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Breeders' Cup 2017

Breeders' Cup 2013 Report - Nov. 1

Tim Glyshaw – Taptowne has been withdrawn from the $1 million Dirt Mile because of a “slight bruised foot,” according to trainer Tim Glyshaw. Glyshaw said the 5yo Tapit horse would now target the handicap series at Oaklawn Park where he’ll be based this winter.


·       Dale Romans – Donegal Racing’s Cleburne has been withdrawn from the Juvenile because of “bucked shins,” according to the Breeders’ Cup racing office.


·       Ian Wilkes (Fort Larned, Classic) Defending Breeders’ Cup Classic champion Fort Larned galloped 1 1/2m Friday morning with regular exercise rider Katie Merritt  up.


“We are good to go here, no excuses,” trainer Ian Wilkes said.


Last year, Fort Larned led all the way to win the Classic, an event that changed things for Wilkes this time around.

“I have done a lot more interviews this year,” Wilkes said. “Last year, we were way under the radar.”


Wilkes sees the key to Saturday’s Classic as the break.


“You can talk about the shape of the race, but the most important key to the race is the break,” Wilkes said. “What if Game On Dude doesn’t break well like he did last year? What if Moreno doesn’t break well? What if we don’t break well?


“That’s why I will leave it all up to (jockey) Brian (Hernandez Jr.)”


Fort Larned may go to the track in the morning.


“I may take him out there; I’ll see how he feels,” Wilkes said. “I didn’t take him last year, but I have an inkling that I may tomorrow. I do it by gut feel.”


·       Kathy Ritvo (Mucho Macho Man, Classic) – Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s Mucho Macho Man prepared for a start in Saturday’s Classic by taking a jog around the track Friday morning.


“He’s ready to run,” trainer Kathy Ritvo declared.


Ritvo is hoping Mucho Macho Man can better his close second-place finish behind Fort Larned in last year’s Classic, but she has respect for her 5yo veteran’s competition.


“It’s going to be a good race. I was sorry to see Ron the Greek scratch. I really am. I like all these horses. We’ve been running against these horses for a long time,” Ritvo said. “They’re all such nice horses.”


·       Charles LoPresti (Wise Dan, Mile) Morton Fink’s defending Mile champion and 2012 North American Horse of the Year Wise Dan got a big thumbs up Friday morning from trainer Charles LoPresti.


“Everything is as good as last year,” LoPresti said. “He schooled in the paddock yesterday afternoon and it may have been the best he has schooled. This morning, he jogged and was really on his toes. He wanted to train and gallop.”


Wise Dan stalked the pace last year en route to a course-record performance and the shape of Saturday’s race appears to offer a similar scenario.


“(Trainer) Dale (Romans) has said he is going to the lead with Silver Max and the trainer of Obviously (Mike Mitchell) said he’s going,” LoPresti said. “So, if everybody does what they say they are going to do, it sets up real good unless everybody just decides to take back. I would not be surprised to see a 44-second half.”


Last year Wise Dan broke from post position two. On Saturday, he will leave from post eight in the 10-horse field.


“I would have preferred the six,” LoPresti said. “I would have been upset if he had been all the way on the outside like he was at Keeneland (in the Shadwell Mile). But you need to get a good break and a good trip.”


·       Buff Bradley (Groupie Doll, Filly & Mare Sprint) Defending Filly & Mare Sprint champion Groupie Doll jogged around to the finish line and then galloped a little more than 1m under regular exercise rider Jada Schlenk.


“I am just trying to get all of the quality time I can get with her,” Schlenk said of Groupie Doll, who is scheduled to be sold next week at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.


Before setting off on her gallop, Groupie Doll was stationed in front of the winner’s circle with trainer and co-owner Buff Bradley and groom Matt Hebert right behind her.


“I want to be here with her tomorrow,” Bradley said. “I would like to see her break well and maybe be six lengths off the lead on the backside. Turning for home, I’d like to see her a length back and several in front by the sixteenth pole so I don’t have to sweat.”


Groupie Doll has three more rivals to contend with this year as opposed to 2012.


