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Amazombie Works Solid Half-Mile for BC Sprint

Amazombie , ridden by jockey Mike Smith and trained by Bill Spawr wins the Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) at at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on November 5, 2011.

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).



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