Game On Dude headed a parade of heavyweight hopefuls Sunday morning
prepping for the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita as the countdown began in
earnest for the 28th World Championship events at The Great Race Place
on Nov. 2 and 3.
The early favorite for the $5 million Classic at 1 ¼ miles on
Nov. 3, Game On Dude worked five furlongs in company under regular rider
Rafael Bejarano in 59.60, breezing. Stablemate Blueskiesnrainbows was
timed in 1:00.40.
“He said he felt like an airplane,” Bob Baffert said of
Bejarano’s post-work assessment. “This track right now is the best it’s
been since we’ve been here. I think the rain (three-quarters of an inch
on Thursday) really helped. The track has bounce to it. I should have
worked more horses today.”
As it was Baffert also worked FrontRunner Stakes winner Power
Broker in company with Bank the Eight, and Fast Bullet six furlongs from
the gate in company with Grade I stakes winner Smiling Tiger, trained
by Jeff Bonde.
Power Broker, with Bejarano aboard, was clocked in 59.20, while
Bank the Eight got 59.40. Fast Bullet was appropriately clocked in a
bullet 1:11.40; Smiling Tiger was timed in 1:12. “Power Broker went
really nice,” Baffert said.
“I might run Fast Bullet in the (Breeders’ Cup) Sprint,” Baffert
said. The son of 2004 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Speightstown is
unbeaten in two starts but has not raced since November 2011.
“He runs well off a layoff and he’s a fast horse,” Baffert said.
My Miss Aurelia, winner of the Grade I $1 million Cotillion
Stakes at Parx, worked five furlongs for the Ladies’ Classic in 59.40.
“She went beautiful,” said Steve Asmussen, who was on hand for
the drill. “They caught her a little quicker than I did but I thought
she went over the track great.”
Ladies’ Classic contender Love and Pride also worked, going four
furlongs in 49.80 for Todd Pletcher, while Turf candidate Turbo
Compressor went the same distance in the same time, also for Pletcher.
Filly & Mare Sprint candidate Switch went four furlongs in a
bullet 45.80 for John Sadler, fastest of 73 drills at the distance, the
average time of which was 48.88. Filly & Mare Turf hopeful Lady of
Shamrock also worked for Sadler, going six furlongs on the grass in
John Henry Turf Championship winner Slim Shadey had his first
breeze since his front-running victory in the Sept. 30 race, going four
furlongs for the Turf in 49.80 on the main track.
“It was perfect,” trainer Simon Callaghan said. “It was his first
bit of work back since his race. We just wanted to go steady and it was
perfect. He did it really well within himself and he galloped out nice.
It was exactly what we needed. He’ll do a more serious bit of work next
In all there were 227 recorded workouts at Santa Anita Sunday, including 15 on turf and two on the training track.