Breeders’ Cup candidates were out in full force at Santa Anita Park Oct. 20, going through the late stages of their major drills for the Nov. 2-3 World Championships events. There were 132 recorded workouts at the California track on the morning, including 31 on the turf.
Among them were six from the Todd Pletcher barn, including Zenyatta Stakes (gr. I) winner Love and Pride (running in the Ladies’ Classic, gr. I, or Filly & Mare Turf, gr. IT), ridden by jockey Martin Garcia, and John Henry Turf Championship (gr. IIT) runner-up Turbo Compressor (Turf, gr. IT). They worked five furlongs in company on the main track in identical clockings of 1:00 2/5.
"Both of them worked well," Pletcher said, as a light drizzle fell. "It was just a steady five-eighths breeze. They had a decent gallop out, so we were happy with both of them."
Before departing on an early afternoon flight back to the East Coast, Pletcher also supervised drills for Bridgetown (Turf Sprint, gr. IT), four furlongs on Santa Anita’s firm turf course in :48 flat; Doubles Partner (Mile, gr. IT), also :48 on the turf; In Lingerie (Ladies’ Classic or Filly & Mare Turf), likewise :48 on grass; and Tara from the Cape (Juvenile Fillies Turf, gr. IT), four furlongs on turf in :48 3/5. Bridgetown and Doubles Partner worked in company, as did In Lingerie and Tara from the Cape.
Trainer Dale Romans' runners also had a busy morning. “Loved it" is how Romans’ long-time assistant Tammy Fox succinctly termed Dullahan’s four-furlong clocking on turf of :47 4/5. “I got him going five furlongs in about a minute," the former jockey added.
Two of Shackleford ’s biggest fans were at Clockers’ Corner to see Dale Romans’ 2011 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner work five furlongs for the Dirt Mile in :59 3/5.
Under the cover of darkness, defending Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) winner Amazombie worked a half-mile in :48 seconds for trainer Bill Spawr.
“It was good,” said Spawr, who owns the 6-year-old California-bred son of Northern Afleet with partner Tom Sanford.
“He went in :48 flat,” Spawr added. “He galloped out (five furlongs) in 1:01 1/5. When he got back to the barn, it was just like he galloped.”
Venerable California-bred California Flag, aiming for his fifth try in the Turf Sprint, which he won at Santa Anita in 2009, went five furlongs on the grass in a bullet :59 3/5 under leading rider Joe Talamo for trainer Brian Koriner.
Also working at Santa Anita were Switch (Filly & Mare Sprint, gr. I), a bullet five furlongs in :58 3/5; Capo Bastone (Juvenile, gr. I), six furlongs in 1:13 2/5; and Lady of Shamrock (Filly & Mare Turf), seven furlongs in a bullet 1:26 1/5. All are trained by John Saddler.
Meanwhile, Hall of Fame horseman Bob Baffert said Classic (gr. I) favorite Game On Dude could work “tomorrow or Monday.”
On Oct. 19, Tim Conway Stakes winner Merit Man (Juvenile Sprint) worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track in 1:02 3/5 for Bob Hess Jr.
“He’s exactly where he needs to be,” the trainer said. “He’s fit and ready to go. We’ll work him one more time, probably another 1:02, and then run him on Friday (Juvenile Sprint).”