Looking forward to pre-entering his first-ever Breeders' Cup starter, trainer Mike Pender sent out Oak Tree Mile (gr. IIT) winner Jeranimo for a half-mile drill over Santa Anita's main track Oct. 22.
Pender said Jeranimo, who was clocked in :47 flat, came out of his brisk win in the Oct. 8 Oak Tree Mile "in stellar shape" and would point to the TVG Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs. His workout at Santa Anita was the fifth fastest of 55 on the morning.
“He’s given us every indication, barring anything unforeseen, to get on that plane to Kentucky," said the 45-year-old conditioner in reference to starting in the BC Mile. He would meet the likes of world-class winners Goldikova and Gio Ponti.
Pre-entries for the Breeders' Cup will be taken Oct. 24. Jeranimo, with 18 points, is assured of landing a spot in the starting gate.
“The Mile has the best horses in the world," Pender said. "I might be a little bit biased of course, but of all the races at the Breeders’ Cup, pound for pound I think the majority of people are looking forward to that race. It does have the three-time defending champ Goldikova.”
Jeranimo, owned by B.J. Wright, defeated odds-on choice Mr. Commons by three-quarters of a length in the Oak Tree Mile while completing the two-turn event in 1:32.61 over firm going.
Winner of the Strub Stakes (gr. II) on Santa Anita's former synthetic track in February 2010, the 5-year-old son of Congaree has captured six of 22 starts with earnings of $660,400. He ran second to Acclamation in the Eddie Read Stakes (gr. IT) at Del Mar this summer.
Elsewhere, Ancient Title Stakes (gr. I) winner Amazombie, working toward the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I), went four furlongs before the crack of dawn in :46 3/5 for trainer Bill Spawr. It was the second-fastest move of the morning at the distance.
“He breezed fantastic,” said Chris Asplin, Spawr’s assistant since 1980. “Bill said he’s getting better than he’s ever been.”
Exercise rider Nacho Vasquez was aboard for the 5 a.m. drill. Fractional times were :12 3/5, :23 3/5 and :36 flat, with a gallop out time of 1:00 1/5.
Unbeaten Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) winner Weemissfrankie worked five furlongs in :59 2/5 for trainer Peter Eurton in preparation for the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
“I’m very happy,” the trainer said, “especially with the way she pulled up.”
According to Santa Anita’s clockers’ team, Weemissfrankie galloped out in 1:13 flat.
Yellow Ribbon Stakes (gr. IT) winner Dubawi Heights, heading for the Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT), drilled five furlongs on the main track in :59 4/5 for trainer Simon Callaghan.