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Breeders' Cup 2YO Races Report - Oct. 29



Bob Baffert (New Year's Day and Tap It Rich, Juvenile; Secret Compass, Juvenile Fillies) – The trainer’s 2yo contingent moved forward toward their Saturday dates in the weekend’s major 2yo races. Tap It Rich, who worked Monday, walked the shedrow Tuesday morning, while New Year’s Day and Secret Compass, who had put in their final drills Sunday, both went back to galloping.

Baffert had thoughts about them all.

“I think those two colts (Tap It Rich and New Year’s Day) are both true two-turn horses,” he said. “And, I think it takes a two-turn horse to win that race. Tap It Rich, he’s only got that one race, but we’re throwing him in there because of his raw talent.

“You don’t know with a young and inexperienced horse like that – he might get dirt in his face and wind up in trouble – but we’re here (at Santa Anita) and he’s got that talent, so it’s let’s go time. New Year’s Day, his two races at Del Mar (a third and a win) were both good and he wants to go long.

“With these 2-year-olds, part of it is a matter of the fact that we’re 100 yards from the paddock with them. We don’t have to go put them on an airplane and go through all that. It makes a difference.”

Secret Compass, who breaks from post four and will have John Velazquez aboard for the first time.

“I’m going to tell Johnny V. to do his thing,” Baffert said. “These are 2-year-olds and you can only do so much with them. You put a good rider up and go from there. Going in she looks good and she’s happy.”

Chad Brown (Kitten Kaboodle, Ready to Act, Testa Rossi, and Granny Mc's Kitten, Juvenile Fillies Turf; Bobby's Kitten, Juvenile Turf)Trainer Chad Brown’s gang of 2yo turf runners all jogged Tuesday morning, their first full day at Santa Anita after shipping from New York.

Bobby’s Kitten is named for the late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, who was Brown’s mentor. The Kitten’s Joy colt showed talent closing to finish third in his debut at Saratoga on July 27, then broke his maiden by 2 3/4 lengths on Aug. 24 and won the Pilgrim by 6 1/4 lengths on Oct. 6 at Belmont Park.

“He’s coming into the race terrific. He really, really looks good,” Brown said. “I’ve very pleased with all his race. Hopefully he continues his development. Everything I’ve seen this summer on into the fall shows me that he could be a real special horse. I’m hoping to see more of that.”

Charles Hills (Chriselliam, Juvenile Fillies Turf) –
see European report

Charlie Appleby (Outstrip, Juvenile Turf) – see European report

D. Wayne Lukas (Strong Mandate, Juvenile; All Cash Juvenile Turf) – Strong Mandate schooled in the gate Tuesday morning as well taking his routine 1 1/2m gallop for his Hall of Fame trainer.

Lukas indicated the 2yo son of two-time Classic winner Tiznow has his work cut out for him as he starts from post position 14 in Saturday’s Juvenile. In answer to a question about whether the colt had enough speed to get some early position in the 1 1/16m race, Lukas quipped, “He has enough speed to get himself in trouble.”

Joel Rosario has the call to ride.

All Cash, heading for Friday’s Juvenile Turf, walked the shedrow Tuesday following his final workout Monday. The maiden colt, owned by Calumet Farm, will be ridden by Luis Saez and is set at odds of 30-1.


Doug O'Neill (Bond Holder and Rum Point, Juvenile; Concave, Juvenile Fillies; Clenor, Juvenile Fillies Turf; Home School, Juvenile Turf) – Trainer Doug O’Neill had a busy morning with all nine of his Breeders' Cup entrants on the track, including five in the 2yo races. Exercise rider Jonny Garcia was aboard six as O'Neill watched from trackside with assistants Leandro Mora, Steve Rothblum and Jack Sisterson.

O’Neill has recorded three firsts, two seconds and one third with 25 starters in the Breeders’ Cup. He has enjoyed the most success in the Juvenile, a race he won with Stevie Wonderboy in 2005, finished second with Square Eddie in 2008 and He's Had Enough in 2012 and finished third with Great Hunter in 2006.

He hopes to add to those numbers with Bond Holder and Rum Point, who each galloped 1 1/2m under Garcia Tuesday. Both are owned by Paul Reddam, who also owned Square Eddie, He’s Had Enough and Great Hunter. Reddam also co-owned Wilko, who won the 2004 Juvenile with trainer Jeremy Noseda.

