Santa Anita News
STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• DULLAHAN EYES EITHER TURF OR CLASSIC FOR BREEDERS’ CUP
• ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR DEFENDING BC SPRINT CHAMP AMAZOMBIE
• MISS MITTAGONG TO BE SOLD AFTER SATURDAY’S KEN MADDY
DULLAHAN TO WORK ON TURF SATURDAY FOR BREEDERS’ CUP
Pacific Classic winner Dullahan is one of five horses bedded down at Barn 76 for trainer Dale Romans, who is preparing the quintet for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita on Nov. 2 and 3.
“The horses got in Monday, and Tuesday was their first day on the race track,” said Romans’ assistant of 21 years, former jockey Tammy Fox, who’s as big as a New York minute but 100 times as gracious and knowledgeable.
“They all seem to be training really well and all seem to like the surface,” Fox said at the barn Thursday morning after returning from the track. “It’s been hot here, which is why Dale wanted to get here early and get them used to the weather, because it’s cooled off in Kentucky (their point of departure). So far, so good.”
Dullahan is scheduled to work Saturday on Santa Anita’s turf course, Fox said, adding, “he’ll come back and work next Saturday on the dirt. Whichever one I decide that he likes the best, that’s the one we’re going to go with, so I hope I pick the right one.”
That means Dullahan would run in either the $3 million Turf at 1 ½ miles or the $5 million Classic at 1 ¼ miles on dirt. Both races are Nov. 3.
The other four Romans’ runners here awaiting the Breeders’ Cup are Little Mike (Mile); Moon Walk (Juvenile Fillies Turf); Shackleford (Dirt Mile); and Sustained (Juvenile Fillies Turf).
“This is my first time on horses here at Santa Anita,” Fox said. “We’ve been here before, but I’ve never been on a horse over the track. I was just in and out to watch a race or two.”
Bob Baffert maintained his high praise for Santa Anita’s conventional dirt surface. “Ever since it rained (three-quarters of an inch last Thursday), the track’s been great,” said the Hall of Fame trainer, leading the pack just past the halfway mark in pursuit of his record 11th title at The Great Race Place.
Added Fox philosophically: “Everybody has to run on the same surface, so why complain about it?”
AMAZOMBIE SET TO MAKE AMENDS IN BREEDERS’ CUP SPRINT
Defending Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Amazombie passed precautionary blood tests with flying colors following his disappointing fourth-place finish as the 4-5 favorite in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 6 and is on course for the $1.5 million XpressBet Breeders’ Cup Sprint Nov. 3, trainer Bill Spawr said Thursday morning.
“Everything’s OK,” said Spawr, who also owns the California-bred gelding with partner Tom Sanford. “The tests were fine. He’s been galloping and probably will breeze a half (mile) on Saturday.”
DIGNITARIES TO UNVEIL 3D PAINTING OCT. 25 FOR BREEDERS’ CUP
In celebration of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships’ return to Southern California, Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa, along with Breeders’ Cup officials, California Horse Racing Board Chairman Keith Brackpool and Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, will unveil a 3D painting at a press conference at LA Live next Thursday, Oct. 25 at 1 p.m.
The interactive, 3D art installation, “BCin3D,” will be on display at LA Live through Thursday, Nov. 1, when it will be moved to Santa Anita for the World Championships on Nov. 2 and 3.
The Breeders’ Cup commissioned world-renowned artist, and inventor of 3D street art, Kurt Wenner to create the painting that depicts a scene from Santa Anita. The painting will be staffed throughout the week with Breeders’ Cup brand ambassadors, encouraging fans to “step into” the painting.
The press conference will serve as the official welcoming of the Breeders’ Cup back to Los Angeles, kicking off festivities surrounding the 28th running of the World Championships.
FINAL START FOR MISS MITTAGONG IN SEN. KEN MADDY SATURDAY?
Saturday’s Grade III Sen. Ken Maddy Stakes at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf likely will mark the last start for Miss Mittagong.
“This is probably her last race,” trainer Ben Cecil said of the 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare. “She’ll be going to the Keeneland November sale. She doesn’t handle the main track here at all, so we thought we’d try her down the hill.”
Miss Mittagong, a bay daughter of Pleasantly Perfect owned by Cecil’s wife, Kristina, and the wife of J. Paul Reddam, Zillah, has 20 lifetime starts but none on Santa Anita’s unique downhill turf course. She gave way to finish a well-beaten ninth and last in the Grade I Zenyatta Stakes on the main track last out on Sept. 29. She has three wins, three seconds and five thirds, with earnings of $211,234.
“In her race at Del Mar (seventh in the restricted Adoration Stakes Sept. 2), she stumbled badly leaving the gate,” Cecil continued, “so we thought we’d try something completely different.”
The field for the Maddy, the eighth of nine races: Missdealornodeal, Kevin Krigger, 8-1; Teroda, Joe Talamo, 8-1; Broken Dreams, Garrett Gomez, 7-2; Ninth Infantry, Chantal Sutherland, 8-1; Givine, Tyler Baze, 6-1; Byrama, Rafael Bejarano, 3-1; Briecat, Martin Garcia, 6-1; Miss Mittagong, Mario Gutierrez, 20-1; and Kindle, Edwin Maldonado, 4-1.
FINISH LINES: Jockeys Martin Garcia and Garrett Gomez, both under the weather, took off their scheduled mounts Thursday . . . Retired Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. is just back from a trip to the Orient. “A friend of mine asked me if I wanted to go to China and I wasn’t doing anything, so I decided to go,” Pincay said. “We were there for a week and had a great time.” . . . Former Los Angeles Dodger pitching stalwart Tim Leary, a texting buddy of Santa Anita CEO Mark Verge, volunteered his services at the Sunrise Little League Challenger Division for special needs kids in Woodland Hills on Sunday, pitching to the teams and later signing every last request for autographs. Now 53, the Santa Monica native was a member of the Dodgers’ 1988 “Team of Destiny” that went on to win the World Series. Leary was far from an automatic out at the plate. He was named the National League’s Silver Slugger pitcher in 1988 when he batted .269. His only career home run came off a pretty good pitcher--Hall of Famer Steve Carlton . . . M One Rifle, winner of the Grade I Malibu Stakes in 2009, worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Thursday in a bullet 58.60 for Bruce Headley. It was the fastest of 26 drills at the distance, the average time of which was 1:01.18 . . . Only 11 players were alive in ShowVivor entering Thursday’s races, which offered a Pick Six carryover of $66,088. -30-