- Live Racing
- Racing Information
- Press Box
- The Park
- Host an Event
- New Fans
- Get Tickets
STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• IT’S MILLER TIME AT SANTA ANITA FOR RENEESGOTZIP
• GAME ON DUDE BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC FAVORITE AT 5-2
• BREEDERS’ CUP: EXCITING AND ALL THAT JAZZ
BREEDERS’ CUP FILLY LIVES UP TO HER NAME: RENEESGOTZIP
In 12 lifetime starts, Reneesgotzip’s been in front at one call or another in nine of them. Chances are when she runs in Saturday’s $1 million Turf Sprint at about 6 ½ furlongs, she’ll be in front again.
It matters not that she’ll be running against males. She did that in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita and was just a neck off the lead turning for home before finishing third, beaten less than two lengths.
“She’s doing super,” said trainer Peter Miller. “She had her last work today and she’s on edge. She’s mean; she’s nasty. That’s when I know she’s doing well.”
With Edwin Maldonado aboard, Reneesgotzip worked four furlongs from the gate Sunday at Hollywood Park in company with stablemate Oh Daddy Oh. Reneesgotzip was clocked in 48.80, breezing, while the 2-year-old gelding Oh Daddy Oh was given 49.20.
“Super. Perfect. Just what we wanted,” is how Miller described the drill. “She was under wraps. I got her galloping out (five furlongs) in 1:01.”
As to strategy for the Turf Sprint, Miller didn’t mince words.
“We’re going to let her run her race, let her bounce out of there,” he said. “If someone wants to go with us, so be it.”
A Kentucky-bred daughter of City Zip owned by the Lanni Family Trust, Reneesgotzip is coming off a front-running 4 ¼-length score in the Grade III Rancho Bernardo Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 18. The chestnut filly has been out of the money only once, winning seven times with three seconds and a third. She has earned $655,460.
Miller, meanwhile is on a roll. He is in pursuit of his first Santa Anita training title, seeking to dethrone perennial king Bob Baffert while holding off alpha trainers John Sadler, Doug O’Neill and Jerry Hollendorfer.
Through Saturday, Miller had 11 wins from 52 starts. Baffert was second with 10 victories.
“It’d be nice, but we’re not going to do anything different to win,” said Miller, who celebrated his 47th birthday on Oct. 2. “We’re just going to do what we do. We’ve got a few more bullets to fire.” In other Breeders’ Cup news:
With Gary Stevens up, Chandelier Stakes runner-up She’s a Tiger (Juvenile Fillies) worked four furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Sunday in 47.80.
“We kept blinkers off her and Gary kept her in the middle of the track and got her to relax really well,” trainer Jeff Bonde said. “It was everything we were looking for. She’ll have blinkers back for the Juvenile Fillies. We kept them off for the work so she wouldn’t go too fast.”
Stevens called it “a great work.”
Other Breeders’ Cup candidates working four furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Sunday included Blueskiesnrainbows (Marathon, 47 flat under Martin Pedroza); Fed Biz (Dirt Mile, 46.60); and Sweet Lulu (Filly & Mare Sprint, 49 flat).
At five furlongs: Holy Lute (Dirt Mile, 1:00.80); Ismene (Filly & Mare Sprint, a bullet 58.80); Secret Compass (Juvenile Fillies, 1:00.20); and Tale of a Champion (Turf, 1:01).
On a firm turf course, Caracortado (Turf Sprint) went four furlongs under Gary Stevens in 47.80, while John Henry winner Indy Point went the same distance in 48.20.
Despite losing by a desperate nose in the Grade I Travers Stakes at Saratoga, Moreno is destined to be a longshot when he runs in Saturday’s $5 million Classic. On paper, it appears he’ll be close to the pace, but trainer Eric Guillot says it ain’t necessarily so.
“My horse doesn’t have to have the lead,” the Louisiana native said. “Did anybody watch his 5 1/2 furlong races? He came from eighth each time and ran second once and third the other time.
“Not only that, he’s been getting the lead because he inherits it.” So what does Moreno have to do to win? “You’ve got to go faster than the rest of them,” Guillot said.
Bright Thought is coming off a layoff and shortening up in distance for Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile.
“It’s shorter than what he had been running, but he did run a mile in 1:33 and change and won pretty easily,” said trainer Jorge Gutierrez, referring to Bright Thought’s final running time of 1:33 3/5 when he won the Super Bowl Party Handicap last Feb. 3.
Prior to that, he won an allowance race at a mile and a quarter before setting what was then a world record for 1 ½ miles on turf in capturing the Grade II San Luis Rey Stakes on March 16, the date of his last start.
