“He’s very consistent; he shows up every time,” trainer Todd Pletcher said of
the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint starter. “He trains well. We’re just
hoping that 6 ½ (furlongs) is in his range. His optimal races have been at 5
and 5 ½, but he did run well here as a 2-year-old.”
Bridgetown led all the way to
the final strides in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at 1m at Santa Anita
before settling for second for then-trainer Ken McPeek.
Bridgetown finished fourth in
the Turf Sprint two years ago at Churchill Downs.
California Flag – The 2009 Turf Sprint winner and course record-holder for the downhill
turf course at Santa Anita walked the shedrow Thursday.
“What I remember about (2009)
was how impressive he was when he spurted away and how easy it was,” trainer
Brian Koriner said of a 1 3/4-length victory as the 3-1 favorite. “They kind of
gave us the lead, the speed horses took back. Coming down the hill, you knew it
was going to be exciting.
“It was a great day in my
life, that's for sure. I figured I'd reached one major goal of my life. I
didn't celebrate much. All the build-up and anticipation of a big race knocks
me out. I think I just went home and crashed.”
– The 5yo Forest Camp gelding was out early Thursday morning at Santa Anita to gallop
for trainer Mike Mitchell who thinks the Virginia-bred has a better chance than
his 10-1 morning line odds would indicate.
“If you go back on this
horse’s lines (past performances) you’ll find a race where he was just beaten
by the Steve Asmussen horse (Regally Ready) that won the Breeders’ Cup Turf
Sprint last year at Churchill Downs,” Mitchell said.
“That race was here (April
16, 2011) on the downhill course, which my horse loves. We’re back here again
and going down that hill once more. I think he’s a great fit in this spot.”
Chosen Miracle – Jerry Hollendorfer’s prospect for the Turf Sprint galloped 1 1/2m,
walked through the paddock, and stood in the gate on his way back to the barn
The routine was overseen by
Christina Jelm, who was in charge in Hollendorfer’s absence. Hollendorfer spent
Wednesday checking in on his Northern California operation at Golden Gate
Fields and was expected to return to Santa Anita later Thursday morning.
Corporate Jungle – Gary and Mary West’s
4yo colt galloped 1 1/2m on the main track Thursday for trainer Chad Brown.
Corporate Jungle finished seventh of 12 in the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland
on Oct. 6, Brown decided to give the son of Giant’s Causeway a try in the Turf
Sprint. It will be Corporate Jungle’s first start under a mile.
Great Attack – Houyhnhnm
Stable’s Great Attack continued his regular routine of jogging 1 3/4m and then
returning to the barn through the paddock under exercise rider Lindsey Molina
on Thursday morning.
Trainer Wesley Ward is not on
the scene as he is in Florida for the weekend when his son competes in the
state high school cross country championships.
Great Mills/ Unbridled's Note – Trainer Steve Asmussen’s two Turf Sprint starters
galloped Thursday morning and were scheduled to school in the paddock later in
the day along with their four stablemates who also have Breeders’ Cup
The 3yo Unbridled’s Note
already has mastered the downhill turf course having won the Eddie D. Stakes Sept.
28, while Great Mills will be making his first start over this unique course.
“I have no worries at all
about Unbridled’s Note and his post (13) will probably help him,” Asmussen
said. “He was in post 12 of 12 last time.
“Great Mills will probably be
thinking he’s out there house hunting, but that’s why I have two local riders
on them. They know that course.”
Corey Nakatani, who was
aboard for Asmussen last year when they won the Turf Sprint with Regally Ready,
will ride Unbridled’s Note and Rafael Bejarano, one of the leading riders in
Southern California, will ride Great Mills.
Nakatani holds 139 victories
in down-the-hill turf sprints at Santa Anita and Asmussen said that he had
taken notice of this ability a few years ago, which is how he became one of the
main riders for the stable.
Reneesgotzip – In
her first full day at Santa Anita, the Peter Miller-trained filly galloped 1
1/2m as she prepared for Saturday’s Turf Sprint.
The daughter of City Zip had
been doing her preparation at Miller’s home base of Betfair Hollywood Park and
arrived at Santa Anita before noon Wednesday.
Starspangledbanner – see European report