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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC IDEAL FOR VENERABLE RICHARD’S KID
• PLETCHER SEXTET HEADS PLETHORA OF BREEDERS’ CUP WORKERS
• NEXT WEDNESDAY DATE FOR PRE-ENTERED BREEDERS’ CUP FIELDS
OLD ‘KID’ ON THE BLOCK SET FOR BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC
Richard’s Kid is a rarity in racing these days. He’s a 7-year-old full horse (not a gelding) that’s still racing at the game’s highest level.
On Saturday, Nov. 3, at Santa Anita, the Maryland-bred son of 1999 Belmont Stakes winner Lemon Drop Kid runs in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at a mile and a quarter.
Doug O’Neill, who has trained Richard’s Kid for only his two previous starts, thirds in both the Pacific Classic and the Awesome Again Stakes, is optimistic that the Classic will present an ideal scenario for the late-running multi-millionaire, who has earned more than $2.1 million thanks mainly to 11 wins from 37 career starts.
Ordinarily, O’Neill’s base of operations is Betfair Hollywood Park.
“He’s doing great; he’s doing super,” O’Neill said of Richard’s Kid as the countdown to the Classic drew to two weeks. “He’s training really well. We intentionally have had all our Breeders’ Cup horses training here at Santa Anita to get used to the heavier track, and I love the way he’s training.
“He worked the other day (six furlongs Monday in 1:13.40) and went great. He’ll have one more work, but he gallops like he works, he gallops so strong. But he’ll have one more official work before the big race.
“I don’t have a specific date right now, but usually I like to do it about 10 days before the race. That gives them plenty of time to recover.”
GOOD WORKS FOR PLETCHER; DULLAHAN DRILLS ON TURF FOR ROMANS
With apologies to Grantland Rice, under blue-gray October skies, Breeders’ Cup candidates were out en force at Santa Anita Saturday morning, going through final stages of their major drills for the World Championships event at The Great Race Place on Nov. 2 and 3.
Among them were six from the Todd Pletcher barn, including Zenyatta Stakes winner Love and Pride (Ladies’ Classic or Filly & Mare Turf), ridden by jockey Martin Garcia, and John Henry Turf Championship winner Turbo Compressor (Turf), who worked five furlongs in company on the main track in identical clockings of 1:00.40.
“Both of them worked well,” Pletcher said as a light drizzle speckled the track. “It was just a steady five-eighths breeze. They had a decent gallop out, so we were happy with both of them.”
Before departing on an early afternoon flight back to the East Coast, Pletcher also supervised drills for Bridgetown (Turf Sprint), four furlongs on Santa Anita’s firm turf course in 48 flat; Doubles Partner (Mile), also 48 on the turf; In Lingerie (Ladies’ Classic or Filly & Mare Turf), likewise 48 on grass; and Tara from the Cape (Juvenile Fillies Turf), four furlongs on turf in 48.60. Bridgetown and Doubles Partner worked in company, as did In Lingerie and Tara from the Cape.
“Loved it” is how Dale Romans’ long-time assistant Tammy Fox succinctly termed Dullahan’s four furlong clocking on turf of 47.80. “I got him going five furlongs in about a minute,” the former jockey added.
In other Breeders’ Cup news:
Under the cover of darkness, defending Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Amazombie worked a half-mile in 48 seconds for trainer Bill Spawr.
“It was good,” said Spawr, who owns the 6-year-old California-bred son of Northern Afleet with partner Tom Sanford.
“He went in 48 flat--24.3 and 23.2,” alluding to the quarter-mile fractions,” Spawr added. “He galloped out (five furlongs) in 1:01 1/5. He got back to the barn, it was just like he galloped.”
Venerable California-bred California Flag, aiming for his fifth try in the Turf Sprint which he won at Santa Anita in 2009, went five furlongs on the grass in a bullet 59.60 under leading rider Joe Talamo for trainer Brian Koriner.
Two of Shackleford’s biggest fans were at Clockers’ Corner to see Dale Romans’ 2011 Preakness winner work five furlongs for the Dirt Mile in 59.60.
Diane Shackleford of Westchester near Hollywood Park, and her son, Geoff Shackleford of Santa Monica, watched enthusiastically as Shackleford went through his maneuvers.
