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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017
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Private Zone Peaking at Right Time

Preparing for the $1.5 million Xpressbet  Breeders’ Cup Sprint at six furlongs on Nov. 2, Private Zone worked four furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Thursday in a bullet 45.80 with regular rider Martin Pedroza aboard.

“He worked fantastic,” trainer Doug O’Neill said of the Grade I Vosburgh Invitational winner, like Mucho Macho Man, sired by Mucho Uno. “He was visually super-impressive. He just flew around there. He’s spot-on ready to go.”

O’Neill gives credit to retired jockey Rene Douglas for Private Zone’s resurgence. Douglas, paralyzed in a riding accident at Arlington Park in 2009, is racing manager for the Good Friends Stable, which owns Private Zone.

“It was Rene’s idea to freshen him up,” O’Neill said. “I think that did a world of good. He’s come back gangbusters and he continues to look great. I love how we’re doing coming into the biggest race of his life.”

Pedroza said Private Zone worked “super” and that the plan is for his life-long friend and fellow Panamanian Douglas to attend the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita.

Diamond Bachelor, likely for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with an outside chance of going in the Juvenile Turf, worked five furlongs on the main track in 59.40 for Patrick Biancone.

Richard Mandella on champion Beholder’s bullet five furlong work of 58.60 with Gary Stevens aboard on Monday: “She went with a work mate and looked as good as a horse can look. She galloped out six furlongs in 11 and change.”

Steve Asmussen assistant Scott Blasi says Unbridled’s Note (Turf Sprint) and Justin Phillip (Sprint) are doing well as they prepare for their Breeders’ Cup engagements.

“We had a nice Breeders’ Cup here last year and got out here early,” Blasi said. “We’re just trying to get the same results.”


 

 

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