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Joe Knows Obviously

Here’s a prevue of Mike Mitchell’s pre-race instructions to Joe Talamo when he rides Obviously: “----------------------------------------------------------------.”

That’s right. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch, Bubkes.

That policy of non-communication will be in effect before Mitchell gives Talamo a leg up on Obviously in Saturday’s Grade II City of Hope Mile for 3-year-olds and up on turf, a major prep for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita on Nov. 2. Obviously, a committed front-runner, was third to last year’s winner and Horse of the Year Wise Dan 11 months ago. Wise Dan, on a nine-race winning streak, is favored to capture the Mile again this year.

Talamo has ridden the Irish-bred Obviously in his last 10 starts, winning six. They go together like mustard and hot dogs, catsup and French fries, “Lady of Spain” and the accordion.

“When I look at Saturday’s race—and it’s a good race—if I’ve got Breeders’ Cup plans we’ve got to go through horses like this,” Mitchell said. “I love how the horse is training and how he’s doing. He’s just a gorilla.

“However they want to try to beat him, let them try. He’s got one style; he just takes off. I never, ever, ever tell Joe how to ride him. From Day One, he’s the one who chose to ride the horse the way he does, and I’m fine with that.”

The field for the City of Hope, race four of 10: Huntsville, Chantal Sutherland-Kruse, 15-1; Starspangled Heat, Patrick Valenzuela, 20-1; Willyconker, Rafael Bejarano, 15-1; No Jet Lag, Mike Smith, 20-1; Obviously, Talamo, 3-5; He Be Fire N Ice, Victor Espinoza, 4-1; Barocci, Corey Nakatani, 8-1; Endorsement, Edwin Maldonado, 8-1; and Polytechnicien, Gary Stevens, 10-1.




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