“Obviously, he is coming off a long layoff, and against this company, it’s a little tough,” Gutierrez allowed. “But he’s a class horse. He’s come back and worked very well. Coming off a long layoff, I really wasn’t planning to do this, but he really started coming around, so I figured I’d give it a try.”
Agent Ron Anderson reports that Joel Rosario rides at Woodbine today and is scheduled to arrive in California tonight for his Breeders’ Cup engagements.
“The sky’s the limit with Joel,” said Anderson, who has reached racing’s apex with icons such as Jerry Bailey, Gary Stevens and Garrett Gomez. “Not only is he a great rider, but he’s a really nice kid.
“He’s appreciative of what people do for him, and as far as ability is concerned, he’s as good as or better than anybody.”
Trevor Denman, the Voice of Santa Anita whose signature race descriptions are held in high esteem worldwide, will call all the Breeders’ Cup races on track, to simulcast outlets and on HRTV, while Larry Collmus has the assignment for the NBC Sports Group’s broadcasts.
The Breeders’ Cup wagering menu will include $2 win, place, show and daily double betting; $1 exactas and a $1 daily double from the Distaff to the Classic; 50-cent betting on Trifectas, Pick 3s, Pick 4s, Pick 5s and the Super Hi 5; and 10-cent Superfecta wagering.
GAME ON DUDE WILL BE BC CLASSIC MORNING-LINE FAVORITE
Game On Dude, who is six for six since finishing seventh as the 6-5 favorite in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita, will be the morning-line favorite for this year’s Classic, according to Santa Anita’s oddsmaker, Jon White, who again will be making the official morning lines for all of the Breeders’ Cup races this year.
The post positions for Saturday’s 1 ¼-mile Classic will be drawn Monday, with the morning line for America’s richest race issued shortly thereafter. . “As of this time, while reserving the right to make last-minute adjustments, especially after the draw for post positions, and using last year’s Classic prices as something of a base guideline, what I am planning to do in terms of the Classic is to make Game On Dude 8-5, Fort Larned 6-1, Mucho Macho Man 6-1, Ron the Greek 6-1 or 8-1 and Declaration of War 8-1.
“I would say Game On Dude actually is going into the Breeders’ Cup Classic with a better record this year than last year when he was bet down to 6-5. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see him around 6-5 again this year. On the other hand, when he was 6-5 last year, he did finish seventh. His performance in last year’s Classic seems to resonate with a lot of people vis-à-vis this year’s Classic. So that right there might make his price higher than 6-5 this year. But if his price is higher than 6-5, how much higher will it be?
“If Graydar was running in the Classic instead of the Dirt Mile, I think Game On Dude’s price would be a bit higher because Graydar would have added more early zip to the race. Even without Graydar, Game On Dude’s final price might be higher this year than 6-5 because many seem to believe the pace might be hot and could prove a problem for Game On Dude.
“I’m not so sure about that myself. It’s not as if Game On Dude has never won a race without being in front early. But the goal in making a morning line is to try and get as close as humanely possible to predicting the final odds. So I have to try and get into the heads of all the bettors. I’m sensing that a lot of people are of the opinion that this year’s pace scenario in the Classic is a potential problem for Game On Dude. And if that supposition is correct, it will be reflected in Game On Dude’s price.
“Nevertheless, I find it rather hard to believe Game On Dude’s price is going to be closer to 5-2 than 6-5 in this year’s Classic based on how heavily he has been bet for the last two years. He was 14-1 in the 2011 Classic at Churchill Downs when he finished second to Drosselmeyer. In Game On Dude’s races since then, other than the Dubai World Cup in which no odds are listed in the past performances, his odds have been 1-5, even money, 2-5, 6-5, 1-5, 6-5, 1-5, 1-20, 6-5, 1-5, 1-5 and 8-5.
“Is he really now going to be around 5-2 in the Classic after winning six in a row? After winning the Pacific Classic by such a big margin (8 ½ lengths) at 8-5, is he really now going up in price to 5-2? I have my doubts about that, though one must keep in mind that the Breeders’ Cup Classic field certainly is stronger than the field for the Pacific Classic.”
White also talked about the dynamic that so many contenders are returning from last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.
“This isn’t a Classic in which most of the contenders have never run against each other,” White noted. “Not only do we have five returnees from last year’s Classic, they are running on the same track. So this is something that can be part of the equation.
“You had pretty good separation in the betting for the Classic last year between Game On Dude at 6-5 and Mucho Macho Man at 6-1, Flat Out at 6-1, Ron the Greek at 8-1 and Fort Larned at 9-1. Considering Game On Dude’s outstanding record since then, which includes winning the Santa Anita Handicap and Pacific Classic by record margins, I think we are going to see something similar in terms of the betting for the five returnees in this year’s Classic other than Game On Dude’s price perhaps being a tad higher than 6-5, along with Fort Larned probably being lower than 9-1, largely because he won the race last year.
