It was a busy morning for Breeders' Cup participants, with a steady stream of workers Sunday. The most amazing move was turned in by Squirtle Squirt
, although it certainly was not what trainer Bobby Frankel was expecting. The King's Bishop (gr. I) winner basically was a runaway around the turn, scorching his opening quarter in an unheard of :21 1/5. He hit the quarter pole with such momentum, he blew the turn and fanned very wide. Exercise rider Anna Hollander finally was able to settle him in stride, and after passing the eighth pole in :33 2/5 for the three furlongs, he crossed the wire in :45 4/5 for the half.
Frankel was originally under the impression that Squirtle Squirt worked in :47 2/5 and was surprised when he heard the correct time. "It's probably a combination of him being a very good work horse and being very sharp," Frankel said. "I'm going to have to adjust his training -- just play around with him a little bit."
There was a full slate of turf works, with City Zip
breezing five furlongs in 1:01 4/5. Trainer Linda Rice said afterward it was 70-30 that the son of Carson City would run in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) as opposed to the Sprint (gr. I). Rice said the weather forecast will play a major role in the decision.
Also working on the turf for the Mile was Balto Star
, who breezed his five furlongs in 1:03 3/5, switching back to his left lead inside the final furlong. Another work that didn't go as planned for Frankel was Timboroa's
6-furlong breeze for the Breeders' Cup Turf in 1:18, although the colt looked smooth the whole way. Kelso Handicap runner-up Sarafan
, who is on the also-eligible list, breezed 6 furlongs in 1:14 in company, and was being pushed along to keep up with his stablemate, who finished a couple of lengths in front.
D. Wayne Lukas sent out several workers, with Classic hopeful Orientate
turning in a solid six-furlong work in 1:13, striding out beautifully through the stretch, and last year's Distaff winner Spain
completing her five-furlong move in a sharp 1:00 2/5. Lukas also sent out Sprint also-eligible Snow Ridge
, who worked a half in :47 1/5.
"I wasn't trying to do a lot with Spain," Lukas said. "I was pleased with what I saw. "It's tough to repeat in any Breeders' Cup race, but I think it's tougher for a filly to do it. I know Bayakoa did it, but it's still not easy to pull off.
"Orientate is a fresh horse and he's coming off a nice win, but he has to prove he can run with this caliber of horses," Lukas said. "He's doing everything right and I think he deserves a chance. It's a tough order and we realize that, but he's a gifted horse."
In other works, Left Bank
breezed 5 furlongs in 1:02, out in 1:14 3/5 for the Sprint; Bella Bellucci
drilled an even half in :48 for the Juvenile Fillies, while New York-bred Shesastonecoldfox
worked 6 furlongs for the Juvenile Fillies in 1:13 2/5. Hook and Ladder
, a candidate for the Sprint, worked 5 furlongs in 1:00 2/5, although trainer John Kimmel is undecided whether to run in the Sprint or the Sport Page Handicap.
In other Breeders' Cup news, Unbridled Elaine
, who was taken away from trainer Dallas Stewart earlier this year and given to Dave Vance, has been returned to Stewart, who will saddle the daughter of Unbridled's Song in the Distaff.
Because of the time difference, TVG will be able to show Officer's work at Santa Anita Monday live on their morning show "The Works."