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Sunrise over the morning works at Santa Anita

Curlin back at the barn after his workout
World Championships
Breeders' Cup Workouts

Date: 10/20/2008

Friday: F&M Sprint   Juvenile Fillies Turf   Juvenile Fillies   F&M Turf   Ladies Classic  
Saturday: Marathon   Turf Sprint   Dirt Mile   Mile   Juvenile   Juvenile Turf   Sprint   Turf   Classic

Monday morning at Santa Anita saw a number of Breeders' Cup pre-entrants test the Pro-Ride racing surface and get acclimated to the heat and humidity. A thick haze darkened the sky and shrouded the San Gabriel Mountains from view early on but this was mostly cleared up my mid morning. Many entrants arrived on the grounds today and will be on the track over the next two mornings. Here are photos for 37 of the horses on the track with comments and a link to a profile for each.

Click the small picture to see a larger version.

Thursday workout photos   (19 horses)
Wednesday workout photos   (42 horses)
Tuesday workout photos   (29 horses)

Curlin - Defending Classic champion and Horse of the Year was out his workout very early, going 1/2 a mile in 49 3/5 seconds under cover of darkness under regular exercise rider Carlos Rosas. Afterward, he schooled in the paddock accompanied by assistant trainer Scott Blasi. Trainer Steve Asmussen, on hand for the workout, said, "We don't feel like he owes us something. You just want him to run his race. And what a stage this is."

Smooth Air - Pre-entered in the Classic, he arrived at Santa Anita on Sunday and went out for a gallop Monday morning under exercise rider Sue Milne, jogging and then galloping about 1 1/8m for trainer Bennie Stutts Jr. The son of Smooth Jazz had put in a 6f work at his home base of Calder Race Course on Friday and was timed in 1:12 3/5.

Student Council - One of three Steve Asmussen charges pre-entered in the Classic, he worked a half mile in 48 seconds under Carlos Rosas. This was his third work over the Pro-Ride, and he has won Grade 1 events on both dirt and Polytrack.

Well Armed - worked 4f under jockey Aaron Gryder on Monday morning in 47 flat and Gryder will ride the 5yo gelding whether trainer Eoin Harty enters him in the Classic or the Dirt Mile. "Having to decide between the Classic and the Dirt Mile for him, and possibly having the two horses in the Classic, is a nice spot to be in," said Harty. "We're very fortunate."

Bear Now - Canada's hope in the Ladies Classic, went out for a jog on Monday morning under exercise rider Cassie Garcea, who said, "We couldn't ask her to be any better. She can run on anything." She worked 5/8 in 1:03 on Saturday for trainer Reade Baker.

Ginger Punch - The defending champion went out for a gallop Monday. Trainer Bobby Frankel said, "Zenyatta is obviously the one to beat. She'll be the shortest price of the day. But you've got to give her a try. My horse is doing great and she'll run well. I start seven horses over the two days and I like my fillies best. To be honest, these races are so tough I'd be happy if I can win one of them."

Spring House - was pre-entered in the Turf but has second preference in the Marathon. He went out for a light gallop on Monday morning. Trainer Julio Canani will send him out for a workout over the turf on Tuesday.

Sealy Hill - Canada's Horse of the Year and 2007 Triple Tiara winner, galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Julia Brimo and schooled in the paddock. Norman Casse, son of and assistant to trainer Mark Casse, said, "I know this sounds like a clich, but she's in great shape. She was kind of a disappointment earlier this year, but she's got things figured out now. Her last race, the E.P. Taylor, was a good race. She got in a lot of trouble and then came on strong to get third. I've been around her for her whole career and she's training better than she ever has and doing better than she's ever done."

Wait a While - had her final work on Saturday and went out for a jog and gallop on Monday. "Her last two races are as good as she's ever been, and she obviously loves this turf course," trainer Todd Pletcher said of the 5yo mare who has twice won the Yellow Ribbon at Santa Anita, where she is undefeated in three starts.

Thorn Song - was pre-entered in the Mile. He arrived from Kentucky on Sunday and went out for light work Monday morning. Trainer Dale Romans, who arrived in California on Monday morning, said he would not work the 5yo Unbridled's Song horse prior to the Mile.

