Richard's Kid, upset winner of the Pacific Classic (gr. I), turned in another sharp work at Santa Anita Nov. 2, getting four furlongs in :47.20 in his final tune-up for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I).
Working in company with Limestone Edge, Richard’s Kid tracked his stablemate through the early going and willingly went by in the final stages when asked by exercise rider Janell Gruss. The 4-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid was fluid and stretched out impressively while trainer Bob Baffert looked on. It was the third fastest of 14 works on Santa’s Anita’s Pro-Ride surface to that point in the morning.
Baffert worked the dark bay colt six furlongs on Oct. 27 (1:12.80), six days after he turned in a bullet four-furlong move in :46-flat.
“We just wanted to give him a target to run at today since that’s what he’ll be doing in the race,” said Baffert of Richard’s Kid, who is a dead closer. “He went by willingly. We just let him run the last part, and he finished well. All he really runs is the final half-mile anyway.”
Richard’s Kid will enter the Classic off a solid third-place finish in the Oct. 10 Goodwood (gr. I), where he closed well to miss by only a length to upset winner Gitano Hernando in his first start at Santa Anita. Baffert said Alex Solis would retain the mount for the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup.
Owned by Arnold Zetcher, who purchased the horse privately in July, Richard’s Kid has flourished since being switched to synthetic surfaces three starts ago. He missed by a nose in the Aug. 5 Cougar II Handicap before pulling a 24-1 shocker in the Sept. 6 Pacific Classic, both on Del Mar’s Polytrack. He began his career racing strictly on dirt, mainly at Laurel Park.
“He loves it out here. He’s ready to roll,” Baffert said. “I’m happy the way that he’s been working, but you know, it’s not the way they look in the morning that matters; it’s who shows up on race day. We’ll see what happens.”