“One also has to try to get a feel for how much respect the three-year-olds, Palace Malice and Will Take Charge, are going to get from bettors. It seems to me the general perception is the three-year-olds are not superior to their elders this year. Again, that may or may not be the case. But if that is indeed the perception, then the three-year-olds are not likely to attract a lot of play. And then there is the classy European to consider, Declaration of War. He’s never raced on dirt, but he is three for three on synthetic surfaces, which shows he doesn’t need to run on the grass to win.
“I’ve been monitoring the wagering for Breeders’ Cup races at the Wynn in Las Vegas and at William Hill. Not only do the William Hill odds give me some insight on how to handle the Euros, it gives me a clue as to how the betting for each Breeders’ Cup race might go. Unlike odds that are posted that reflect nothing more than a person’s opinion, the William Hill odds and Wynn odds deal with actual betting. People are putting up their money. While keeping in mind William Hill is European wagering and not American wagering, those odds do mean more to me in trying to forecast Breeders’ Cup wagering than odds that are not tied to actual betting. Declaration of War was 10-1 at William Hill after pre-entries were announced. The latest price I have seen on him there is 8-1. If he’s 8-1 in European wagering at William Hill, it tells me I don’t need to go lower than 8-1 on the morning line for him.
“And we do not even know the post positions yet. This year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic certainly is a race in which the post positions could affect the morning line. For instance, if Game On Dude were to draw the inside post, putting him inside the other early speed horses, I’d seriously consider raising him slightly. The inside post for the Santa Anita Handicap, which is run at the same distance as the Breeders’ Cup Classic, is just 2 for 76.”
The first time White made morning lines for the Breeders’ Cup was in 2010. He installed Zenyatta as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the Classic. Zenyatta won as the 5-2 favorite in what has been acknowledged as the greatest moment in the history of the Breeders’ Cup.
FRAVEL SEES ‘GREAT’ DAYS FOR BREEDERS’ CUP
With the Breeders’ Cup countdown on in earnest, any horse player worth a two-dollar voucher should have his excitement level rising by the minute.
The 30th Breeders’ Cup World Championships unfold at Santa Anita this Friday and Saturday, featuring 14 races totaling more than $27 million in prize money.
But fan anticipation pales when compared to Craig Fravel’s, who has more than a vested interest in the two-day extravaganza.
Fravel is President and CEO of the Breeders’ Cup Ltd.
“I’m jazzed,” he said when asked about racing’s most prestigious and influential international event. “After pre-entries (last Monday) I thought the fields were very competitive. I think there are going to be great betting races.
“I’m looking at the 10-day weather forecast and we might get a little rain early next week, which will probably be good for the track, so I’m jazzed.”
EDDIE TRUMAN WINNING AT 40 PERCENT CLIP
Look in the dictionary under “unsung” and you might find Eddie Truman’s picture.
The 66-year-old trainer has toiled long and hard for 43 years, but it’s unlikely he’s achieved as much success as he is currently with a limited number of runners.
Through 19 racing days, Truman has won four races from only 10 starters, a sparkling 40 percent winning average. His most recent score came yesterday, when Lucky Student hung on tenaciously to take the fifth race by a half-length under Edwin Maldonado.
“Everything runs in cycles,” said Truman, no pun intended, since he and his 73-year-old brother, former jockey Jerry, are avid bicyclists. “I’ve been fortunate to have owners like Howard and Janet Siegel who have been with me for 30 years. I’m very appreciate and thankful that my owners have supported me all this time.
“It’s fantastic. They let me do what’s right for the horses, and that’s important. The bottom line is winning races, but you can’t do too much if you don’t have the horses.”
When it comes to horses—and family—for Truman, the buck stops with him. Until recently, he and Jerry would usher their aging mother, Maxine, to the winner’s circle to smell the roses after a victory.
“Now she’s 97 and we can’t get her to the races anymore,” Truman said. “But we have wonderful memories of when we could.”
FINISH LINES: Starspangled Heat was running for the third time in three weeks at this meet when he won yesterday’s third race under Corey Nakatani, and trainer Barry Abrams says the 5-year-old son of Unusual Heat ain’t done yet. Never shy at the entry box, Abrams plans to run the chestnut gelding again on closing day, next Sunday . . . Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. was none the worse for wear after he was unseated on Oh Brother Go shortly after the start of Saturday’s sixth race. “It was a bad chain of events,” Valdivia said, “and I took the worst of it, but I’m OK.” Valdivia said he would fulfill his two riding obligations today . . . A lucky 13 are still alive in ShowVivor with five racing days remaining.