Whatsthescript - the Del Mar Mile winner jogged 1 mile on the main track at Santa Anita under exercise rider David Pineda on Monday morning then schooled in the paddock.

Black Seventeen - the Sprint entrant went out for a half mile work timed in 47 4/5 under exercise rider Colleen Hartford. Trainer Brian Koriner, who watched the work aboard his pony, said, "That's a nice work for him. He's a big, heavy horse who is a bit lazy in the mornings and you've got to get him to work hard to get things done. Colleen has been telling me he really likes this track. He's done well on it and we're hoping for the best Saturday. That race is such a tough event. There are so many good horses in there; so many fast horses. I know my horse is fast, but I know he's in tough. But he's doing good and we'll be in there trying. He might be good enough."

In Summation - went out for a gallop on Monday morning then schooled in the paddock in preparation for the Sprint. "He's been here since July and he's doing very well," said Nicholas Balachard, assistant to trainer Christophe Clement. "He excels on synthetic tracks."

Midnight Lute - the defending Sprint champ worked 4f in 47 seconds under exercise rider Janell Gruss on Monday morning. "He went very smooth, very nice," trainer Bob Baffert said. "I got him galloping out 5/8 in 59 3/5." He grabbed a quarter in the Pat O'Brien at Del Mar and has been wearing a protective plate since. "The plate will come off before Saturday. That surface down there was just too hard for him," Baffert said. "He was just sour down there and he really picked up once he got on this surface. He has thrived on it."

Coronet of a Baron - was pre-entered in the Juvenile and the Juvenile Turf. He worked over Santa Anita's turf course on Monday in 1:02 4/5 under exercise rider C.T. Lang, but trainer Eoin Harty had still not made his decision on which way to go by midday. "That will come later," Harty said. "I have to confer with the powers that be and they are overseas."

Mine That Bird - was pre-entered in the Juvenile and the Juvenile Turf, and worked 5f in 59 4/5 on Monday morning. Trainer Richard Mandella said this morning, "He's intended for the main track, but I'll study things this afternoon and make my decision."

Munnings - the Juvenile entrant worked 5f in 59 3/5 on Sunday and went out for a gallop on Monday morning. Trainer Todd Pletcher said he "handled the track very well."

Skipadate - the Juvenile Turf entrant galloped 1 mile and went to school in the gate on Monday. The Mark Casse trainee has made all three of his career starts on the turf and won his first time out at 1 1/16 in a maiden special weight at Saratoga on Aug. 4.

Square Eddie - was pre-entered in the Juvenile and jogged 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Beto Gomez Monday morning. Trainer Doug O'Neill said, "I got him after the Keeneland race. He's an extremely classy individual and a very smart colt. He has shown a liking for synthetic surfaces. That's what Paul (Reddam, owner) liked after he ran well at Kempton. He worked (6f) in 1:15 and change cruising Saturday and looked really good. Like (stablemate, also entered in the Juvenile) Azul Leon, he's very mature and very confident. I feel like I'm blessed. I think both horses have huge chances."

West Side Bernie - Undefeated in 2 starts, he galloped 1 mile on Monday morning in preparation for the Juvenile. Trainer Kelly Breen said, "He couldn't be doing much better. He had two really good breezes over the track here, and he'll gallop up to the race."

C Karma - the Juvenile Fillies Turf entrant galloped on the Pro-Ride on Monday morning. The Greg de Gannes trainee is guaranteed a spot in the field having won the Natalma Stakes at home at Woodbine, a Win and You're In event.

C. S. Silk - the Juvenile Fillies entrant arrived at Santa Anita on Sunday and galloped Monday. Asked about her workout on Friday at Churchill Downs, 5/8 in "She's doing very well," trainer Dale Romans said. "She worked great."

Doremifasollatido - Went for a 1 1/2 mile gallop under exercise rider Kelvin Pahal in preparation for the Juvenile Fillies. "She seems like she has no problem with the surface. She seems to be getting over it fine," trainer Jimmy Jerkens said. "She's kind of rugged and I have the feeling that she'll run on anything."

Evita Argentina - the Juvenile Fillies entrant galloped 1 1/8 m on the main track at Santa Anita under exercise rider Dana Barnes then schooled in the paddock. She arrived at Santa Anita on Sunday afternoon from Hollywood Park, where she had been stabled since the end of the Del Mar meet in early September.

