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Curlin heads back to the barn on the horse path past the Breeders' Cup statue after his morning gallop.

World Championships
Breeders' Cup Workouts

Date: 10/23/2008

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

Thursday morning was a lot warmer and drier than earlier in the week, and with the 2-day Breeders' Cup introduced a year ago, this was the last opportunity for some of the starters to get a taste of the surfaces. Santa Anita is the only American track with an Australian-designed Pro-Ride surface, and its turf course, a Bermuda hybrid cut very short, differs significantly from eastern and European courses. Here are 23 photos, mostly different horses from previous days except for some big favorites like Curlin and the O'Brien horses. Click the small picture to see a larger version.

Wednesday workout photos   (42 horses)
Tuesday workout photos   (29 horses)
Monday workout photos   (37 horses)

Zenyatta - the odds-on favorite in the Ladies' Classic shipped over from Hollywood yesterday afternoon and went for a 1 mile gallop over the Pro-Ride on Thursday morning under exercise rider Steve Willard. Willard said, "Lovely, just like yesterday." Freddy Wilson, a veteran horseman on the circuit, has been the pony boy accompanying Zenyatta to the track most days since she went into training. "She brought me out of retirement a couple of years ago. I galloped horses for 55 years. I go back to Ridan--and the only one I can compare to her is Drumtop, a Roger Laurin filly during the 1970s."
Curlin - the defending Classic champion and reigning Horse of the Year galloped on the main track and then schooled in the paddock under exercise rider Carlos Rosas. Rosas said, "He's a superstar.  He's getting over the ground here very well.  I know there's a big difference between the mornings and afternoons, but he's showing us very good signs.  I don't think the (Pro-Ride) is going to be a problem at all."

Right: Curlin heads through the tunnel to the paddock after his gallop and looked up when he heard the cameras click.

Curlin returned to the paddock during the 6th race on Thursday afternoon along with the rest of the Steve Asmussen contingent for the Breeders' Cup. The group stood in the saddling stalls and walked twice around the walking ring.
Left: Trainer Aidan O'Brien leads his contingent to the track for their gallops. Just behind him is Duke of Marmalade.

Right: Henrythenavigator - the Classic entrant cantered 1 mile on the main track. Trainer Aidan O'Brien said, "We always try to do what we think is the right thing for the horses and the system. We felt that he didn't have anything to prove by running in the Mile. Obviously, the Classic catches everyone's imagination. We're just trying to expose him a little bit more, like we'll find out if he gets a mile and a quarter. We know he gets a mile. Listen, if we wanted to be safe and not to explore him, we'd have stuck to the Mile and he probably would have been a short-priced favorite. It's exciting to see what's going to happen. We're going into the unknown a little bit and he seems to be in good form."

Left: Duke of Marmalade - also entered in the Classic jogged 1 mile on the Pro-Ride. Trainer Aidan O'Brien said, "He's in good form and the minute Johnny (Murtagh) came in after the Arc he said he pulled up real good. Always, the lad's first impressions are what you like to hear. He was very happy. He didn't come in for one minute and say he was gone or down. If he did, you'd be worried. He said he never really got into top gear."

Right: Soldier of Fortune - the Turf entrant cantered 1 mile on the main track. Trainer Aidan O'Brien said, "He's one of those horses that ground doesn't affect him. He's equally as good on soft ground as he is on fast ground because he's very natural. He has very big lungs and he keeps pushing himself forward, whether it's soft or fast because he tries very hard. A lot of horses who haven't got soft ground action when they run on it they quit. He's not like that, he tries very hard. He's a very good moving horse. When you see him cantering, he doesn't bend his knee much, he's very fluid. It would definitely suggest that he should have no problem with fast ground. We've always thought that. He's a horse that stays very well at a very high cruising pace. He's a very high quality horse."

Left: Halfway to Heaven - the Filly and Mare Turf entrant cantered 1 mile on the Pro-Ride. Trainer Aidan O'Brien said, "She is a very good filly. She's a Group 1 level all the way. So you'd imagine that she has a big chance. She's a hardy, honest filly and seems to be fine. Her coat has changed a little bit, which most do at that this time of the year, but she seems to be fine."