“The field is a little deeper, but I am pretty confident,” Bradley said. “All of these horses belong here and when you put up a million dollars, you’d better be ready to run. Everything has to go your way, because a lot of time, the best horse doesn’t win.”


·       Todd Pletcher (Palace Malice, Classic; Havana and We Miss Artie, Juvenile; Capo Bastone (Turf Sprint) – Dogwood Stable’s Palace Malice, Michael Tabor and partners’ Havana, Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s We Miss Artie and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Capo Bastone galloped Friday morning in preparation for their respective starts in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup.


Dogwood Stable’s Cot Campbell was among trainer Todd Pletcher’s early clients when the former D. Wayne Lukas assistant went out on his own in 1996. Palace Malice gave the 86-year-old pioneer of thoroughbred ownership syndicates his first success in this year’s Belmont Stakes.


“We’ve had a good relationship. It’s nice to have a horse like Palace Malice for him. To be able to win a classic, the Belmont, for him is very rewarding,” Pletcher said. “This would even be better.”


Campbell will be unable to attend the Breeders Cup due to a case of vertigo.


“I’m sorry he’s going to miss it,” Pletcher said.


Pletcher will be seeking to win the Juvenile with an undefeated 2yo for the third time in four years. Havana will make a bid to follow in the footsteps of Uncle Mo (2010) and Shanghai Bobby (2012). The son of Dunkirk will need to cope with his outside post. He drew the 13 post but will move one stall inside due to the scratch of Cleburne.


Havana is probably the most likely pacesetter, but his trainer expects that the gray colt has the ability to rate just off the pace should another horse shoot to the lead.


“We’ve put him behind horses in the morning, and he doesn’t seem to mind it,” Pletcher said. “We’ll just have to see how the racetrack is playing. (Thursday) the track seemed to be playing to speed. I think he’s going to be a horse that’s forwardly placed no matter what. I think he’ll have the ability to sit off it a bit.”


·       Bill Mott (Emollient, Filly & Mare Turf; Flat Out, Classic) – Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said that his two Saturday runners, Emollient and Flat Out, went to the track Friday morning and that all systems were go.


Mott said that Emollient should relish the going on the Santa Anita turf course in the Filly & Mare Turf.


“It’s firm and I think she will like it firm,” Mott said. “She didn’t like it soggy in the Garden City, at all, but came right back and ran well in the Spinster on the synthetic surface. It seems like she needs it firm.


“Her form had changed on the dirt. She’s a winner on the dirt and stakes-placed on the dirt, but she started to get a little tired of doing it, as she would spin her wheels. She’s gotten a little smarter now and she knows what she likes, I think. Early on as a 2-year-old, she would still do it and try. Now it doesn’t seem that she wants to try very hard on the dirt when it breaks away from her.”


·       Bisnath Parboo (Trinniberg, Sprint) – Sherry Racing’s Trinniberg galloped Saturday morning while readying for a title defense in Saturday’s Sprint.


“He is at his best. Everything is going well,” trainer Bisnath Parboo said. “He’s as good as last year. I’m looking forward to this race.”


Trinniberg hasn’t won in four starts during his 2013 campaign that started with an 11th-place finish in the Dubai Golden Shaheen last March.


“In Dubai, he didn’t like the Tapeta,” Parboo said.


In his most recent start, the 4yo son of Teuflesberg showed only brief speed before fading to seventh in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 5.


“We just don’t know what went wrong. He came back walking good. Something wasn’t right,” Parboo said. “We’re crossing it out.”


Mike Hushion (Artemis Agrotera, Juvenile Fillies; The Lumber Guy, Sprint) – 

Mike Hushion was quick to realize that the homebred Artemis Agrotera was a talented individual. She comes to the Breeders’ Cup with a 2-0 record from a smashing Saratoga debut and a victory over the well-regarded Sweet Reason in the Frizette on Oct. 5.


“I liked her a lot before we ran her,” Hushion said. “When she came to the barn I matched her up with a $500,000 2-year-old. They were galloping and breezing partners so we thought highly of her right from the beginning.