Maram - went out for a gallop Monday morning in preparation for the Juvenile Fillies Turf on Friday.

Palacio de Amor - worked 4f on the Santa Anita main track Monday in 46 3/5, third best of 49 at the distance. Assistant trainer Maria Ayala called the work "very good" as she talked with exercise rider Diego Sotelo following the drill. Ayala said the filly will jog and gallop up to the race, and will be ridden by Victor Espinoza.

Renda - Arrived Sunday from Florida and galloped with trainer and former jockey Juan Arias aboard on Monday morning. "I've owned horses for 26 years and have never raced in a million dollar race before," owner Richard Rowan said. Rowan is a Brazil aficionado and gives many of his horses Portuguese names. Renda, pronounced "henda," means wealth.

Indian Blessing - Last year's Juvenile Fillies champion jogged Monday morning under exercise rider Janell Gruss. She had her final work on Saturday, covering 5f in 59 1/5. Indian Blessing will be attempting to become the first horse in Championships history to win two different races.

Lady Sprinter - Argentina champion has recovered from a 4f workout in 45 1/5 between races on Friday and went to the track to gallop Monday. The plan is for the filly to have long, slow gallops the rest of the week. "It was a little faster than we had planned," said trainer Juan Reviriego, who has overseen the filly's care since she arrived from her native country in June. "I was looking for something around :47, but we have a week to have plenty of easy gallops." Jorge Ricardo, the South American rider with more than 10,000 wins, has the mount on Saturday.

Ventura - went out for some light work Monday morning. "The clockers all tell me they're really impressed," trainer Bobby Frankel said. "She handles this track really well. They tell me she might be second choice in the race (behind likely favorite Indian Blessing) and there are a lot of good fillies in there. Her work the other day was impressive (5f in 58 3/5) and it looked to me like she was just breezing."

Zaftig - jogged 1 mile the wrong way Monday morning. Trainer Jimmy Jerkens said, "She seems to be training good, but you sure would like to have had a good race under her belt beforehand. This seems like a lot to ask; you never know, they might be a little stale first start off the layoff."

Lewis Michael - galloped 1 mile and schooled in the paddock on Monday. Trainer Wayne Catalano said, "We had him fit to run in June, but thought it was best to wait for the Sea o'Erin. We figured he wouldn't be at his best that day (finished fourth), but it was good to get that one under him. We'd run good (in the Sprint), but in that race we'd need the right race shape, and deep closers haven't done too well on (Pro-Ride). He has the right running style for the Mile. He can lay closer, and get the right trip."

Rebellion - galloped 1 mile under assistant trainer Alice Clapham. Trainer H. Graham Motion said, "We're hoping we can stretch him out to a mile. The mile and a sixteenth was probably a stretch in his race at Del Mar, but he's been training at Santa Anita for a month, so we're hopeful that he'll get the distance."

California Flag - worked 3f in 34 4/5 under assistant trainer Colleen Hartford. "He went really well." Trainer Brian Koriner said, "This is a chance of a lifetime for that man (Keith Card, 81, owner-breeder). The horse ran a terrific race down the hill and set a course record. They're running back down the hill again Saturday. It was a 'Win-and-You're-In' race, so when they asked us if we wanted to run, the answer was: 'Why not?'"

One Union - Worked 5f in 1:01 1/5 on the turf Monday morning under exercise rider Paul Nilluang. Trainer Richard Mandella said, "Very nice. He just ran in the Morvich Handicap (third on Sept. 24), so he didn't need any fancy work."

Booyah - the Marathon entrant worked 5f in 1:00 1/5, 9th best out of 40 works at the distance on Monday morning.

Zappa - jogged 1m on the main track at Santa Anita under exercise rider Ricardo Peniche on Monday morning and schooled in the paddock later. The John Sadler trainee earned a berth in the Marathon with a victory in the Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar on July 30. Garrett Gomez was aboard that day for the front-running victory and he has the riding assignment on Saturday.

Full info on all the Breeders' Cup entries:

Friday: F&M Sprint   Juvenile Fillies Turf   Juvenile Fillies   F&M Turf   Ladies Classic  
Saturday: Marathon   Turf Sprint   Dirt Mile   Mile   Juvenile   Juvenile Turf   Sprint   Turf   Classic

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