“It was natural for us to become fans because of the name,” explained Geoff, a golf writer who also has published a book of photographs on the legendary mare Zenyatta called “Zenyatta at Home.”
Diane explained that Shackleford is named for the island of North Shackleford Banks in North Carolina, “where the wild horses roam that swam there after escaping from the Spanish ships that brought them from overseas.”
Also working at Santa Anita Saturday for John Sadler were Switch (Filly & Mare Sprint), a bullet five furlongs in 58.80; Capo Bastone (Juvenile), six furlongs in 1:13.40; and Lady of Shamrock (Filly & Mare Turf), seven furlongs in a bullet 1:26.20.
Bob Baffert said Classic favorite Game On Dude could work “tomorrow or Monday.” Tim Conway Stakes winner Merit Man (Juvenile Sprint) worked five furlongs Friday on Santa Anita’s main track in 1:02.60 for Bob Hess Jr. “He’s exactly where he needs to be,” the trainer said. “He’s fit and ready to go. We’ll work him one more time, probably another 1:02, and then run him on Friday (Nov. 2 in the $500,000 Juvenile Sprint at six furlongs).”
Under the watchful and attentive eyes of Santa Anita’s crack clocking crew, there were 132 recorded workouts Saturday, including 31 on turf.
Among confirmed Breeders’ Cup mounts for Garrett Gomez are Richard’s Kid (Classic), Beholder (Juvenile Sprint or Juvenile Fillies) and Jimmy Creed (Sprint).
PRE-ENTERED FIELDS FOR BREEDERS’ CUP TO BE ANNOUNCED WEDNESDAY
Pre-entered fields for all 15 Breeders’ Cup World Championships races will be announced this Wednesday, Oct. 24. The 29th Breeders’ Cup, Thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious global event, will be held on Friday, Nov. 2, and Saturday, Nov. 3, at Santa Anita.
A Breeders’ Cup Pre-Entry national media teleconference with key trainers will also be conducted on Oct. 24 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. The dial-in toll free number is 1-866-250-5144; Reservation ID: R126199 Breeders’ Cup Pre-Entry is the first stage of a two-stage entry payment process for all owners intending to start a horse in a Breeders’ Cup race. The first payment is due by 12 p.m. Pacific this Monday, Oct. 22. The second payment is due on Monday, Oct. 29, when entries are taken for all 15 Breeders’ Cup races.
PRIVMAN, DRF, EMPLOY FULL-COURT PRESS FOR BREEDERS’ CUP
Daily Racing Form’s National Correspondent Jay Privman was an early morning visitor at Santa Anita on Saturday, as he reported on several horses working in preparation for the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships, to be run at The Great Race Place on Nov. 2 and 3.
Privman was joined on his Thoroughbred Los Angeles radio show Saturday morning by DRF colleagues Mike Welsh, from Belmont Park, and Marty McGee, from Keeneland. While Welsh’s efforts were largely stymied by wet weather and conditions, McGee reported that leading Breeders’ Cup Mile candidate Wise Dan worked a solid five furlongs in “a minute and a tick” for trainer Charlie Lopresti.
The quote of the morning came from McGee, who, when asked on-air by Privman when he’d be arriving at Santa Anita, replied, “I get into Ontario (International Airport) at rush hour on Thursday and my first stop is the Arcadia In ‘N Out,” a sentiment that country music legend Charlie Pride would no doubt admire, as evidenced by a line from his 1978 hit, “Burgers and Fries and Cherry Pies . . . ”
Privman will head a nine-man DRF contingent assigned to all things Breeders’ Cup that includes: Steve Andersen, Jay Hovdey, Brad Free, Welsh, McGee, Marcus Hersh, Mike Watchmaker and Dave Grening.
“I think we’ll have the most thorough Breeders’ Cup coverage you can find anywhere,” said Privman, who has covered every Cup since the inaugural running in 1984 at Hollywood Park. “We’ll give this event the attention it deserves.”
FINISH LINES: Through Thursday, a total of 192 trainers had at least one starter at the current meeting. Sixty-one have one or more winners . . . Rosie Ybarra, gregarious hostess at Clockers’ Corner, points out the popular watering hole will offer a buffet breakfast from Oct. 29 through closing day, Nov. 4, from 4:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. . . . Contestants in ShowVivor shrunk to a lonely foursome going in to Saturday’s races.