Right: Westphalia - the Juvenile Turf entrant cantered 1 mile on the main track. Trainer Aidan O'Brien said, "Westphalia had very high quality form at home and he's in good form. You'd think and hope that he'll get a mile."

Colonel John - the Classic entrant stood in the starting gate then galloped 1 mile. Trainer Eoin Harty said, "I would not have entered him if I did not believe with all of my heart and soul that this horse has the ability to run with these horses. He bounced back over the summer and has matured over the course of time."

Tiago - the Classic entrant galloped 1 mile on Pro-Ride under exercise rider Frankie Herrarte, who said, "Super; he loves this track." Dottie Ingordo-Shirreffs, wife of the trainer and racing manager for owners Jerry and Ann Moss said, "There is a lot for them to look at with all those signs in the walking ring."

Goldikova - the favorite for the Mile cantered on the main track Thursday.

Red Rocks - the 2006 Turf winner galloped 7 furlongs on the Pro-Ride then toured the paddock. Trainer Mark Hennig said, "Expectations are high, but we're realistic. What he went through this summer with the hock (left hind) and the infection put us behind the 8-ball and trying to make up for lost time. Going into this race without a prep is certainly not the way we would have laid it out, but it was the hand that was dealt us. The great thing is the way he's responded. We've had to turn up the pressure training and he's responded to it well. We got in as much work as we could in the time we were given."

Orthodox - the Juvenile Turf entrant went for a 1 mile gallop on the Pro-Ride on Thursday morning.

City Style. - the Juvenile Turf entrant jogged on the main track under exercise rider and retired jockey Cash Asmussen, husband of trainer Cheryl Asmussen and brother of Curlin's trainer Steve Asmussen. Cheryl said, "It's very exciting to be in this race and to come back to California where Cash won his Breeders' Cup race as a jockey."   Cash Asmussen rode Spinning World to win the 1997 Mile at Hollywood Park.  The Juvenile Turf marks Cheryl's first Breeders' Cup race. She said, "I'm very optimistic and I think he'll run well."

Awesome Gem - the Mile entrant galloped 1 1/4 miles at Hollywood Park, then shipped over to Santa Anita to school in the paddock.

Donativum - the Juvenile Turf entrant jogged on the Pro-Ride at 6:15AM and then schooled in the paddock later in the morning.

Lord Admiral - the Dirt Mile entrant went out for a jog on the main track, a day after breezing 4 furlongs in :51 1/5.

Mr. Nightlinger - the Turf Sprint entrant galloped 12 furlongs on the Pro-Ride. Trainer Bret Calhoun said, "But after talking to some people, we're actually pretty happy about (the outside post). With the way the (downhill) course is set up, we go short right first, which should allow us a chance to avoid a traffic jam and get to a forward position. When we turn back left, hopefully we're the one they have to come and get. We really think he can go a mile, but with the success he's had sprinting, and the Breeders' Cup in the plans, there was no reason to play around. Next year will be a fresh start, so you never know. At the right time, we might try a mile."

Salute the Count - the Turf Sprint entrant worked 3 furlongs in 34 4/5 seconds under exercise rider Michelle Nevin, the only timed work of the day for a Breeders' Cup horse. Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said, "He's doing really good, we're very happy with him. There are younger and faster horses in the race. Everything has to go his way. He could run the race of his life, and still finish fifth or sixth. It's going to be fun for the owners (Michael Dubb and Robert Joscelyn). We're confident that he'll give it his all, and run as fast as he can."

Well Armed - the Dirt Mile entrant stood in the starting gate and then galloped 1 mile. "Aaron (Gryder) fits him great," said owner Bill Casner. "The horse has never even worked without him on his back." Oliver Costello, assistant to Eoin Harty added, "I don't know if the horse would have done what he's done if we had picked another rider. When working him in the mornings, he's gotten him to relax. Aaron has done a brilliant job with him."

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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