.80). Yesterday I told the rider I wanted between 1:00 and 1:00. The 1:02 was slow.”
Mongolian Groom walked Monday morning and will return to the track Tuesday to jog.
Owendale – Rupp Racing’s Owendale trained Monday morning at trainer Brad Cox’s Churchill base and is scheduled to fly to California Tuesday with a large contingent of Kentucky horses, including four stablemates.
Cox plans to arrive Tuesday with his horses.
Seeking the Soul – Charles Fipke’s Seeking the Soul, who has remained in California since finishing fourth in the Awesome Again Stakes Sept. 28, made a strong appearance Monday morning as he galloped, two days after working 5f in 1:01 2/5.
Vino Rosso – Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s Vino Rosso is scheduled to arrive at Santa Anita Monday following a flight from New York. The 4yo son of Curlin is trained by Todd Pletcher.
War of Will – The classic-winning son of War Front emerged around 6:50 a.m. under Steve Tripp and galloped a mile straight off before heading back through the paddock.
“He’s doing great. He seems to really be enjoying this weather,” Tripp said of War of Will.
Gary Barber’s Preakness Stakes winner has been at Santa Anita Park since mid-October and has turned in two works over the main track, the latest being a 4f breeze in 47 2/5. Trainer Mark Casse is slated to arrive in California Monday.
(Midnight Bisou / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
Blue Prize – Merriebelle Stable’s Blue Prize had her second routine gallop Monday morning at Santa Anita after arriving from her Keeneland base on Saturday for the Distaff.
“I will push her a little more tomorrow,” trainer Ignacio Correas IV said as Blue Prize completed her morning activity under exercise rider Hiram Rosario.
La Force – La Force, whose only career stakes success was here at Santa Anita, had a 1m gallop under exercise rider Caesar Garcia before daylight today, as she prepares for what is likely to be the final start of her career in Saturday’s Distaff. The 5yo mare is “happy and doing well,” said her conditioner Patrick (Paddy) Gallagher.
“We don’t need to do much with her now leading up to the race,” Gallagher said. “The owners are very excited and looking forward to seeing her run in their first Breeders’ Cup race.”
La Force is slated to be sold at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale two days after the race.
Midnight Bisou – Bloom Racing Stable, Madaket Stable and Allen Racing’s Horse of the Year candidate Midnight Bisou put in the final work of her Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff prep on Monday morning, leaving Barn 59 at just past 6:30 with exercise rider Angel Garcia aboard for trainer Steve Asmussen and proceeding to work 4f in 50 4/5. Assistant Scott Blasi escorted the four-time Grade 1 winner by pony to and from the Santa Anita main track. Asmussen was not on hand.
“She went a half and all of our works were typical Monday week-of works,” Blasi said. “We’re not trying to impress anybody. We just try to keep her happy and fast and loose. She came back and cooled out nicely and seems to be coming into the race in good shape.”
The work was her fourth at Santa Anita since arriving about a month ago and follows a 4f in 50 3/5 on Oct. 7, 5f in 1:01 3/5 on Oct. 14 and 5f in 1:00 2/5 on Oct. 21. Today’s move ranked 35th of 45 at the distance.
Mo See Cal – Rockingham Ranch and David Bernsen’s Mo See Cal galloped a mile at San Luis Rey Downs training center today with conditioner Peter Miller observing. The California-bred 4yo filly breezed 5f in 1:01 1/5 at San Luis Rey on Saturday morning. Miller confirmed that the cross-entered last-out Santa Anita allowance winner will run in the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff in lieu of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
Ollie’s Candy – Under the guidance of exercise rider Juan Leyva, the daughter of Candy Ride turned in a jog Monday as she readies for her start in the Distaff.
Though she brings underdog status into Saturday’s race, Ollie’s Candy has plenty of class to draw upon as she has finished worse than third just once in nine career starts. The John Sadler trainee captured the Clement L. Hirsch at Del Mar in July and enters off a third-place finish in the Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 29.
