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Breeders' Cup Classic or Turf for Dullahan?

Pacific Classic winner Dullahan is one of five horses bedded down at Barn 76 for trainer Dale Romans, who is preparing the quintet for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita on Nov. 2 and 3.

“The horses got in Monday, and Tuesday was their first day on the race track,” said Romans’ assistant of 21 years, former jockey Tammy Fox, who’s as big as a New York minute but 100 times as gracious and knowledgeable.

“They all seem to be training really well and all seem to like the surface,” Fox said at the barn Thursday morning after returning from the track. “It’s been hot here, which is why Dale wanted to get here early and get them used to the weather, because it’s cooled off in Kentucky (their point of departure). So far, so good.”

Dullahan is scheduled to work Saturday on Santa Anita’s turf course, Fox said, adding, “he’ll come back and work next Saturday on the dirt. Whichever one I decide that he likes the best, that’s the one we’re going to go with, so I hope I pick the right one.”

That means Dullahan would run in either the $3 million Turf at 1 ½ miles or the $5 million Classic at 1 ¼ miles on dirt. Both races are Nov. 3.

The other four Romans’ runners here awaiting the Breeders’ Cup are Little Mike (Mile); Moon Walk (Juvenile Fillies Turf); Shackleford (Dirt Mile); and Sustained (Juvenile Fillies Turf).

“This is my first time on horses here at Santa Anita,” Fox said. “We’ve been here before, but I’ve never been on a horse over the track. I was just in and out to watch a race or two.”

Bob Baffert maintained his high praise for Santa Anita’s conventional dirt surface. “Ever since it rained (three-quarters of an inch last Thursday), the track’s been great,” said the Hall of Fame trainer, leading the pack just past the halfway mark in pursuit of his record 11th title at The Great Race Place.


Added Fox philosophically: “Everybody has to run on the same surface, so why complain about it?”



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Older Comments about Breeders' Cup Classic or Turf for Dullahan?...

If you have no knowledge, then anyone can be knowledgeable. Kinda like the blind, leading the blind.
I wager up in the press box with all the newspaper guys and disdain warlking around in what I term "the bowel" of the race track. If I can't watch from an unencumbered quiet seat surrounded by knowledgeable people, I just stay home.
The Belmont, an anachronism at today's level of stamina, is a positional contest any more. NO colts move further than about 2 to 4 lengths off the 2nd call. You don't win from far back especially at that distance when the lactic acid builds more than any other distance negating the mid late mover.
I'll be at the cashier's window, while you're canvassing the area picking up all losing tickets, hoping someone threw away a winner.
This colt has a very narrow ability to the polycrap surface, Make up all the phoney excuses you want, but that is fact.
On dirt tracks, he's predominantly ran at Churchill. He was a fast-closing 3rd in the Derby. His poor showing in the Belmont could be attributed to the lengthy 1 1/2 mile distance? His 5th place finish in the Haskell was on a speed-favoring track(Monmouth). I'm giving him a lot of excuses, but, that's why they call them longshots.
This is a colt of limited ability
I'm just not convinced he likes to run on turf. All three of his wins were on synthetic, he runs like a different horse on that surface.
They may as well pick straws, without his preffered surface, it's anybodys guess if he will show up that day.
That's not true, BobD. Dullahan has run well on the grass, but each of his starts on the turf have come when he wasn't 100% cranked (with the exception of the Jamaica, and Romans said he didn't like the footing that day). He has great potential in the Turf, and I hope that's where his connections decide to place him.
One of the biggest problems for ANY horse shipping west this time of year is the HEAT. Many have already started to grow winer coast and it is brutal on many of them.
I think it is a smart move to bring the horses out early, California has different tracks and the weather is a lot different than back east. I don't understand why more trainers don't bring Breeders Cup horses out early and give them several works or a prep race over the track. It is a good sign that Bob Baffert likes the track after the last rain, it is supposed to rain again next week. As for Dullahan, I believe his best chance is in the Classic.
His chances should improve in the Turf, but he'll win neither.
Track bias at Anita would put this one too far back akin to a Turkoman.
Tough spot for Tammy and Dale, the colt has not shown he can run on either surface. He's a toss for me where ever he goes. Likewise for Little Mike, with not enough pure speed for the mile he should be in the turf.

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