Bond Holder continued a pattern of steady improvement with a victory in the FrontRunner Stakes at the Juvenile distance of 1 1/16 m here Sept. 28. “He had been crying out for more distance and has been training like an absolute beast,” said O'Neill. “He's a horse with so much natural stamina, and having a Grade 1 win around two turns here will be to his benefit.”

Rum Point comes off a fourth-place finish in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland Oct. 5. “We added blinkers in Kentucky, and he has come back and trained well,” said O'Neill.

Concave, third-place finisher in the Del Mar Debutante, galloped 1 1/2m under Tony Romero while Irish import Clenor, unbeaten in three starts since joining the O’Neill barn, galloped on the main track under Garcia.

Home School, another Irish import, galloped on the turf under Garcia and will be equipped with blinkers and a shadow roll for the Juvenile Turf.


Eoin Harty (Colonel Joan, Juvenile Fillies Turf) – Colonel Joan, the daughter of Colonel John, will be making her fourth career start and seeking her first victory after being elevated from the preferred list and getting No. 3 in Monday's post position draw.

"She worked five-eighths on Sunday at Hollywood Park and she's coming into the race doing as well as she has ever done," trainer Eoin Harty said.  "She's from Colonel John's first crop and he's had a helluva start at stud, so if she runs well in this it will be the cherry on the cake."

Kiaran McLaughlin (Dancing House and Sky Painter, Juvenile Fillies Turf) – Dancing House jogged over Santa Anita’s main track Tuesday.  She drew post nine beneath Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.

“We were hoping for a spot closer to the inside, but we’ve got a great jockey riding her,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said.  “We’ll just leave it up to Mike to break and formulate a plan from there.”

Sky Painter had an easy jog over Santa Anita’s main track this morning.  She drew post 13 of 14 in the Juvenile Fillies Turf beneath jockey Luis Saez.

“We were hoping for some better luck in the draw,” McLaughlin said.  “But there’s nothing we can do about where she drew.  She’s doing good, training well and she likes it out there.”

Marco Botti (Al Thakhira, Juvenile Fillies Turf) – see European report

Mark Casse (Conquest Titan, Juvenile; My Conquestadory Juvenile Fillies Turf) – Although trainer Mark Casse and Conquest Stables co-owner Ernie Semersky seriously considered declaring My Conquestadory after she drew post 14 on Monday, the undefeated dual Graded stakes winning filly was still a go on Tuesday morning.

“I think everybody has had a little time to take it all in. Right now, we think we’re probably going to run. She deserves the chance,” said Casse.

The major determining factor is the courage and ability the daughter of Artie Schiller displayed in her last effort, the Alcibiades, when she overcame a world of trouble and then made a stunning middle move in traffic to go from 10th to first and prevail by 1 ¾ lengths in just her second start.

“Had she not done that, we probably would be passing for sure,” Casse said. “She’s shown she can handle adversity, although this is a much tougher field. In any race, you have to have things go your way, and hopefully things go our way. If they go our way, she should have a good chance of winning and if she does, she does, and if she doesn’t she doesn’t. That’s why they call it horse racing.”

My Conquestadory and Juvenile contender Conquest Titan, also owned by Conquest Stables, each galloped 1 1/2m under exercise rider Juan Bernardini on Tuesday morning.

“Conquest Titan is a horse who we always thought is one of the best 2-year-olds we’ve had,” said Casse, whose 15 previous Breeders’ Cup starters include 11 runners in Juvenile races and is the trainer of multiple juvenile Sovereign Award winners and a 2yo Canadian Horse of the Year. “We’ve had some success with our 2-year-olds so far, so that says a lot for him. He’s trained as good as any horse we have over at Churchill. We were disappointed in his first race (a maiden special weight at Churchill Downs), but he had some excuses and then he won the stake (Swynford) up at Woodbine.”

Last out, the son of Birdstone was fifth in the Breeders’ Futurity on Keeneland’s Polytrack.

“With the (rainy) weather at Keeneland that day, Eurico (Da Silva, his regular jockey) told me that he couldn’t see half the race. So it wasn’t the way you’d want to go into the Breeders’ Cup, and I didn’t intend on going into the Breeders’ Cup with him, but his last work on the dirt at Churchill was so good we figured we’d give it a chance. So we’ll see,” Casse said.

