(Bricks and Mortar / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
From the Breeders’ Cup Media Team:
The first international horses to leave the quarantine barn Wednesday morning were three English contenders for the Breeders’ Cup Mile. David O’Meara’s duo of Lord Glitters and Suedois led Richard Fahey’s Space Traveller onto the training track with all three doing a steady canter.
Charlie Appleby was once again trackside to see Old Persian (Turf) have a canter on the main track. On Saturday the son of Dubawi will be racing in his fifth country this year having already raced in Dubai, England, Germany and Canada. “All is fine he had a nice leg stretch and he seems to be taking everything in his stride,” Appleby said.
James Tate’s duo of Dream Shot (Juvenile Turf Sprint) and Hey Gaman (Mile) went out with Old Persian and did two laps of the main track at a steady canter. Dream Shot was slightly awkward coming into the stretch on the first occasion but was much better second time round as he got to know the track.
Japanese representatives Full Flat (Juvenile) and Matera Sky (Sprint) both went on the main track with Matera Sky breezing 4f in 49 2/5. Both horses returned to the quarantine barn via the paddock. Matera Sky’s connections reported “He seems in great form, we did a nice breeze up the stretch and he looked good.”
The turf track was used for the first time and six European challengers went out at 7.30. First on was Fanny Logan (Filly & Mare Turf) wearing a hood.
John Gosden was trackside to watch the daughter of Sea The Stars do a strong canter on the turf with race rider Frankie Dettori in the saddle. “It’s great to be here and Fanny Logan did a nice canter there. Frankie was happy with her,” Gosden said.
When asked by one of the outriders how many horses he had for this year’s Breeders’ Cup, Gosden replied, “Just the one this year, I’m running out of ammunition!”
Castle Lady (Filly & Mare Turf), one of only two French challengers for this year’s Breeders’ Cup, did her strongest piece of work at Santa Anita this morning going 3f on the dirt in 36.
Andrew Balding’s Shadn (Juvenile Fillies Turf) followed Fanny Logan onto the turf and did a similar piece of work before returning back to the barn through the paddock.
Roger Varian was on hand to watch Daahyeh (Juvenile Fillies Turf) also do a steady canter on the turf. “I am really happy with her at the moment she’s in great shape and she comes into this race as a real live contender,” Varian said.
Living In The Past (Juvenile Fillies Turf) and Dr Simpson (Juvenile Turf Sprint) also cantered on the turf and both seemed happy with the Santa Anita surface.
A’Ali (Juvenile Turf Sprint) also did a canter on the grass and seemed well at ease in his new environment. Simon Crisford’s son Edward was once again trackside and said, “All is fine, really happy.”
Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac winner Albigna (Juvenile Fillies Turf) went out onto the main track shortly after 8 o’clock and seemed very well in herself. Before traveling to Santa Anita, Jessica Harrington said of her filly, “She has come out of the ParisLongchamp race in great form so we are going to strike while the iron is hot. The owners are huge fans of the Breeders’ Cup and it will be my first runner at the meeting so it is very exciting.”
The one European horse who was slightly uneasy on the turf was the Ken Condon-trained Trais Fluors (Mile) who was reluctant to go it alone. The son of Dansili was accompanied by a pony and did two circuits of the track before returning to the quarantine barn.
English 1000 Guineas winner Billesdon Brook (Filly & Mare Turf), with regular work rider Luke Catton in the saddle, seemed extremely happy on the main track and did a steady canter for three quarters of a circuit.
Band Practice (Juvenile Turf Sprint) pleased her trainer Archie Watson and went a lap of the main track at a steady canter. Watson, who arrived here late Tuesday night said, “I am really happy with my filly, she is really well, but that will be it now, we will keep her wrapped up until race day.”
Joseph O’Brien was trackside for the first time to see his Breeders’ Cup contenders Alligator Alley (Juvenile Turf Sprint) andIridessa (Mile) on the main track who all did a steady canter. O’Brien who was riding a pony on track said, “I got into L.A. last night and it is great to be here with runners. My grooms are delighted with how the horses traveled and have settled in really well so we couldn’t be happier. They all did a little canter to stretch their legs and all seems good.”
Last out onto the track after the second renovation break was the Jane Chapple-trained Ambassadorial (Dirt Mile) who trotted half a lap of the track before turning and cantering down the stretch with regular work rider Abi Harrison in the saddle.
Acclimate – Acclimate had a 1 1/4m gallop around the Santa Anita training track for trainer Phil D’Amato as he winds down his preparation for Saturday’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf. The California-based conditioner said he prefers the training track for his turf horses.
