Special Ring, Zavata, Work Toward Breeders' Cup

Special Ring, Zavata, Work Toward Breeders' Cup
Photo: AP/Benoit
Eddie Read winner Special Ring works toward BC Mile.
By Ron Mitchell and
Margaret Ransom

Prestonwood Farm's Special Ring, a contender for the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), zipped three furlongs in a bullet :33 4/5 at Santa Anita Monday morning, easily the fastest move of the 22 horses who went the distance on the day.

With jockey David Flores aboard for the work, Special Ring went his last eighth of a mile in :10 4/5.

"I wanted him to go in :35, but what am I gonna' do?" trainer Julio Canani said. "I can't blame David, and time only counts in jail anyway. I put a lot of air into him with long slow works and now I'm putting some speed into him. He'll be ready."

Flores was also extremely pleased with the move and, when asked by Canani what he thought, said, "What do I think? I think we're back in it!"

Special Ring finished fourth in his last start, the Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IIT) on Oct. 5, as the near 2-5 favorite, but previously won the Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) at Del Mar and also placed in two other graded events this year. The 6-year-old gelded son of Nuryev and the Bering mare Rieg Beaune has banked $675,023 from a record of 29-9-4-3

Also working Monday at Santa Anita was Michael Tabor's 3-year-old Zavata, who is being pointed toward the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).

With Tony Farina aboard, Zavata was timed in :58 4/5 for five furlongs the co-second fastest time of the day at the distance.

Trainer Patrick Biancone said the work was exactly what he wanted. "I just wanted him to go nice and easy and to make sure he changed leads OK, which he did," Biancone said. "It was just a maintenance move."

Gary Stevens, who rode Zavata to a fifth-place finish in the Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) on Oct. 5, will be aboard the son of Phone Trick in the Sprint.

"Gary rides this horse better than anyone," Biancone said.

Three-year-old Zavata won the six-furlong Amsterdam Stakes (gr. III) earlier this year at Saratoga and also won two graded stakes as a juvenile. By Phone Trick and out of the Cox's Ridge mare Pert Lady, the Michael Tabor colorbearer has earned $346,533 with a record of 11-5-1-1.

In another Sprint development, Ted West, father of trainer Ted H. West, said Bluesthestandard will be supplemented at a cost of $90,000 in supplemental fees to owner Jeff Sengara. "That's a lot of money to him," the elder West said. "But he's willing to do it to take a shot at the biggest sprint of the year. Jeff is in the lumber business in Vancouver, but not like Aaron Jones. Jeff is just a small guy and he said the lumber business has been bad all year."

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