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The horses on the track Wednesday morning near the gap to the barns.

World Championships
Breeders' Cup Workouts

Date: 10/22/2008

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

Wednesday morning at Santa Anita was almost a repeat of Tuesday, with a cloudless sky and a clear view of the San Gabriel Mountains. Several entrants arrived Tuesday afternoon or early Wednesday morning, and were out to test the Pro-Ride during training hours, with a few testing the very firm turf course under 90 degree heat. Several of the European horses were out of quarantine and one the track today, including all 8 in trainer Aidan O'Brien's barn. Here are photos of 42 horses, almost all different from Monday and Tuesday, with comments and a link to a profile for each.

Click the small picture to see a larger version.

Thursday workout photos   (19 horses)
Tuesday workout photos   (29 horses)
Monday workout photos   (37 horses)


April Pride - Trainer Jim Cassidy took over training the English-bred filly on Tuesday morning when she cleared quarantine at Hollywood Park and was vanned to Santa Anita. The Juvenile Fillies Turf entrant was out on the turf course this morning for a 1 mile gallop with jockey David Flores aboard.

Azul Leon - Juvenile entrant galloped 1 1/2 miles on the main track. The Hollywood Juvenile and Best Pal Stakes winner galloped under exercise rider Beto Gomez.

Better Talk Now - Turf entrant and 2004 Turf winner galloped one mile on the Pro-Ride. Trainer H. Graham Motion said, "Obviously, it's a thrill for us, the connections, but I don't want people to think that's just the reason we're doing it. We are doing it because we think he's got a legitimate shot, and we've had (a shot) every year. It's remarkable for this horse that he's still running at that level. It's a bit of a worry, the firmness of (the turf), although he's won on very firm ground; but the concern being that the horses tend not to back up as quickly on the firm ground."

Big Booster - the Marathon entrant went out for some light work Wednesday morning.

Carriage Trail - the Ladies' Classic entrant galloped 1 mile under exercise rider Jennifer Patterson Wednesday morning before walking through the paddock on her way back to Barn 48 on the Santa Anita backstretch. Trainer Shug McGaughey said, "She's been better on synthetic than dirt, but whether she's better on the synthetic or the turf, I don't know." He added, "She had little things that were nagging her. Nothing major, but I couldn't keep going with her. This year we've been able to keep going with her and she's had a good year."

Colonel John - the Classic entrant jogged 1 mile the wrong way accompanied by a pony. Co-owner Sue Casner said, "He's doing well, he looks good, he's feeling well, and I think he's spitting fire."

Delightful Kiss - the Marathon entrant galloped on the Pro-Ride on Wednesday. Trainer Pete Anderson said, "There was a big accident on the Grapevine (stretch of Golden State Freeway) that caused a two-hour delay. He hit his head on the van.  It's superficial and looks worse than it is.  He ate up last night and went to the track Wednesday morning and is doing real well."

Desert Code - the Turf Sprint entrant put in some light work on the main track Wednesday.

Diabolical - the Turf Sprint entrant jogged on the main track after being a bit fracious. Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said, "He jogged easy today. Tomorrow he'll canter a mile. The draw was perfect, He's got a good turn of foot, plenty of speed, and the middle of the gate is perfect for him."
Duke of Marmalade - the Classic entrant jogged on the main track on Wednesday with his stablemates. Trainer Aidan O'Brien said, "Duke of Marmalade is one of those horses who likes a strong tempo through the race. He's another horse that likes fast ground. He's very dour and very tough, a good cruiser with a great constitution. If he gets a good break and gets a good position, he'll be tough. They trotted and they seemed to be lovely on it. They will canter tomorrow (Thursday) and will canter the next day."

Right: All the Aidan O'Brien horses head back to the barns after talking their group walk around the track.


Eagle Mountain - the Turf entrant jogged on the turf course. Trainer Mike de Kock said, "I had three others that I was planning to come here with and things didn't turn out that way. We were lucky that we had backup with this horse. We didn't think we were on target for the Breeders' Cup, but his last one showed that he was. So we were able to switch plans. He's got a good five or six months of hard work under the belt. He's done a lot a miles. He's ready for it."

Fabulous Strike - the Sprint entrant galloped 12 furlongs on Wednesday. Trainer Todd Beattie said, "He's always been the kind of horse that has to have his foot on the throttle at all times. Lately he seems to have slowed himself down a bit. I think it's happening with age. "We got here early so I could train him over the track before the work. He gets along real well over it (Pro-Ride). It's a little harder than the Tapeta (Presque Isle surface)."

Fairbanks - the Classic entrant jogged on the main track and schooled in the starting gate and paddock. "The strategy is simple," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "We're going to the front." That scenario would have also made Fairbanks dangerous in the 1 1/2 mile Marathon, but, Pletcher said, "That purse had one less zero."