Paradise Woods – One day after working 5f in 1:00 flat over the Santa Anita track, trainer John Shirreffs said the multiple Grade I winner had emerged from the move in good order.
As much as Paradise Woods can test the patience of her connections with her quirks, her raw ability has more than made up for any frustration she has caused along the way. Her two wins this year have come by a combined 12 ¼ lengths and all five of her career victories have come at Santa Anita.
Secret Spice – The consistent 4yo filly Secret Spice stretched her legs today with an easy jog around the main oval under exercise rider Sarafin Caramona while readying for the Distaff. Trainer Richard Baltas has enlisted Hall-of-Fame jockey John Velasquez to rider the daughter of Discreet Cat.
“We could have run in either the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint or the Distaff, but feel she’s a little better around two turns,” Baltas said. “However, I think the 1 1/8-mile distance is probably her limit.”
Serengeti Empress – Joel Politi’s Serengeti Express trained Monday morning at Churchill Downs and is scheduled to ship to Santa Anita Tuesday for Saturday’s Distaff.
“She ships tomorrow, but I am not sure if I will,” said trainer Tom Amoss who underwent surgery for appendicitis last week in Louisville. “Katy Allen will be traveling with her.”
Street Band – One day before boarding her scheduled flight to California, Street Band ran through the fog at her home base at Churchill Downs and worked 5f over a fast track in “59 3/5,” according to her trainer Larry Jones.
“She went very well,” Jones said. “She was nice and relaxed, which allowed (jockey) Sophie (Doyle) to use her watch to time the work. She finished well and cooled out well. I’m tickled with her.
“This was the exact same work she had last week. She’s ready. She’s right on target.”
Street Band is scheduled to arrive along with a large contingent by plane from Kentucky at approximately 9 a.m.
(Magical / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
Magical, who was due to spearhead the Aidan O’Brien challenge at this year’s Breeders’ Cup will not be heading to Santa Anita to contest the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
It has been decided by connections that the 4yo daughter of Galileo, who has amassed more than $4 million in earnings, will be retired and bred to No Nay Never in 2020. She was expected to head a strong European challenge for the Filly & Mare Turf, but because of an unsatisfactory temperature reading it was decided that her trip to America would be aborted.
Aidan O’Brien said, “Magical spiked a slight temperature this morning so she hasn’t traveled to America. She worked this morning and we were delighted with her but we take their temperatures every day. She was due to leave at 9:30 and this happened at around 9:15, so our vet John Halley advised that she shouldn’t travel.
“She has been an unbelievable filly. She was so game, so consistent and so classy. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have anything to do with her.”
The remaining contingent from O’Brien’s Ballydoyle stable are expected to arrive at Santa Anita around 8 o’clock tonight but will not be seen out on the track until Thursday morning once they have cleared quarantine.
The remaining British and Irish challengers who arrived Saturday and Sunday at Santa Anita have all settled in well and are awaiting clearance having spent their statutory 42 hours in quarantine and they will be seen out on the Santa Anita Track Tuesday morning.
The Japanese duo of Full Flat (Juvenile) and Matera Sky (Sprint) have been at Santa Anita since Oct. 24 and both seemed well at ease out on the Santa Anita main track Monday morning and went a steady canter before heading back to the barn through the paddock.
The work riders for both horses are extremely happy with how their horses traveled and settled in to their new surroundings.
Blue Chipper (Dirt Mile), the first entrant from South Korea has been in California for more than a week and connections are very pleased with the way the son of Tiznow has handled everything.
Dr. Segungho Rya, who is representing trainer Kim Young Kwan, said, “It took just over 11 hours to get to California from South Korea. The horse traveled over really well and it is very exciting to be the first South Korean runner at the Breeders’ Cup.”
(Chad Brown / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)
Acclimate – Acclimate, who figures to be the pace-setter for Saturday’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, was out on the track at 5:30 Monday morning for a 1m gallop over Santa Anita’s main oval. The son of 2011 Eclipse Award-winning sire Acclamation, completed his final preparations with a training track workout Saturday under regular exercise rider Humberto Olguin.