“When she won, I wasn’t that surprised, but I wasn’t thinking Breeders’ Cup then. Actually, it was when I worked her after the first race. She was working great going into her maiden win then she started working spectacular. She was fooling the riders. I told them, good riders, to go a half in 50 and they go in 46, like a good horse will do. That actually was the point that I thought she was something special.”


Sweet Reason, who also is in the Juvenile Fillies, broke poorly in the Frizette and spotted the field about five lengths. She recovered and passed everyone but Artemis Agrotera.


“I don’t know what would have happened if Sweet Reason broke well,” Hushion said. “It would have been interesting if they had gotten to head-and-head the last 70 yards. Now my filly has got another race under her belt. Sweet Reason has got one more race under her belt than my filly, which is an edge for her with these lightly raced fillies.”


Both of Hushion’s Breeders’ Cup horses are New York-breds. While New York-breds have won many Graded and Group races around the world, they are winless at the Breeders’ Cup.


“It’s amazing how many of us, including me, didn’t know that,” Hushion said. “New York-breds and the New York-bred people have been very good to me. They’ve helped put my kids through college. There is a lot to thank them for. This would be a nice way to do it.”


Hushion nearly had the New York-bred breakthrough victory last season when The Lumber Guy finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length, by Trinniberg.


“It always stings more when you think you’re going to win a race and you don’t,” Hushion said. “It’s like losing twice. He certainly ran great.”


The Lumber Guy stayed in California after the Breeders’ Cup and ran two lackluster races for trainer Neil Drysdale. The 4yo was returned to Hushion during the summer, finished second in a state-bred stake at Saratoga then was last in the Vosburgh, the race he won last year.


“He trained too much like a monster, which may have had something to do with his latest effort,” Hushion said. “He worked a half-mile and galloped out in 57 1/5. There’s always a chance that affected him. I was disappointed.


“We just turned things around and did a couple of easy half-miles with him and a lot more jogging the wrong way. Just change for change sake. It didn’t work the last time. Hopefully this will turn him around. He looks like a million dollars. He looks like a weight lifter.”


Hushion said that handicappers ought to take a look at his 4yo colt.


“I certainly wouldn’t disregard him. We’re not here for that reason,” he said. “This is a faster bunch of horses than last year so he’s got his work cut out for him. He’s a talented horse. If he gets the right trip and he brings his A race it could be fun.”


·       Richard Mandella – The South American chestnut Indy Point took the last of his serious exercise prior to the Turf Saturday when he galloped 1 1/2m Friday morning for trainer Richard Mandella under former jockey, now exercise rider, David Nuesch at 6:30.


“He’s doing good,” Nuesch said. “He’s enjoying himself out there. We sure hope it translates to a good performance tomorrow.”


·       Peter Eurton – “(Dance With Fate) had a light gallop this morning and everything went well. I couldn’t be more pleased the way he is coming up to the (Juvenile).  He schooled yesterday during the second race and ate up well. I’m a happy camper.”


·       Bob Baffert – The seven Saturday horses from the Bob Baffert barn all had their final bit of exercise Friday morning prior to 7 as they put finishing touches on their run-up to their five different Breeders’ Cup races.


“I like them all,” Baffert said Friday on the Santa Anita apron. “I do like some of them more than others in their various races. I like Fed Biz today (in the Dirt Mile). I know he’s in tough, but he’s tough, too. I like my two juvenile colts (New Year’s Day and Tap It Rich in the Juvenile) tomorrow; I think they’ll run big. And I like ‘The Dude’ (Game On Dude) and Paynter in the big race (Classic) tomorrow.”


The connections of Paynter have announced the retirement of their horse for stud duties in Kentucky following his Classic run. Baffert was asked if any of his other seven Breeders’ Cup horses might also be running their final races over the next two days.


“I sure hope not,” he said.


·       Christophe Clement (Za Approval, Mile) – Trainer Christophe Clement, who arrived at the barn on Friday morning after jetting from New York the day before, seeks his first Breeders’ Cup victory in his 23rd attempt when Za Approval competes against nine of the other top turf milers in the world on Saturday.