“I think the tight turns more closely replicate those of the turf course and the consistency of the training track seems similar to a synthetic surface,” D’Amato said. “It’s the next best thing to actually training on the turf. This horse is on his game now. He’s racing fit and really likes this course.”
Bricks and Mortar –Turf favorite Bricks and Mortar continues to impress as he prepares to stretch out to 12f in the weekend’s top grass affair for trainer Chad Brown and owners Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence. On Wednesday morning, he left Barn 48 along with stablemates Sistercharlie and Dunbar Road and galloped 1¼m on the Santa Anita main track.
The son of Giant’s Causeway, who is slated to go to stud in Japan after this final test, has yet to race beyond 10f, but has proven dominant up to that trip, including a rousing victory last out in the Arlington Million in Chicago. Brown believes his charge has every right to get the job done against a field that includes Investec Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck and Longines Dubai Sheema Classic winner Old Persian.
“Occasionally he can be a little bit of a headstrong horse with a touch of a light mouth, but he’s been really settling nicely in his works,” Brown said. “If he runs in this race the way he’s been settling, he’s going to run quite well. It’s a solid field and there’s several horses in there who if they run their best race, they’re going to be equally as tough.”
Got Stormy – Exercise rider Kim Carroll has had her arm strength tested this week as Got Stormy has been a handful – in a good way – each time the duo hits the track.
As has been the norm for her since arriving in California, the Grade I-winning daughter of Get Stormy bounced her way onto the main track and then flaunted all kinds of energy in her gallop while tracked by stablemate War of Will. The two barn companions each stood in the gate Wednesday with Carroll joking that if that Got Stormy had gone out the front “we’d be in Pasadena in a heartbeat.”
“She’s good right now. I’m sure Kim will be happy when she gets to run,” trainer Mark Casse said.
Uni – Mile runner Uni continues to train well as she prepares for her first clash with the boys on Saturday. Owned by Michael Dubb, Head of Plains Partners, Bob LaPenta and Bethlehem Stables, the daughter of More Than Ready won the 1m First Lady n flying style at Keeneland last out. In 2012, Brown used the First Lady as a springboard to Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf success with Dayatthespa. This time, he decided on a different plan with Uni.
“With her running style, I’m not sure it would be a good idea,” Brown said. “At a mile, I think she’s better, especially with pace in front of her.”
On Wednesday morning, at 9:05, Uni was joined by Barn 48-based Brown-trained stablemates Thais and Wow Cat and galloped 1 ¼m on the Santa Anita main track.
MAKER’S MARK FILLY & MARE TURF
Mrs. Sippy – Andrew Stone’s Mrs. Sippy galloped 1 1/2m under exercise rider Lauren Mendenhall and returned to the barn via the paddock for trainer Graham Motion as she continued preparations for the Filly & Mare Turf.
Motion owns one of his three Breeders’ Cup victories in this race with Shared Account in 2010.
“They are different type horses,” said Motion, who got Mrs. Sippy in his barn from Europe in July. “She is going to have to step up here. We plotted the best way to get here and that meant running against Sistercharlie (in the Flower Bowl) and she ran well.”
Joel Rosario, who has been aboard Mrs. Sippy in her two U.S. starts, will be in the saddle again Saturday.
Sistercharlie – Peter Brant’s heavily favored Filly & Mare Turf defending champ Sistercharlie galloped 1¼m on Wednesday morning. Based in Barn 48, the Chad Brown trainee left (at 8:05 a.m.) and returned with stablemates Dunbar Road and Bricks and Mortar.
“She’s really training great,” Brown said.
A four-time winner, Brown will attempt to win back-to-back editions with the same horse for the first time. The lone mare to win the race twice, legendary champ Ouija Board, won it in 2004 and 2006. Sandwiched between those was a second to Bobby Frankel-trained Intercontinental in 2005. Brown happened to be Frankel’s assistant at the time.
Eddie Haskell – Eddie Haskell was first to the track today following the 7:45 a.m. renovation break ahead of a parade of Breeders’ Cup entrants for his continued training ahead of Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. His trainer, Mark Glatt, kept watch as the consistent gelding galloped 1m and jogged another 1 1/2m.
“He’s ready to run, so we’ll be doing less with him in advance of the race now,” Glatt said.
Eddie Haskell has been installed as the morning-line favorite over his 11 rivals in the 5f turf race.
Leinster/Totally Boss – Trainer Rusty Arnold’s two Turf Sprint hopefuls jogged on the main track Wednesday morning under Crystal Conning.
“It was a long day for them yesterday,” Arnold said of the commute from Kentucky that began with a 4:30 departure from the barn.
Jim and Susan Hill’s Totally Boss, the co-second choice on the morning line at 5-1, is a nose away from being a perfect five-for-five in 2019.
“He showed us some hints last year as a 3-year-old with a fast race at Churchill Downs and then at Saratoga in a field of 12 sprinters,” Arnold said. “He’s matured this year and he really likes firm ground.”
Totally Boss will break from post position one under Jose Ortiz, who will be aboard for the first time in the 5f dash.
“He drew a tough spot,” Arnold said. “But sometimes it works out.”
JUVENILE TURF PRESENTED BY COOLMORE AMERICA
Andesite – Kent Spellman and Madaket Stables LLC.’s Andesite hasn’t let his connections down yet in three career starts and trainer Brad Cox is expecting more of the same from his consistent, hard trying colt in Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf presented by Coolmore America. The son of The Factor has a record of 1-1-1.
“He’s doing well,” Cox said. “He’s a horse that tries every time. We’ve led him over there three times and he’s given us big efforts every time. He had a tough trip at Saratoga (when third in the With Anticipation Stakes) and came back to run a big race in the Pilgrim (when second by a head). I think if he hadn’t been a green 2-year-old that day, he could have gotten there. He’s a solid horse, not a big horse, but he gives you a big effort every time. He’s a very honest, solid horse.”
Billy Batts – Rockingham Ranch’s Billy Batts will be one of a septet of Breeders’ Cup runners for trainer Peter Miller and appears the least known of the seven, but that does not mean Miller has any lack of confidence in the son of City Zip. A $200,000 OBS March 2019 purchase, the dark bay ridgling has improved with each effort heading into the Juvenile Turf, going from an 11-length-beaten debut at Churchill Downs in May to an impressive Del Mar maiden winner three starts later over a mile and finally to placing twice in California stakes preps for the Juvenile Turf.
“He came in from San Luis Rey yesterday because the Friday horses had to be there by Tuesday,” Miller said. “(Wednesday morning) he just did a routine gallop on the main track.”
A great-grandson of Santa Anita-based G1 winner Corrazona who hails from a strong Wertheimer & Frere family, Billy Batts will break from post eight of 14 and picks up the services of jockey Paco Lopez. On Wednesday, he went out at just past 6:45 a.m. and extended nicely as he prepares for his toughest test yet.
“Ideally I’d like to see him sitting behind the pace in third or fourth,” Miller said. “We are taking the blinkers off him to get him to relax a bit. He’s also better with a target. Hopefully he’ll get a clean break and get a position and not get shuffled back. I’d like him to save some ground.
“Being a City Zip, I think the mile is OK,” he continued. “I’m not sure about beyond it yet.”
Billy Batts is one of four Rockingham-owned horses racing this weekend. Over the past two years, Gary Hartunian, principal, has raised the Breeders’ Cup trophy four times after the dual back-to-back victories of Sprint champion Roy H and Turf Sprint champion Stormy Liberal.
“Gary is a sportsman and he likes to play at the highest level,” Miller said. “He’s great for the game and he’s won four Breeders’ Cups in the last two years, so he’s doing all right.”
Gear Jockey – Calumet Farm’s Gear Jockey, one of two maidens in the Juvenile Turf, galloped on the main track under Crystal Conning on his first day at Santa Anita.
“I didn’t think he’d get in,” trainer Rusty Arnold said of the third-place finisher in the Bourbon at Keeneland in his most recent start. “He is really doing well and he thinks he is something back in the barn.”
Gear Jockey finished second in his grass debut going 1 1/16m at Saratoga prior to his run in the Bourbon in which he made the lead in the stretch.
“When he made the lead, I didn’t think he would get caught,” Arnold said. “I don’t think it was the distance; I think it was a question of experience.”
JUVENILE FILLIES TURF
Eddie Kenneally (Abscond, Juvenile Fillies Turf; Scabbard, Juvenile) – Trainer Eddie Kenneally was happy to have some cool temperatures greet him during his first morning at Santa Anita Park to oversee his Breeders’ Cup contenders. He was more pleased to see that his young runners appear to be enjoying the conditions as much as he is.
Kenneally got to see for himself how his horses are getting over the track Wednesday, monitoring Breeders’ Cup Juvenile contender Scabbard and Juvenile Fillies Turf entrant Abscond as they galloped under Leandro Contreras.
Scabbard was first of the duo to hit the track, coming out shortly after 6:30 a.m. and going through his paces. The son of More Than Ready was second behind Juvenile morning-line favorite Dennis’ Moment last time out in the Sept. 14 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs, putting in a sneaky good run after having to steady near the half-mile pole.
“He’s taking everything in stride and seems to get over the track really nicely here,” Kenneally said. “I’ve been happy enough with what I’ve seen here this morning. I think he had a good performance last time out where he didn’t have the best trip. He kind of got stopped at a bad time in the race and had to check and get going again. He did well to kick it back in and keep running and didn’t give it up. He was beaten less than two lengths that day.”
Abscond had far better luck than her barnmate in her most recent start, a top-level victory in the 1m Natalma Stakes at Woodbine that earned her a fees-paid berth into the Juvenile Fillies Turf. That outing marked the second win for the daughter of Blame in her third career start and was her first try beyond sprint distances.
“She’s gained weight and she’s just been training really well,” Kenneally said. “She keeps moving forward and I think the mile race here will suit her fine. I think the firm turf here will suit her, I think she’ll love it. I think we’re ready.”
Croughavoke – Trainer Jeff Mullins had Croughavoke out early for a 1m gallop and 1 1/2m jog this morning with rider Alex Gallardo up. The Irish-bred will have a new rider, Flavian Prat, aboard for Saturday’s Juvenile Fillies Turf.
“Drayden Van Dyke had ridden her in her past two races, both runner-up efforts in stakes competition, but since we were on the also-eligible list, he took a call on another horse (Fair Maiden),” Mullins said. “When we got into the race, we were fortunate enough to get Flavian.”
Mullins got the filly when the owners purchased her privately this summer after she’d made two starts in her native Ireland.
Crystalle – Tobey Morton and her husband Mike bought a daughter of Palice Malice in April that they thought was headed to a career on dirt. Six months later they will watch Crystalle run Friday in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
The Mortons sold a stake in her to Chuck Hovitz before she debuted at Saratoga this summer and she has brought the partners to the Breeders’ Cup. It has been an unusual ride that began with her being disqualified from first to third in her first start. She broke her maiden in a stake, beating another Breeders’ Cup-bound subsequent stakes winner (Sweet Melania) and just missed in the Miss Grillo in her third race.
Trainer John Kimmel said the move to the grass was an experiment.
“She was training with some colts that were outworking her,” Kimmel said. “Even though she was finishing pretty well she didn’t really seem to have much early speed. In the summer, if you didn’t want to get facialed in a 2-year-old sprint race, the option was to stretch her out and put her on the grass.
“Not knowingwhat the outcome would be – I had worked her one time on the grass – we ran her a mile and a sixteenth on the grass. True to form, she kind of broke, fell back to trail the field by seven, eight, 10 lengths, then started picking up horses. When she reached the second turn she started to cruise, got to the top of the lane, switched leads and she took off.”
Though Crystalle won easily by 2 ¼ lengths, the stewards ruled she had bothered other horses and dropped her to third.
Rather than try again in a maiden race, Kimmel and the owners opted to jump to a stake. Fearing that she might not get into the field of the Natalma at Woodbine, they ran her in the P.G. Johnson at Saratoga. She missed the break because the assistant starter was holding her head in the gate, roared from behind and caught eventual Jessamine stakes winner Sweet Melania at the wire. In the Miss Grillo at Belmont under Joel Rosario on Sept. 29, she turned in another big performance behind a slow pace.
“He just left her a very lot to do,” Kimmel said. “She came flying and just didn’t get there in time, even though she ran her last quarter in 22.17 seconds, which is extremely fast for a 2-year-old filly.”
Crystalle, though just one for three in her career, showed her connections enough to try to the one-mile Juvenile Fillies Turf with their “dirt” horse
“Hopefully this race will be a much more pace-orientated race,” Kimmel said. “The takeaway is that it’s going to be a sixteenth shorter, so it’s going to be a tough task. You can’t have an encumbered run. Basically, she is going to have to make her run and not stop. There is no room for error in this race with 14 horses. She’s a very happy girl and hopefully she’s going to come out and have a fighting chance to have this thing done.”
Fair Maiden – Trainer Eoin Harty, who won his only Breeders’ Cup for owner Godolphin Stable, is hoping to add another to their trophy case Friday with its homebred Fair Maiden in the Juvenile Fillies Turf. The chestnut daughter of Street Boss had a starting gate session before galloping 1 1/2m with exercise rider Humberto Delgadillo up.
“We always thought highly of her, but felt she was something special after her first work,” Harty said. “That’s when you can usually tell with the really good ones. I took her to Woodbine because I couldn’t find a race for her in Chicago. She won her first grass race easily, then zig-zagged a bit when losing by a neck in the next one, so we added a small blinker with a cutout at the back.”
On assessing the race strategy, he added, “She has some strategic speed, so maybe that will help us get first run on those European horses, because you don’t want to run toe-to-toe with those closers.”
Selflessly – Klaravich Stables’ Chad Brown-trained Selflessly went out in a group with stablemates Structor and Without Parole at approximately 6:45 a.m., leaving Barn 48 and proceeding to gallop 1 1/4m over the Santa Anita main track.
The daughter of More Than Ready, one of the more successful sires at the Breeders’ Cup in recent history, last out won the Miss Grillo Stakes at Belmont Park as a maiden. She had finished second in her debut at Saratoga one month prior. She will break from post 13 in the 1m Juvenile Fillies Turf and is the 8-1 co-fourth choice on the morning line. Javier Castellano rides.
“That’s not a good draw for her, but she’s training well,” Brown said. “With 2-year-olds, as they’re rapidly developing earlier on in their careers, you want to see them coming around at the right time and she seems to be doing that.”
Brown has dominated this race, with a record of 23-5-2-0, including the past three editions with Newspaperofrecord, Rushing Fall and Newmoneyhoney. He also won with Lady Eli in 2014 and Maram, his first Breeders’ Cup starter, in 2008.
More Than Ready has a record of 21-6-2-2 with progeny at the Breeders’ Cup, including two winners of the Juvenile Fillies Turf: More Than Real (2010) and Rushing Fall (2017). Eighteen of his 21 starters have finished in the top six, earning purse money.
Sharing – Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gainesway Farm’s Sharing galloped 1 ½m and then made a trip through the paddock under exercise rider Lauren Mendenhall for trainer Graham Motion.
Sharing is a daughter of Shared Account, who gave Motion one of his three Breeders’ Cup victories with a triumph in the 2010 Filly & Mare Turf.
“Shared Account was one of my favorites,” Motion said noting that her daughter’s first venture into graded-stakes company will come in Friday’s Juvenile Fillies Turf.
“(The Breeders’ Cup) was always the plan,” Motion said. “The race at Laurel (the Selima on Sept. 21) was to get her in the best possible shape for this. We didn’t know if she would get in, but we took the risk because it gave her more time between races.”
Manny Franco, who has been aboard for all three of the filly’s starts, has the mount Friday.
Vitalogy – With trainer Brendan Walsh leading him to the track himself, the son of No Nay Never put in another gallop Wednesday under Paul Madden.
JUVENILE TURF SPRINT
Wesley Ward (Cambria, Four Wheel Drive and Kimari) – All three of trainer Wesley Ward’s horses arrived at Santa Anita Tuesday shortly after lunchtime and were bedded down in the stable of trainer and longtime friend Blake Heap. The trio—Cambria, Four Wheel Drive and Kimari—are all entered in the same race, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, and collectively, they sport an impressive eight wins from nine starts. Four Wheel Drive, the lone colt among the three, is the morning-line choice in the 5f dash.
Wednesday, the threesome had the chance to stretch their legs, jogging around the 1m oval, then walking back through the paddock under the watchful eye of Heap. Speaking to their relationship, Heap said.
“We’ve know one another since we were teenagers,” Heap said. “My father (longtime Midwest trainer Lamont Heap) employed Wesley when he was 14 to walk horses. When Wesley first started riding, I was working around the shedrow and we became buddies. He’s been shipping his horses out to me for years. We go back about 50 years together.”
Chimney Rock – Three Diamond Farm’s Chimney Rock stood in the starting gate and galloped 6f at Santa Anita Wednesday morning while preparing for a start in the Friday’s $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint.
After a third-place finish on a sloppy Belmont track in his debut and an off-the-board finish in 1 1/16m maiden turf race at Saratoga, Chimney Rock found his niche in his third career start while rallying from off the pace to break his maiden at Saratoga going 5 ½f on turf.
The son of Artie Schiller came back to offer two strong performance in turf sprint stakes. He finished second, beaten by just a head, in the 6 1/2f Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint just six days after breaking his maiden. He came back Oct. 6 to fall just a half-length short of holding off heavily favored Kimari in the 5 1/2f Indian Summer at Keeneland.
“He looked like a winner for a second and just got nailed late [in the Indian Summer] and in the race at Kentucky Downs, he had some trouble a few jumps out of the race and we felt that cost him the race,” trainer Mike Maker said.
Maker is hoping Chimney Rock will be able to close into a hot early pace from post one.
“He’s going to be a closer. I don’t think he has the speed to keep up going five-eighths of a mile,” Maker said. “In the one hole, you have to worry about some of the other horses stopping in front of you, but that’s nothing you have control over.”
Jose Ortiz has the return mount aboard the Louisiana-bred colt.