The California-bred gelding will have jockey Martin Garcia in the saddle for the first time this weekend. Of the 1 1/2m distance, trainer Phil D’Amato noted, “The longer the distance, the better he seems to like it. He’s got both tactical speed and stamina, and he obviously is partial to this track.”
Chad Brown – Three-time defending Eclipse Award champion trainer Chad Brown confirmed that nine of his 10 pre-entered Breeders’ Cup horses have shipped from New York to California and were en route Monday morning. Led by Horse of the Year candidate and likely champion Turf horse Bricks and Mortar (Turf), the contingent also includes Sistercharlie and Thais (Filly & Mare Turf), Dunbar Road and Wow Cat (Distaff), Without Parole and Uni (Mile), Structor (Juvenile Turf) and Selflessly (Juvenile Fillies Turf).
Princesa Caroline, the high-profile half-sister to Breeders’ Cup champion Lady Eli, did not make the trip and will not compete in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Brown will be at Santa Anita Park for training on Tuesday morning.
Got Stormy – The chestnut filly Got Stormy was on her toes under exercise rider Kim Carroll coming onto the track around 6:50 a.m., and she backed up that energy with a strong mile gallop on Monday.
Got Stormy, who bested males in the Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga, was joined on the main track by stablemate and Classic contender War of Will. After stretching her legs, Got Stormy and War of Will both went back through the paddock with the former still bouncing down the path as she made her return to the barn.
Trainer Mark Casse is slated to arrive in California on Monday.
Leinster/Totally Boss – Trainer Rusty Arnold’s duo of Turf Sprint hopefuls, Susan and Jim Hill’s Totally Boss and Amy Dunne, Westrock Stables, Brenda Miley and Jean Wilkinson’s Leinster, trained Monday morning at Keeneland and are scheduled to ship to California Tuesday.
Also on the plane Tuesday for Arnold, who will arrive here tomorrow, is Calumet Farm’s Gear Jockey for Friday’s Juvenile Turf.
Belvoir Bay and Stormy Liberal – Trainer Peter Miller, who has won the past two editions of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint with Stormy Liberal, sent out Rockingham Ranch and David Bernsen-owned star, as well as Gary Barber’s Al Quoz Sprint runner-up Belvoir Bay, for routine 3f breezes at San Luis Rey Downs Monday morning.
Stormy Liberal was timed in 38 4/5, while Belvoir Bay went in 37 2/5. Sareen Family Trust’s Om, who will complete Miller’s Turf Sprint triad, went through light training Monday morning, following his bullet 4f gate breeze at San Luis Rey on Saturday in 46 2/5.
“We breezed both Belvoir Bay and Stormy Liberal and they went easy three-eighths by themselves,” Miller said. “I got Belvoir in 37 and two and Stormy in 38 and change. It was just the easy work we were looking for this close to the race. All three of mine have speed, so the draw is not too vital. If anywhere, I’d probably prefer more toward the inside.”
“All of my horses for the Breeders’ Cup are here at San Luis Rey, except for (TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile hopeful) Wrecking Crew,” Miller continued. “He galloped today and will breeze three-eighths tomorrow. My Friday horses will arrive tomorrow and my Saturday horses will arrive Wednesday.”
Applecross – Applecross, whose status for Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf is uncertain, worked an easy 4f over Santa Anita’s turf course in a leisurely 52 flat under perennial leading Flavian Prat. The imported daughter of Sir Prancelot is on the preference list for a race that will feature a full starting gate. Trainer Richard Baltas said that the work was easy enough that he would run Friday if his filly drew into the field.
(Engage / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
Engage — Woodford Racing’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint hopeful Engage breezed 3f in 37 3/5 on Monday at just past 7 a.m. Exercise rider Angel Garcia was in the saddle for trainer Steve Asmussen. The Kentucky-bred son of Into Mischief left and returned to Barn 59 ponied by assistant Scott Blasi.
