Cogito – The 3yo
colt galloped 1 1/2m on the Santa Anita main track Thursday under exercise
rider Humberto Gomez for his first start in the Doug O'Neill barn.
Jamie McCalmont, racing and bloodstock manager for owner
Paul Reddam, explained how he acquired the Virginia-bred colt, who began his
career in Europe with trainer Brian Meehan.
"He was sold as a foal in Kentucky, but didn't sell as
a yearling," said McCalmont after watching the gallop. "I
looked at him as a 2-year-old at a farm in Yeomanstown, Ireland. He didn't
breeze well, and we took him on a 30-day trial."
The Giant's Causeway colt blossomed under Meehan and won his
first two starts in England this year. "He finished second to the horse
who won the Secretariat Stakes (Bayrir) in a Group II stakes in France in
July," continued McCalmont.
Meehan shipped the colt to the United States, where he
finished fourth in the Jamaica Handicap at Belmont Park in his last start
on Oct. 6. "There was no pace in the race," said McCalmont.
"Frankie (jockey Frankie Dettori) got off and said he would be much better
Dettori and Meehan have enjoyed great success in the
Breeders' Cup Turf. Dettori has won the race a record four times, including the
last two for Meehan with the Reddam-owned Red Rocks in 2006 and Dangerous Midge
McCalmont said Reddam named the horse in connection with his
philosophy background. Cogito means "I think" in Latin and is
associated with "Cogito Ergo Sum," the 16th century Latin
statement proposed by French philosopher Rene Descartes that means "I
think, therefore I am.”
Dullahan/Little Mike –
Donegal Racing’s Pacific Classic winner Dullahan and Priscilla Vaccarezza’s
Arlington Million winner Little Mike returned to the main track after galloping
over the turf course Wednesday.
“I was happy with what I saw,” said trainer Dale Romans. “I
was more concerned about Little Mike, but it was Dullahan that looked sideways
at it (the dirt coming off the turf course), which is why we did it.”
Both Dullahan and Little Mike also schooled in the paddock
and starting gate.
Kindergarden Kid –
strong gallop on Wednesday led to a day of walking the shedrow for the Peter
Miller-trained Turf entry, according to Ruben Alvarado, Miller’s assistant
The son of Dynaformer came to Miller’s stable this week
after a private purchase by the partnership of David Bernsen and Australians
Kevin and Colleen Bamford from previous owners Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey
following a victory in Keeneland’s Sycamore Stakes Oct. 18. The horse was
bought primarily as a prospect for the 2013 Melbourne Cup.
Previously the horse was trained by Mike Maker.
Optimizer – In a
world of change, D. Wayne Lukas stands firm for routine for his horses, so the
4yo English Channel colt went through the trainer’s normal routine of a 1 1/4m
gallop over the main track.
Owned by Brad Kelley’s Bluegrass Hall, the 3yo Optimizer
will be making his second Breeders’ Cup start. He was eighth in the 2011
Point of Entry – After
his delayed arrival in Southern California on Wednesday, trainer Shug McGaughey
was on hand to supervise the morning activity for Point of Entry at Santa Anita
Park Thursday. The morning-line favorite for Saturday’s Turf galloped 1 1/2m
under Jennifer Patterson.
Phipps Stable’s Point of Entry is riding a five-racing
winning streak into the Turf, including victories in an allowance race and
Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland before reeling off triumphs in the Man o’War, Sword
Dancer and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic.
“It’s just the maturity factor – his being such a big horse
and letting it all came together. When I got him to Keeneland, he turned it
around,” the Hall of Fame trainer said. “The eye-opener was that stakes race at
Keeneland. After he won that race at Keeneland, I knew what I wanted to do.”
His most recent triumph on soft turf showed his trainer an
ability to overcome adversity.
“He handled it fine, but I don’t think it was his best race.
I think he likes it like he’s going to get it here on Saturday – firm. Not only
was the turf soft but it was a funny-run race,” McGaughey said. “He showed me a
lot that day.”
McGaughey has trained several champions, including
undefeated 1988 Distaff (now named Ladies’ Classic) winner Personal Ensign and
1989 Belmont Stakes winner Easy Goer, but Point of Entry has provided him with
a new experience.
“He’s new to me, because I never had a horse as good as him
that wants to run long on the grass,” McGaughey said. “I never won the Man
o’War, I never won the Sword Dancer, I never won the Turf Classic, so he opened
up a lot of doors for me that’s been fun to participate in. He’s been fun.”
Shareta – see European report
Slim Shadey – Slim
Shadey was put through a routine 1
1/2m gallop that elicited praise from trainer Simon Callaghan for its form and
The 4yo son of 2001 Mile winner Val Royal is the second
Breeders' Cup starter for English-born but now Southern California-based
trainer Simon Callaghan. Callaghan saddled Dubawi Heights in the 2011 Filly
& Mare Turf and she set the fractions for the first 6f of the 1 3/8m race
before fading to sixth.
Has the second time through the Breeders' Cup experience
been more comfortable for Callaghan than the first? "I think so,"
Callaghan said. "Particularly with it being in our local home track, it's
A change in racing tactics, putting Slim Shadey on the lead
for the first time in five races dating back to February, resulted in a
wire-to-wire victory in the 1 1/4m John Henry Turf Championship on Sept. 30 at
Santa Anita. Should something similar be expected for the 1 1/2m Turf?
"He'll be close to the lead, but he doesn't necessarily
have to be on it," Callaghan said. "If he finds himself on the lead
it would be all right, but Little Mike (wire-to-wire Arlington Million winner)
will probably be the one in front. (The Turf field) is very solid. The European
filly (Shareta) is very good and Point of Entry is possibly the best route turf
horse that's been around in several years."
St Nicholas Abbey/ Treasure
Beach – see European report
Trailblazer – see European report
Turbo Compressor – Trainer Todd Pletcher expressed some concerns about the
pace of the 1 1/2m Turf with the ridgling, who typically runs at the front of
“I don’t really like the way the
dynamics of the race are shaping up for a horse that likes to be on the lead,”
Pletcher said after supervising a routine gallop Thursday morning. “With Slim
Shadey and Little Mike in there it’s a tough scenario. It depends on the break,
The son of Halo’s Image earned an
early automatic berth in the Turf by winning the United Nations on July
7, but he took a step backward when finishing a distant ninth in the Sword
Dancer at Saratoga at the Turf distance of 1 1/2m.
“After the United Nations and the
Colonial Turf Cup (both wins), we just figured we had to forgive him for not
liking the turf course that day (Sword Dancer),” Pletcher said. “Once he gave
it up, the jock (Joe Bravo) didn’t persevere with him.”
Turbo Compressor is one of two
Pletcher runners to have come out here early to get ready for a Cup assignment.
“It was the same idea as
Love and Pride,” Pletcher said. “He shipped out early and got a race over the
surface here in hopes of creating a little bit of an advantage for him by doing
The P & G Stable and Off the
Hook LLC ridgling responded with a second-place finish in the John Henry Turf
Classic on Sept. 30 behind Slim Shadey.