He knows the 5yo gelded gray son of 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Ghostzapper will have to bring his “A” game, especially with defending Mile champion and reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the gate.


“It’s a very tough race, and a very competitive race. Our horse is doing well and now we wait for the race and hope for the best,” he said.


The last time Clement ran a horse in the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita (2009), Gio Ponti charged to the lead at the eighth pole in the Classic and had a clear advantage inside the sixteenth pole before being run down by the eventual Horse of The Year Zenyatta to miss by a length. In the 2010 Mile at Churchill Downs, Gio Ponti was the runner-up to the remarkable Goldikova and then he finished fourth in the 2011 Mile.


“To be with Za Approval in the winner’s circle, I would love that,” he said.


·       Mark Casse (Conquest Titan, Juvenile; Laugh Track, Sprint) – While preparing to send My Conquestadory out in the Juvenile Fillies Turf and Pool Play in the Marathon on Friday afternoon, trainer Mark Casse took a moment to look ahead to Saturday’s races for his other two hopefuls.


“Both of our horses are longshots and they both are going to have to have things go their way,” said Casse, who trains Conquest Titan for Conquest Stables and Laugh Track for Gary Barber and WinStar Farm. “You’ve always got to have racing luck no matter what level your horse is competing at and no matter how good your horse is. I hope our luck will be the good kind.”


Casse has saddled 15 previous Breeders’ Cup starters, with a second and two thirds (Sealy Hill in the 2008 Filly and Mare Turf, Delightful Mary in the 2010 Juvenile Fillies, and Delegation in the 2012 Dirt Mile).


·       Alan Goldberg (Laughing; Filly & Mare Turf) – Richard Santulli’s 5yo Irish-bred mare Laughing was happily munching on her hay rack on Friday morning in advance of her attempt to remain undefeated in five 2013 starts and win her fifth consecutive Graded stakes event.


“We’re hopefully optimistic,” trainer Alan Goldberg said. “She’ll get the firm turf she likes and the weather she prefers. We’re all looking forward to tomorrow.”


·       Kiaran McLaughlin (Dance Card, Filly & Mare Sprint) – Dance Card will carry the famed Godolphin Racing colors in Saturday’s Filly & Mare Sprint and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin hopes she takes the straight route to the winner’s circle.


“She’s a very, very talented filly but she makes me a little nervous as a trainer because she drifts out in the lane and we don’t know why,” said McLaughlin, who saddles Alpha in the Dirt Mile and Dancing House and Sky Painter in the Juvenile Fillies Turf on Friday. “We can’t really correct it because she doesn’t do it when training. Hopefully, she won’t do it when in and amongst horses. If she gets to the lead and drifts, that’s OK.

“She’s filled out and has trained great, but wish we had gotten another race into her,” McLaughlin added. “They’ll be going very fast for seven-eighths of a mile and she’ll be coming from off the pace. Speed looks to be very good out here, and we’re a little concerned about that. But it is what it is.”


·       Tom Proctor (Marketing Mix; Filly and Mare Turf) – Glen Hill Farm, which was founded as a racing and breeding operation in 1966 by Leonard Lavin, has been rebuilding and will be reloading when Marketing Mix is retired to broodmare duty next year.


The 5yo Marketing Mix, who has earned $1,955,893 was purchased at auction during lean times for the breeding end of the business in recent years. The hope is that her success on the track will translate into her second career when next year she joins the band of good young broodmares on the farm who carry the Glen Hill bloodlines.


“The goal is to be self-sufficient and to have the right mares who are capable of being good producers so that we may continue to do well,” said Glen Hill president Craig Bernick, the grandson of Lavin, who celebrated his 94th birthday this week.


The current crop of yearlings includes many with six generations of Glen Hill genes, including those of the deceased One Dreamer, who won the 1994 Distaff.


“Some of the mares are descended from my grandfather’s original mares,” Bernick said. “We keep them not for sentimental reasons, but because they are good producers.”  Hap Proctor, the brother of trainer Tom Proctor, is retiring after decades as the farm manger. Their uncle was his predecessor and their father, Willard Proctor, trained the Glen Hill horses before his death.