“Just like with Midnight Bisou, we weren’t looking for anything really,” Blasi said. “We just wanted to keep him happy and healthy. It was just an easy three-eighths in 37 and three.”
A $550,000 OBS March purchase, Engage won the Phoenix Stakes last out at Keeneland on Oct. 4, his second consecutive stakes score at the 6f trip of the Sprint. The move was his third at Santa Anita following a 4f move in 50 3/5 on Oct. 14 and 5f in 1:03 flat on Oct. 21.
Shancelot — Crawford Farms Racing’s Jorge Navarro-trained Shancelot left from Barn 7 at 7 a.m. with trainer Jorge Navarro on hand to watch him execute an easy, routine jog around the Santa Anita dirt oval.
“Today he just jogged two miles around and had his last work on Saturday,” Navarro said. “I think his last work was the best work of any Breeders’ Cup horse, so far. He’s ready.”
The Grade 2-winning son of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Shanghai Bobby breezed a bullet 4f in 46.40 at Santa Anita Oct. 26. It was the best of 72 moves at the distance.
(Mr. Money / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
Mr. Money – Allied Racing Stable and Spendthrift Farm’s multiple Grade 3 winner Mr. Money completed the Kentucky portion of his training for Saturday’s Dirt Mile by standing in gate and galloping 1 1/2m Monday morning at Churchill Downs.
Mr. Money is scheduled to ship to California Tuesday with trainer Bret Calhoun arriving the same day.
Snapper Sinclair – Bloom Racing Stable’s Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile hopeful Snapper Sinclair breezed 4f in 50 4/5 Monday at just past 7:30 a.m. Exercise rider Angel Garcia was in the saddle for trainer Steve Asmussen. The Kentucky-bred son of Into Mischief left and returned to Barn 59 ponied by assistant Scott Blasi.
“We just wanted to get through the morning. He’ll run in the Dirt Mile. He’s a very strong horse and hard horse to work and Angel did a good job with him. Just a maintenance half.
“I think for us the ‘Monday work’ is just a routine and the program that we keep our horses in. Everyone has different ways of doing it, but the best way to win races is to run the fastest horse.”
(Dennis’ Moment / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
Dennis’ Moment – The grin that has been a regular fixture on Tammy Fox’s face of late was as broad as ever Monday morning after the veteran rider took expected Juvenile favorite Dennis’ Moment through a 1 5/8m gallop around the Santa Anita oval.
Trainer Dale Romans is never shy about talking up his horses, but Dennis’ Moment has made the biggest statement on his own behalf with his precocity and brilliance. The son of Tiznow broke his maiden by 19 ¼ lengths at Ellis Park and coasted across the finish line when taking the Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs Sept. 14.
“He goes out there and he just does his thing,” said Fox, longtime partner of Romans. “He looks around at the mountains and he’s checking everything out and he’s kind and fun. I don’t want to say this is my best horse that I’ve been on, but he could be.”
Maxfield – With regular exercise rider Paul Madden arriving Sunday, the winner of the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland was reunited with his usual partner for his mile gallop Monday morning.
Trainer Brendan Walsh was a one-man band in handling barn duties Sunday as his staff is currently spread out trying to ship horses to Fair Grounds. Roger Horgan, who works for Kiaran McLaughin, was able to take up the reins on Maxfield Sunday but Madden was back in the irons Monday morning for a smooth trip around.
“He looked like he handled the surface good,” Walsh said. “It’s hard to tell from just galloping but he looks to be moving super. He just has tons of class, and you can’t teach that.”
Vitalogy – The Brendan Walsh-trained colt came out at 9:30 a.m. under rider Paul Madden for a 1m gallop Monday morning.
Originally conditioned by Joseph O’Brien, Vitalogy joined Walsh’s barn after his third-place finish in the Summer Stakes at Woodbine Sept. 15 and subsequently finished second to Peach Achieved in the Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland.