(Hot Rod Charlie / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

From the Santa Anita Media Team:

‘HOT ROD’ REVS UP FOR CONTENTIOUS CLASSIC

Hot Rod Charlie worked six furlongs at Santa Anita Saturday in 1:14 as he prepares for the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar on Nov. 6.

With Mike Smith filling in for regular rider Flavien Prat, who was winning the Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keenland Saturday by five lengths aboard Shantisara, the three-year-old son of Oxbow has two more major breezes in store.

“We were happy,” said trainer Doug O’Neill, who won two races at Santa Anita yesterday to take a 9-6 lead over runners-up Peter Miller and Bob Baffert. “He cooled out good. If all goes well and he stays injury-free, we’re two works away. He’ll have one at Santa Anita and one at Del Mar.

“I’m a little biased because I’m part of the race, but I think it’s coming up as one of the most contentious Classics in a while.

“It’s a wide-open race with tons of contenders.”

Pacific Classic winner Tripoli, also working for the Classic, went five furlongs Sunday at Santa Anita in 1:01 for John Sadler.

 

CE CE, SMOOTH LIKE STRAIT ON COURSE FOR CUP

Two of trainer Michael McCarthy’s major Breeders’ Cup candidates, multiple Grade I winner Ce Ce and Grade I Shoemaker Mile winner Smooth Like Strait, moved closer to their goals Friday with four-furlong workouts at Sana Anita, Ce Ce timed in 47.80 and Smooth Like Strait in 47.40.

They are being pointed to the Filly & Mare Sprint and the Mile, respectively.

“They’ll have two more breezes before the Breeders’ Cup.” McCarthy said. “We’re on course.”

McCarthy plans to retain their regular riders, Victor Espinoza and Umberto Rispoli, for the Breeders’ Cup races.

 

GINOBILI BLAZES FIVE FURLONGS AT SAN LUIS REY

Ginobili displayed his readiness for the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, working five furlongs Saturday at San Luis Rey Downs in a blazing 57.20 for trainer Richard Baltas.

It was three ticks faster than the next recorded time of 59.80 by two Baltas trainees, Barbwire and No Hang Charlie.

Ginobili, a four-year-old Munnings gelding, upset Dirt Mile candidate C Z Rocket in the Grade II Pat O’Brien at Del Mar on Aug. 28, and has been firing bullets at San Luis Rey ever since.

Saturday at Santa Anita, Baltas sent Santa Anita Handicap winner Idol four furlongs in 47.80 for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

 

SANTA ANITA OFFERS ‘SHIP & WIN’ PROGRAM

As part of a continuing effort to attract new horses and help to ensure better field size, Santa Anita will again be offering significant bonuses to horsemen bringing out of state horses to run at Santa Anita’s upcoming Winter/Spring Meet which begins on Dec. 26.

Eligible horses will receive a $5,000 bonus as well as purse money 35 percent above their allotted purse percentage for one start. Horses that become eligible at the 2021 Del Mar Fall Meet will also be eligible for Ship & Win bonuses for their first start at Santa Anita’s Winter/Spring Meet.

The $5,000 bonus will also apply to any stakes horse that meets Ship & Win eligibility guidelines, but those horses will not be eligible for the 35 percent purse increase.

“All of us have been gratified at the success of the Ship & Win program this year, at both Del Mar and here at Santa Anita,” said Chris Merz, Santa Anita Director of Racing and Racing Secretary.  “We’re certainly hoping to continue to attract more out of state horses this winter and spring and given the significant amount of money available, this has certainly incentivized our horsemen to go out and procure additional racing prospects.”

 

FINISH LINES: Zenyatta Stakes runner-up As Time Goes By breezed four furlongs this morning in 47.60 for Bob Baffert. It was one of 181 recorded workouts including 49 on the training track, where Richard Baltas trainee Bob and Jackie, nominated to Saturday’s $70,000 Lure Stakes, worked five furlongs in 1:01.60 . . . Sally Warren, co-owner and breeder of Warren’s Showtime with her husband, Ben, was understandably thrilled with the four-year-old filly’s three-quarter length victory in Saturday’s California Distaff Handicap under Juan Hernandez for trainer Craig Lewis. “It’s been just unbelievable, and Ben has had so many horses but not one that has been so consistent as Showtime,” she said. “We were just saying, 19 out of 21 starts she’s hit the board and that’s unbelievable. It makes me think of Zenyatta, only in a different way; we hit the board, she won. But we are so happy. Craig has done such a wonderful job, it’s so inspiring. We are really, really thankful. Craig picked her out at the farm; now we know why.” . . .Two jockeys, Tiago Pereira and Juan Hernandez had riding doubles yesterday, with Hernandez’s win aboard Warren’s Showtime the highlight…Santa Anita will be dark for live racing Monday through Thursday. Live racing resumes 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, the penultimate weekend of the 16-day meet that concludes Oct. 31.