Eoin Harty had a hop in his step as he walked back to barn to meet Colonel John, who moments before turned in his final tune-up for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I). The son of two-time Classic winner Tiznow was clocked in :59.80 for five furlongs over the Santa Anita Pro-Ride surface Nov. 2. It was the third best of 33 works during the morning sessions.
Colonel John worked solo during his breeze with regular exercise rider Yutta Lang aboard.
“He worked good, just like he always does,” said Harty, who trains the 4-year-old colt for WinStar Farms. “He went easy. I’m always afraid to run him harder because he’s so eager. He always wants to go fast.”
Colonel John will enter the Classic off a runner-up finish in the Oct. 10 Goodwood (gr. I) when he was beaten a neck by longshot Gitano Hernando. In his only other starts of the season the bay won Del Mar' July 31 Wickerr Stakes on turf and was fifth in the Sept. 6 Pacific Classic (gr. I) over the Del Mar Polytrack.
Last year, Colonel John finished sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic after flattening out in the final furlong. An earner of more than $1.6 million and a five-time stakes winner, he has won three of six starts at Santa Anita in his career, including the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) last season.
“He’s proven here, but the best horse in the race is going to win. I don’t think it will come down to the surface,” Harty said. “Obviously, Zenyatta is the horse to beat. But we’re coming into the race good. He’s as fit and as sharp as ever. It’s just a matter of getting some racing luck.”