The blitz towards the Breeders’ Cup continued at mach speed Sunday
morning at Santa Anita as several major players worked for their
engagements in the World Championship events at The Great Race Place on
Nov. 2 and 3, headed by Classic favorite Game On Dude.
The 5-year-old Awesome Again gelding worked six furlongs in
company with stablemate Midnight Interlude and was clocked in 1:12.20
with regular rider Rafael Bejarano in the saddle. Last year’s Santa
Anita Derby winner Midnight Interlude went in 1:14.60.
“He went really nice,” Bob Baffert said with the emphasis on
really, about Game On Dude. “I really liked it. Everything went smooth.”
Asked if Game On Dude was in optimum form for the mile and a
quarter Classic, in which he was second to Drosselmeyer last year after
leading into deep stretch at Churchill Downs, Baffert said: “He’s been
like this all year long. He’s been really good ever since he came back
Baffert also sent unbeaten Executiveprivilege (Juvenile Fillies)
six furlongs in company with Super Ninety Nine. With Bejarano aboard,
Executiveprivilege was timed in 1:12, fastest of 21 drills at the
distance, the average time of which was 1:14.93.
“Her work didn’t go as smooth as I wanted it to because she was
too far back,” Baffert said. “He (Bejarano) grabbed a hold of her and
then she lost interest, but she worked good.”
Super Ninety Nine was clocked in 1:12.80.
Coil and Capital Account, one-two finishers in the Santa Anita
Sprint Championship on Oct. 6, also worked in tandem for Baffert, going
four furlongs in 46.60 and 46.80, respectively, for the XpressBet
Sprint. Coil’s time was the fastest of 45 recorded at the distance, the
average time of which was 49.34.
Fast Bullet, unbeaten in two starts but idle since last
November, also worked for Baffert, going five furlongs solo in a bullet
58.60, after which the Hall of Fame trainer said Fast Bullet would be
pre-entered for the Sprint, giving him three possible starters in the
six furlong race. Baffert said Santa Anita jockey leader Joe Talamo
rides Fast Bullet in the Sprint.
Pre-entries will be taken Monday, with publication of same next Wednesday.
Also working Sunday at Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup were My
Miss Aurelia (Ladies’ Classic), winner of the Grade I $1 million
Cotillion at Parx, six furlongs in 1:12.40, and Dust and Diamonds (Filly
& Mare Sprint), five furlongs in 59.80. “I thought both traveled
really well,” trainer Steve Asmussen said. “Both fillies are doing
Elsewhere on Santa Anita’s main track Sunday: Nates Mineshaft
(Dirt Mile) went seven furlongs for Richard Mandella in 1:24.60;
Commander (Marathon) worked four furlongs for trainer Troy Taylor in
48.60; and John Henry Turf Championship winner Slim Shadey (Turf) went
five furlongs in a minute flat for Simon Callaghan.
“The horse worked very well,” Mandella said of Nates Mineshaft,
adding that he planned to pre-enter Beholder in both the Juvenile Sprint
and the Juvenile Fillies.
Switch (Filly & Mare Sprint) and Lady of Shamrock (Filly
& Mare Turf) each worked a bullet on the main track Saturday for
John Sadler, going five furlongs in 58.80 and seven in 1:26.20,
“Both went real well,” the trainer said Sunday morning. “Both had bullets. They’re essentially ready to run.”