Conquest Titan breezed 5f in 1:00 4/5 on October 21 at Churchill Downs and the move was the second fastest of 57 horses traveling the same distance.

Michael Hushion (Artemis Agrotera, Juvenile Fillies) – Unbeaten Artemis Agrotera walked the shedrow in her Belmont Park barn Tuesday morning.  She, along with stablemate The Lumber Guy, departed Long Island MacArthur airport at approximately 11 am.  Winner of Belmont’s Frizette most recently, Artemis Agrotera drew post one in the Juvenile Fillies.

“I’m comfortable with it,” said trainer Mike Hushion of the rail draw.  “She won from the rail first out and had post two in the Frizette which basically turned into the rail after Sweet Reason disappeared at the break.  The biggest thing with her is whether she gets too anxious or not.  I liked the way she relaxed in her last work.  She’s ready to go.”


Peter Eurton (Dance With Fate, Juvenile) – Trainer Peter Eurton is optimistic that the 2yo colt, runner-up in the Del Mar Futurity and FrontRunner Stakes, can finish one notch higher in the Juvenile.

“I feel good about his chances,” said Eurton. “He's doing very well. Knock on wood, no issues.” The Two Step Salsa colt galloped 1 1/4m Tuesday with exercise rider Joe Duran.


Philippe Sogorb (Vorda, Juvenile Fillies Turf) – see European report

Richard Hannon (Shamshon, Juvenile Turf) – see European report

Todd Pletcher (Havana and We Miss Artie, Juvenile; Bashart, Juvenile Turf) – While stablemate Havana was en route from New York Tuesday morning, We Miss Artie jogged at Santa Anita in preparation for a scheduled start in Saturday’s Juvenile.

We Miss Artie broke his maiden on turf in his second start and captured the Breeders’ Futurity on a synthetic track in his last start. Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, We Miss Artie will make a return to dirt in the Juvenile, while the Ramseys’ Bobby’s Kitten is slated for the Juvenile Turf.

“I think it made sense for stable-management for Mr. Ramsey, but it mainly made sense because we really liked the way this horse had trained on the dirt. We ran him on the dirt in a race you would have thought was a little short for him,” said Pletcher, who had saddled We Miss Artie for a second-place finish on dirt in his career debut before moving him to turf.

“After that we decided to switch it up and put him on turf, but after that he’s always trained on dirt like it might be his preferred surface.”

We Miss Artie overcame an outside post position, early trouble and a wide trip to win the Breeders’ Futurity by 2 ¾ lengths. While undefeated Havana is the 5-2 favorite in the morning line, We Miss Artie is rated at 8-1.

“It wouldn’t surprise me, especially for Mr. Ramsey, the way he’s going,” said Pletcher, referring to the Ramseys’ spectacularly successful year.

Havana, who has won his only two starts, including the Champagne, drew the No. 13.

“He was unlucky to draw 13. It probably doesn’t help things,” Pletcher said. “But I think he’s a good gate horse and he’s got good tactical speed. I don’t think he needs to have the lead but I think he could be. He’s a tough horse. He’s been brilliant at times, and he’ll need to be in this situation.”

Bashart, whom Pletcher will saddle for a start in Friday’s Juvenile Turf, also drew the No. 13 post.

“Sometimes you get really good trips from bad post positions and really bad trips from good ones,” Pletcher said. “It’s out of your hands. You can’t worry about it. You try to get the most out of it and try to get the best trip you can.”

Wayne Catalano (Poker Player, Juvenile Turf) – Gary and Mary West’s Poker Player, winner of the off-the-turf Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 6, arrived at Santa Anita on Sunday after having completed his serious work in Kentucky with a 6f drill on the Keeneland turf on Oct. 24 getting the distance in 1:15 4/5.  Catalano said the son of Harlan’s Holiday went 1:02 and change for 5f with the 6f time posted including the gallop out.

“It was a good work,” the two-time Breeders’ Cup winning trainer said.  “He came home last quarter in 22 and change which is pretty damn good.”

Poker Player went to the Santa Anita main track Tuesday morning for an easy 1 1/2m gallop.  Catalano indicated that he might have the colt “stretch his legs” on the turf this week ahead of his start in Friday’s Juvenile Turf.

Breaking from post 11, Poker Player will be ridden by Channing Hill, who is engaged to Catalano’s daughter Shelbi.

 

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