Game On Dude headed a parade of heavyweight hopefuls prepping for the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park Oct. 14 as the countdown began in earnest for the 28th World Championship events Nov. 2-3.
The early favorite for the $5 million Classic at 1 1/4 miles on Nov. 3, Game On Dude breezed five furlongs in company under regular rider Rafael Bejarano in :59 3/5. Stablemate Blueskiesnrainbows was timed in 1:00 2/5.
"He (Bejarano) said he felt like an airplane," trainer Bob Baffert said of Game On Dude's work. "This track right now is the best it's been since we've been here. I think the rain (three-quarters of an inch Oct. 12) really helped. The track has bounce to it. I should have worked more horses today."
Game On Dude is coming off a smooth victory in the Sept. 29 Awesome Again Stakes (gr. I), formerly known as the Goodwood, and is five-for-five over his home track. The 5-year-old son of Awesome Again ran second in last year's Breeders' cup Classic at Churchill Downs.
Baffert also worked FrontRunner Stakes (formerly the gr. I Norfolk) winner Power Broker in company with Bank the Eight. Power Broker, with Bejarano aboard, was clocked in :59 1/5, while Bank the Eight was caught in :59 2/5.
"Power Broker went really nice," Baffert said.
Fast Bullet, also from the Baffert barn, went six furlongs from the gate in company with grade I stakes winner Smiling Tiger, trained by Jeff Bonde. Fast Bullet was clocked in a bullet 1:11 2/5 while Smiling Tiger was timed in 1:12.
"I might run Fast Bullet in the (Breeders' Cup) Sprint," Baffert said. The son of 2004 Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Speightstown is unbeaten in two starts but has not raced since November 2011.
"He runs well off a layoff and he's a fast horse," Baffert said.
Elsewhere, My Miss Aurelia, winner of the $1 million Cotillion Stakes (gr. I) at Parx Racing, worked five furlongs for the Ladies' Classic (gr. I) in :59 2/5.
"She went beautiful," said trainer Steve Asmussen, who was on hand for the drill. "They caught her a little quicker than I did but I thought she went over the track great."
Ladies' Classic contender Love and Pride also worked, going four furlongs in :49 4/5 for Todd Pletcher, whose BC Turf (gr. IT) candidate Turbo Compressor went the same distance in the same time.
Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) candidate Switch went four furlongs in a bullet :45 4/5 for John Sadler, fastest of 73 drills at the distance. Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) hopeful Lady of Shamrock also worked for Sadler, going six furlongs on the grass in 1:15 4/5.
John Henry Turf Championship (gr. IT) winner Slim Shadey had his first breeze since his front-running victory in the Sept. 30 race, going four furlongs for the BC Turf in :49 4/5 on the main track.
"It was perfect," trainer Simon Callaghan said. "It was his first bit of work back since his race. We just wanted to go steady and it was perfect. He did it really well within himself and he galloped out nice. It was exactly what we needed. He'll do a more serious bit of work next week."
In all there were 227 recorded workouts at Santa Anita the morning of Oct. 14, including 15 on turf and two on the training track.