“For over fifty years, when the babies are born, someone in the Proctor family has been taking care of them at the farm and on the track,” said Bernick. “It’s a big advantage when you know the family and the family knows the horses and their tendencies so they know how to train them when they’re ready. When you buy horses at auction, you don’t know their history.”


·       Trainer Shug McGaughey (Point of Entry) – Phipps Stable’s Point of Entry galloped 1 1/2m for his return to action in Saturday’s Turf after a five-month layoff.


Point of Entry suffered a non-displaced condylar fracture of his left-hind cannon bone June 8 after winning the Manhattan, in which he returned victoriously from a four-month layoff.


“I just think he’s such a talented horse. He loves to train in the morning. He’ll do what I want him to do, and he loves doing it,” trainer Shug McGaughey said. “He obviously loves the afternoon – he has a pretty good race record.”


Point of Entry has won seven of his last eight starts, suffering his only loss in a second-place finish behind Little Mile in last year’s Turf at Santa Anita.


“That’s why I’ve said he’s one of the best I’ve had, because he’s so good in the morning and he’s so good in the afternoon,” the Hall of Fame trainer said. “He’s the whole package when it comes to a racehorse.”


·       John Sadler (Vagabond Shoes, Turf; Lady of Shamrock, F&M Turf; He Be Fire N Ice, Mile) – Lady of Shamrock galloped 1 1/2m and He Be Fire N Ice galloped 1 1/4m at 4:45 and Vagabond Shoes galloped 1 1/2 m at 5:15 Friday morning.


“Pretty much routine,” trainer John Sadler said. “There’s no schooling today, so they’ll just walk in the afternoon and get ready for tomorrow.”


Sadler is winless with 28 Breeders’ Cup starters but has two second-place finishes (Switch in the 2010 and 2011 Filly & Mare Sprint) and four third-place results. Asked which of his three 2013 representatives was most capable of making the breakthrough, he answered diplomatically.


“I think they all look like they’re ready to run big, but they’re all really tough races with great horses,” Sadler said. “That’s what you have to account for, no matter how much you love your horse. You just have to hope for some breaks and racing luck and maybe some other horses have the trouble.”


·       Kristin Mulhall (Tale of a Champion, Turf) -- Tale of a Champion jogged at around 5 a.m. Friday with trainer Kristin Mulhall in the irons.


The son of Tale of the Cat has had 10 jockeys in a 15-race career, but Joe Talamo has been up for the last four starts, two of which produced wins.


“Joe gets along with him well and can get him to relax,” Mulhall said. “He’s a very, very, very tough horse to ride. He can get very rank and want to run off, but Joe handles him.”


·       Mike Puype, (Mizdirection, Turf Sprint) -- The defending Turf Sprint champion, Mizdirection galloped 1 1/2m Friday morning and all went well according to Puype assistant Ral Ayres, who deputized while Puype was at Hollywood Park overseeing activity there.

Mizdirection rallied from 11th place to first in the 2012 running of the race and a similar one would be fine, Ayers said, if it produced the same result in 2013.


“Talking to Mike Smith, she just turned herself off after the start and then turned it on last year,” Ayers said. “She’s drawn almost the same and there’s a lot of speed in the race. It’s keep your fingers crossed and all about getting out of the gate and getting lucky now. She couldn’t be doing any better.”


·        Mike Pender (Boat Trip and Jeranimo, Turf Sprint) -- Boat Trip and Jeranimo both galloped Friday morning at Santa Anita and got an “all good” assesment from Mike Pender. The trainer is especially keen to see how longstanding stable star Jeranimo, a 7yo son of Congaree, fares in his first sprint assignment in three years.

“This warrior, Jeranimo, has danced in the Breeders’ Cup Mile against Goldikova and Wise Dan and we felt it was time to throw something different and throw some variables at him by running against some buzzsaw sprinters. We like to think you can make a router a sprinter but you can’t make a sprinter a router, and the hill (6 1/2f downhill turf course) plays like a mile in my opinion,” Pender said. 



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