Secret Circle, Rich Tapestry Exit SA Sprint Well
October 05, 2014 01:58pm
Secret Circle 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Secret Circle finished worse than second for the first time in his 11-race career Saturday, running third behind Hong Kong invader Rich Tapestry and Goldencents in the Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship at six furlongs.
Breaking from the rail and pressing the pace until deep stretch, Secret Circle was beaten less than two lengths in his first race since Feb. 2, a span of eight months.
“He got a lot out of it and this race should tighten him (for the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 1),” Bob Baffert said Sunday morning. “I went to see him right after the race and you could tell he spent a little too much time on the couch.”
The Hall of Fame trainer was duly impressed with Rich Tapestry, who hung a nose defeat on Goldencents under French jockey Olivier Doleuze in the Irish-bred gelding’s first start since April 27.
“That’s a really good horse and a really good trainer,” Baffert said of the 6-year-old son of Holy Roman Emperor and conditioner Michael Chang, who flew back to Hong Kong last night, perhaps not even needing a plane, he and his entourage were so overjoyed with victory, the 200th training triumph of his career.
“For a horse that just shipped over here from Hong Kong, he looked so healthy,” Baffert said. “He looked pretty impressive in the paddock.”
Chang, meanwhile, was controllably thrilled and gracious after the exciting victory. “He’s got a big heart,” he said of his charge, which will remain at Santa Anita with trainer Leonard Powell for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
“He won a race in Ireland, in Hong Kong, Dubai and now America . . . The horse travels well. It never affects him. He was here three or four days and is like an American horse already. He settled in extremely well.”
Asked of the horse had ever raced under such extremely hot temperatures (104) as he did Saturday, Chang said, “In my country, it’s hotter than here. It’s very hot and humid.”


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