Fatal Bullet - the Sprint entrant jogged the wrong way on the training track. Trainer Reade Baker has been known to work his horses exclusively on conventional dirt even if the horse will be racing on a synthetic surface. Fatal Bullet won the Kentucky Cup Sprint on the Polytrack at Turfway Park in his final prep. Baker said, "He's a big gelding and he's laid back. It's tough to tell how he's doing because he doesn't let you know. He didn't work any good the other day, but when I put the blinkers on him, I'm sure he'll be all business."

Folk Opera - the Filly and Mare Turf entrant cantered on the main track at Santa Anita on Wednesday. Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said, "This was the first day we took her out and she showed a little fresh. She had an easy canter today, and tomorrow she'll go a mile. We sent her to the Breeders' Cup because she handles travel very well. She went from Canada back to England, and then from England to here, and she handled it well. She's in good condition, and she's a tough filly. I'd like to see her sit close to the pace and see how fast they go. She likes to run that way."

Ginger Punch - Defending champion in the Ladies' Classic galloped 1 1/4 miles on the Pro-Ride just after 8am. Trainer Bobby Frankel said, "I like her chances Friday and I like her post (6). There won't be any excuses there. I just don't want her on the lead. I guess I'm going to have to talk to the kid (Rafael Bejarano) about that. You think he'd know that by now; he's ridden her 16 times. But last race (the Beldame) he was sending her to the front and she got beat. Sometimes they (riders) need reminding. If she can stalk – if she has something to run at and can accelerate late – she runs her best race."

Go Between - the Classic entrant galloped 12 furlongs on the Pro-Ride. Trainer Bill Mott said, "He likes the surface and he's also matured over time and he's probably a better horse now. I guess he's able to propel himself well over it. Sometimes you can't explain it. He's also won a million dollar race on the turf (2006 Virginia Derby), so I guess we really couldn't say he doesn't like the turf. His only start on dirt was disappointing on a wet track."

Goldikova - the Mile entrant cantered on the main track Wednesday morning. Trainer Freddy Head said, "She's never raced on a left-hand track but she trains on a left-hand course at home. She has everything she needs to run well here, that's the main thing. She has a lot of speed, she's easy to ride, and she's a real miler. "She's not used to running on such hard and dry turf, but it will be OK. She won over good ground this year, and this won't stop her."

Grand Couturier - the Turf entrant jogged two miles on the main track with trainer Bobby Ribaudo aboard. Ribaudo said, "We've got a good post position down inside (three) so we can save ground. It just gives you one less thing to worry about. He's been on all kinds of turf courses. He's handled some soft and firm. He's pretty versatile."

Halfway to Heaven - the Filly and Mare Turf entrant jogged on the main track. Trainer Aidan O'Brien said, "She's a very tough, hardy filly, but has gotten three brilliant rides. That's the thing. Each time she won you'd say the jockey was great on her, but she's very tough, very consistent and has class. But she had three great rides."

Heart Shaped - the Juvenile Fillies Turf entrant jogged 1 mile on Pro-Ride with her stablemates. Trainer Aidan O'Brien said, "She is a filly with a lot of speed and we're not sure whether she can get a mile or not. Johnny will ride patiently and we'll see what happens."

Henrythenavigator - the Classic entrant jogged on the Pro-Ride Wednesday morning with his stablemates. Trainer Aidan O'Brien said, "He has loads of speed. One thing that is very important is that Henry is one of those horses who likes to get up on his toe when he gallops. When people or horses are like that they are very nimble and very quick. When the ground is slow, they're inclined to be down flat. He likes to be on his toe and on a fast, level surface if the season hasn't been too long, he would be able to do that.

Internally Flawless - the Juvenile Fillies Turf entrant galloped 1 1/2 miles on the main track Wednesday. She is second on the Also-Eligible list so unlikely to make it in the race.

Curlin - the defending champion in the Mile jogged 1 mile on the Pro-Ride after shipping in from Aqueduct yesterday. Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said, "I was confident with him early in the week last year, but once that weather hit, it was impossible for anyone to feel secure about their chances. Running over that soggy course, we had no idea that he'd like it as well as he did. I'm a horse for course guy and we know he loves it here."

Mark S the Cooler - the Juvenile Turf entrant jogged on the training track. "We need one defection," said trainer Doug O'Neill of the gelding being the only one on the also-eligible list.

Mauralakana - the Filly and Mare Turf entrant galloped 10 furlongs on Wednesday then schooled in the paddock. Trainer Christophe Clement (in front of the horse in the photo) said, "She was a very good filly in France as a two-year-old. She had a nice career with Mr. Biancone last year and I'm just lucky they sent her to us. She's just a very nice filly. She was a 3-year-old when she ran in the Breeders' Cup last time, and now she's a 5-year-old mare. She's a bit stronger now and she's more settled."

