Paucity of Workouts in Sunny Southern California; Azeri Sizzles 6 Furlongs

Paucity of Workouts in Sunny Southern California; Azeri Sizzles 6 Furlongs
Photo: Associated Press
Congaree, will breeze Saturday or Sunday.
By Margaret Ransom and
Ron Mitchell

With a bright sun illuminating the San Gabriel mountains on an unseasonably warm day, a handful of the horses pointing toward the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships worked out at Santa Anita Friday, while Azeri blazed 6 furlongs at San Luis Rey Downs.

Last year's Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) winner covered the 6 panels in 1:10 1/5, once again indicating she has fully recovered from the viral infection she suffered in the Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup (gr. II). Last week, she worked a half in :45 4/5.

William R. Peeples' Dixie High, pre-entered in the Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) breezed five furlongs in :58 1/5, galloped out six furlongs in 1:14 4/5, seven-eighths in 1:24 4/5, and a mile in 1:40.

"It was awesome," said Adam Kitchingman, who trains the 2-year-old daughter of Anet -- Dixieland Fantasy (by Dixieland Band). "It was just what I wanted. She's right on track. If she's not fit now, she's never going to be."

"She moved great and she could have gone a little faster (if she had worked) with company," said Victor Espinoza, who was aboard.

After finishing third in her career debut, a maiden special weight won by Juvenile Fillies contender Victory U.S.A., Dixie High was victorious in her next two starts, highlighted by a win the restricted Barretts Debutante. The filly has earned $95,945.

In other workouts Friday, for which the local forecast was calling for a high temperature of 93 degrees, Minister Eric (Bessemer Trust Juvenile-gr. I) went six furlongs in 1:13 3/5 and The Tin Man (John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf-gr. IT) worked a mile in 1:36 3/5. Both are trained by Richard Mandella.

"The Tin Man worked the best he's ever worked today," Mandella said. "We weren't asking for much, but it really was a great work. He's a very good horse.

"Minister Eric went very well, too. We weren't looking for anything fast for him and he's had enough races, so that's enough."

Meanwhile, trainer Bob Baffert reported that Congaree, being pointed toward the Breeders' Cup Classic-Powered by Dodge (gr. I), was continuing to progress after sustaining a slight quarter crack on his left rear hoof. "He's doing fine," Baffert said of the Arazi colt who is scheduled to breeze Saturday or Sunday.

Although Congaree was pre-entered in the Sprint and Classic, Baffert told Breeders' Cup officials that he would only start in the Classic. As a result, Overbrook Farm's Clock Stopper will draw into the Sprint field of 14.

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