Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert had several Breeders' Cup World Championship contenders on the track Oct. 21 at Santa Anita Park including Game On Dude, early favorite for the $5 million Classic (gr. I).
The 5-year-old Awesome Again gelding worked six furlongs in company with stablemate Midnight Interlude and was clocked in 1:12 1/5 with regular rider Rafael Bejarano in the saddle. Last year's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Midnight Interlude went in 1:14 3/5.
"He went really nice," Bob Baffert said of Game On Dude, with an emphasis on really. "I really liked it. Everything went smooth."
Asked if Game On Dude was in optimum form for the 1 1/4-mile Classic Nov. 3 over he his home track, Baffert said: "He's been like this all year long. He's been really good ever since he came back from Dubai."
Game On Dude, a multiple grade I winner, was second to Drosselmeyer in last year's Classic after leading into deep stretch at Churchill Downs.
Baffert also sent unbeaten Executiveprivilege, favorite for the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Fillies (gr. I), six furlongs in company with Super Ninety Nine. With Bejarano aboard, Executiveprivilege was timed in 1:12, fastest of 21 drills at the distance.
"Her work didn't go as smooth as I wanted it to because she was too far back," Baffert said. "He (Bejarano) grabbed a hold of her and then she lost interest, but she worked good."
Super Ninety Nine was clocked in 1:12 4/5.
Coil and Capital Account, one-two finishers in the Oct. 6 Santa Anita Sprint Championship (gr. I), formerly the Ancient Title, also worked in tandem for Baffert, going four furlongs in :46 3/5 and 46 4/5, respectively, for the XpressBet Sprint (gr. I). Coil's time was the fastest of 45 recorded at the distance.
Fast Bullet, unbeaten in two starts but idle since last November, also worked for Baffert, going five furlongs solo in a bullet :58 3/5. Baffert said afterward that Fast Bullet would be pre-entered for the Sprint, giving him three possible starters in the six-furlong race. Baffert said Santa Anita jockey leader Joe Talamo rides Fast Bullet in the Sprint.
Pre-entries for the two-day championship racing festival be announced Oct. 24.
Also working Sunday at Santa Anita for the Breeders' Cup were My Miss Aurelia (Ladies' Classic, gr. I), winner of the $1 million Cotillion (gr. I) at Parx Racing, going six furlongs in 1:12 2/5, and Dust and Diamonds (Filly & Mare Sprint, gr. I), five furlongs in :59 4/5.
"I thought both traveled really well," trainer Steve Asmussen said. "Both fillies are doing good."
Elsewhere on Santa Anita's main track Sunday: Nates Mineshaft (Dirt Mile, gr. I) went seven furlongs for Richard Mandella in 1:24 3/5; Commander (Marathon, gr. II) worked four furlongs for trainer Troy Taylor in 48 3/5; and John Henry Turf Championship (gr. IIT) winner Slim Shadey (Turf, gr. IT) went five furlongs in a minute flat for Simon Callaghan.
"The horse worked very well," Mandella said of Nates Mineshaft. The Hall of Fame conditioner said that he planned to pre-enter Beholder in both the Juvenile Sprint and the Juvenile Fillies.