Muhannak - the Marathon entrant jogged on the training track. Trainer Ralph Beckett said, "We bought the horse around July and he sort of surprised us the first time out at Kempton over 1 3/8 on the Polytrack. Then this race (Diamond Stakes) was coming up for him. We sent him to Dundalk, which is quite a long way from us. We're right down in the south of England; that's on the Northern Ireland border. He loved the traveling and won. This was the next obvious step."

Munnings - the Juvenile entrant jogged on the Pro-Ride and schooled in the starting gate. Trainer Todd Pletcher said, "Interesting draw for Munnings. We'll send him away from there and put him in the thick of things. Silent Valor, I'd like to see in the second tier."

Pioneerof the Nile - the Juvenile entrant galloped 1 mile on the main track. Trainer Bill Mott said, "You probably haven't seen the best of him yet. He moves beautifully over this track. Distance shouldn’t be a problem for him. I expect to see a good effort from him."

Pursuit of Glory - the Juvenile Fillies entrant cantered on the main track. Trainer David Wachman said, "We had a very wet summer in Ireland and the ground was very soft. So she had her first two runs on the Polytrack. Of course, the Breeders' Cup was also in the back of our mind. "I don't think the extra distance will be a problem. She's run twice around bends, and it's easier to get the trip on a turning track. She's a very adaptable filly."

Red Rock Canyon - the Turf entrant jogged on the Pro-Ride on Wednesday. Trainer Aidan O'Brien said, "He's there to make sure it's a consistent, even gallop. He's a good horse in his own right. He's one of those horses that is a natural leader. It's very hard to get a natural leader and he's one of them. He usually breaks quick and goes along. I think it's good for everybody. It makes it more even."

Renda - the Juvenile Fillies Turf entrant galloped on the turf course. Her trainer, former jockey Juan Arias said, "I took her about 1 3/8 miles with a little open gallop to the stretch. It was smooth, the turf course felt like a carpet."

Salute the Count - the Turf Sprint entrant jogged 1 mile on the main track and is scheduled to work 3f Thursday morning. Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said, "He looks fine. He had a little swelling in a hind leg on Monday. He must have kicked the wall. It's gone now. We have him right where he needs to be."

Sky Diva - the Juvenile Fillies entrant galloped 1 1/2 miles on the Pro-Ride. Trainer Steve Klesaris said, "She's only two, but she's shown nothing but professionalism. This is a route filly to the bone. I wish the race was a mile-and-a-quarter."

Soldier of Fortune - the Turf entrant jogged 1 mile on Wednesday with his stablemates. Trainer Aidan O'Brien said, "We think he's a very good horse. He gets a mile-and-a-half well. He's a very good-moving horse. He handles fast ground and soft ground. He's fresh and we're happy with him."

Stardom Bound - the expected favorite in the Juvenile Fillies galloped 1 1/2 miles at Hollywood Park, was vanned to Santa Anita, and then schooled in the paddock. "I wanted to let her settle in the stall, eat breakfast and school in the paddock," said trainer Chris Paasch. "She made the trip, and she's having lunch in her stall. Everything went perfect. All you do from now until Friday is hold your breath until you turn blue."

US Ranger - the Mile entrant went for a 1 mile jog on the Pro-Ride with his stablemates. Trainer Aidan O'Brien said, "We tried to sprint him and he was just beaten in the July Cup, which is a big run. Maybe because we forced him too much, he just went down a little bit. That's why we're stepping him up in trip. He's in good form. You'd prefer an ideal world for him to be drawn a little bit more inside to get a little more cover. But he's in good form and we'll see if he can step up. It will be interesting."

Vacare - the Filly and Mare Turf entrant galloped 1 1/4 miles on Pro-Ride this morning. Trainer Christophe Clement said, "When she ran against Wait a While she ran very well. It's a bit ambitious (to run her back against the favorite in the race), but you have to be ambitious; it's the Breeders' Cup."

Vaquero - the Juvenile Turf entrant put in some light work on the main track Wednesday.

Wait a While - the Filly and Mare Turf entrant galloped 1 1/4 miles. Trainer Todd Pletcher said, "She is a very happy animal at the moment."

Mile entrant galloped 1 mile on the main track. Trainer Bill Mott said, "He's run in some good races and he's hit some tracks that weren't ideal and maybe some pace scenarios that didn't suit him perfectly. That being said, we're going to have to have a fairly ideal pace scenario and track condition."

Westphalia - the Juvenile Turf entrant jogged a mile on the main track with his stablemates. trainer Aidan O'Brien said, "Westphalia is in good shape. We think he'll get a mile. He's a classy horse at home and won the Champagne (Doncaster), which is usually a good race. He's in good form."
A couple of nice scenic shots from this morning. On the left is the paddock with the Seabiscuit statue decorated by a Breeders' Cup flower blanket while horses school in the paddock. On the right is the view from the winner's circle with the mountains in the background.

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

Breeders' Cup quick links:

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