The Juddmonte Farm-bred Night Chapter, owned by Frankel and Diamond Pride LLC, comes into the Morvich off a one-length victory in the Sept. 30 Blue Jay Way on Santa Anita's approximate 6 1/2-furlong hillside course.
That win followed a long layoff. The 6-year-old Night Shift horse began the year with a romping win in the Cotton Fitzsimmons Handicap at Turf Paradise in January before capturing Santa Anita's Daytona Handicap, also on the downhill layout, a month later.
Night Chapter last faced graded company in the Cliffhanger (gr. IIIT) on the Meadowlands turf in September 2006, finishing fourth. Resurgent Tyler Baze, second in the current Oak Tree riding standings with 22 wins, takes over on Night Chapter, who is assigned top weight of 120 pounds.
A field of 11 is entered for the Morvich, which has a special 11:45 a.m. starting time on Breeders' Cup day.
Becrux, who failed in his quest to repeat his 2006 victory in the Woodbine Mile (Can-I) last time out for trainer Neil Drysdale, shortens up for the Morvich. Becrux finished sixth in the Canadian race Sept. 16, 3 3/4 lengths behind the victorious Shakespeare. The 5-year-old Italian-bred Glen Jordan gelding looks to go over the $1 million mark in career earnings with a new jockey, Alonso Quinonez, replacing regular rider David Flores.
A winner of nine of 26 lifetime starts, Becrux has earned $989,247.
Relato Del Gato won the Phoenix Gold Cup on dirt in February for the successful team of owner Bob Bone and trainer Jeff Mullins. He steps up for the Morvich off a nose defeat in the restricted Pirates Bounty Handicap over Del Mar's Polytrack Sept. 5. The 6-year-old Tale of the Cat horse has been a model of consistency since claimed by Mullins for $10,000 out of a dirt race at Turf Paradise nearly a year ago. He has five wins and two seconds in seven starts since, but is winless in seven earlier tries on grass.
“He worked good on grass, and it’s hard to place a horse like this,” Mullins said. “It’s the only logical spot until we get to Hollywood Park. He hadn’t run at this meet and we wanted to run, so we’re wishin’ and a hopin.’”
Get Funky seeks his first stakes win since capturing the 2006 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) for trainer John Sadler. The 4-year-old Straight Man colt is coming off a fading fourth, beaten 2 1/2 lengths, after dueling on the lead in the Oak Tree Mile (gr. IIT) Oct. 7. That was his first start since the dark bay finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length by The Tin Man, in the Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) on the Hollywood Park turf May 28.
The Irish-bred 5-year-old mare Clinet tries her luck against males for trainer Patrick Gallagher. She gets into the field with 111 pounds. Clinet was just 1 1/2 lengths behind the winning Dancing Edie while finishing fifth in the Sen. Ken Maddy Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the hillside Sept. 26.
$10,000 Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 6, 11:45 a.m.), 3 & Up, About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. McCann's Mojave (CA), 118, Frank T. Alvarado
2. Relato Del Gato (KY), 115, Agapito Delgadillo
3. Becrux (ITY), 121, Alonso Quinonez
4. Warrior Song (KY), 116, Jon K. Court
5. Worchester (GB), 114, Isaias D. Enriquez
6. Get Funky (FL), 118, Martin Garcia
7. Night Chapter (GB), 120, Tyler Baze
8. Heatseeker (IRE), 116, Corey S. Nakatani
9. Specalist Morgen J (MD), 112, Clinton L. Potts
10. Cateclipse (AUS), 116, Martin A. Pedroza
11. Clinet (IRE), 111, Fernando Jara