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Breeders Cup 2015

City to City Back on Turf in Frankel

Dan Ward worked with the late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel for 22 years before joining forces with another Hall of Fame trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer.

It’s pure coincidence that Hollendorfer has entered City to City in a race named for Frankel, Sunday’s Grade II, $150,000 Robert J. Frankel Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf. Ward says conditions are ideal for City to City, a Kentucky-bred daughter of City Zip.

“She’s coming into the race perfect,” Ward said. “She likes this turf, it’s a good distance, and we’re even in Frankel’s old barn (at Santa Anita, No. 48), so we’re going to give it a try.”

Ward could write a book about his tenure with Frankel, who died 25 months ago, but he kept his remembrances relatively brief.

“Nearly 20 ago I had a horse at Hollywood Park and Bobby was at Santa Anita,” Ward said. “The horse was two, turning three and came to the states in November. Bobby told me the horse was pretty good and to get him ready for the Baldwin, which was in late March.

“So the horse is training OK, but the day before the race, Bobby gets the (Racing) Form and says to me, ‘Do you like the horse? He’s got no bleeping chance.’ You know how he talked.

“So I said, ‘Yeah, he’s gonna win. Bet your money.’ So he wins with (Kent) Desormeaux (at odds of nearly 6-1). The horse was Future Storm in 1993. They interviewed Bobby on TV after the race and asked him if he liked the horse.

“Bobby says, ‘It’s the first time I’ve ever seen him.’”

Ward could write a book on Frankel, but he closed with this chapter.

“We had a horse at Hollywood Bobby didn’t think was that good. She was a 3-year-old maiden and was training on the dirt. The meet was about to start and this really good horse came in from France and was going to prep for a stakes race.

“Bobby wanted to work him in company so we put the maiden in against him. The maiden drew away from the horse from France. Bobby asked me how the horse worked, and I said, ‘He couldn’t catch the filly.’

“It turned out to be Possibly Perfect, who was a multiple Grade I stakes winner and Eclipse Award winner as champion grass female of 1995.”

The field for the Frankel: Bauble Queen, Garrett Gomez; Celestial Kitten, Mike Smith; City to City, Rafael Bejarano; Turning Top, David Flores; Whisper Louise, Victor Espinoza; and Miss Mittagong, Joel Rosario.



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