Handicapping

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Baffert disappointed by BC shut-out

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who had high hopes and 10 horses to run in the two-day Breeders' Cup events, was an 0-fer for the weekend, but still managed to smile and put a philosophical turn to things Sunday morning at Clockers' Corner.

Violence survives inquiry to take Nashua

Despite coming over twice on his opponents in Sunday's Grade 2, $200,000 Nashua at Aqueduct, Black Rock Stables' Violence crossed under the wire first and survived a stewards' inquiry to claim victory in the one-mile contest under jockey Javier Castellano.

My Happy Face wires Tempted

Michael Dubb's My Happy Face got the head-bobbing win on Sunday in Aqueduct's Grade 3, $142,500 Tempted over Cue the Moon. The Rudy Rodriguez-trained daughter of Tiz Wonderful just missed by a head in the Grade 1 Frizette last out, but would not be denied a second time, completing this one-mile, fast-track in 1:36 1/5.

Wise Dan stakes Horse of the Year claim in record-setting Mile

Morton Fink's homebred Wise Dan stated his case for Horse of the Year by blitzing an international field in Saturday's $1,818,000 Breeders' Cup Mile, and put an exclamation point on his victory by speeding in a Santa Anita course-record 1:31.78 on the firm turf. With jockey John Velazquez orchestrating an ideal passage throughout, Wise Dan powered past longtime leader Obviously in midstretch and drew off to extend his winning streak to four.

Groupie Doll makes it five straight to take Filly & Mare Sprint

Groupie Doll overcame a wide trip in Saturday's Grade 1, $909,000 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita to score an easy win and wrap up the Eclipse Award as champion female sprinter. The Bowman's Band filly is now five-for-five since trainer Bill "Buff" Bradley added blinkers for her run in the Grade 1 Madison at Keeneland in April, and finished this seven-furlong, fast-dirt event in 1:20 3/5.

Fort Larned battles to Classic victory

Fort Larned rewarded his connections' faith with a scintillating victory in Saturday's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita, holding off a game Mucho Macho Man to score by a neck on the wire.

Little Mike scorches the Turf in 2:22 4/5

Priscilla Vaccarezza's homebred Little Mike bounced back from a drubbing in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at a boggy Belmont Park to upstage Point of Entry and defending champion St Nicholas Abbey in Saturday's $2,727,000 Breeders' Cup Turf in record time at Santa Anita. Widely regarded as a doubtful prospect at the 1 1/2-mile trip with a hot pace scenario on tap, the Dale Romans charge showed a new dimension by drafting behind the pacesetters, pouncing at the top of the stretch, and blazing the firm turf in 2:22.83.

Mizdirection beats the boys in Turf Sprint

Noted sports broadcaster Jim Rome, a convert to Thoroughbred racing in recent years and operator of Jungle Racing stable, celebrated his biggest win as an owner Saturday when Mizdirection, a filly he owns in partnership with Strauss, Grohs, Beljak and KMN Racing, turned in a spectacular stretch run to win the $909,000 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita.

Brushed by a Star denies Joyful Victory in Chilukki

Team Forster's Brushed by a Star outdueled Joyful Victory by a head in Saturday's Grade 2, $168,900 Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs. Under a Corey Lanerie drive, the Grant Forster filly ranged up in midstretch and proved just the stronger. Her second graded stakes victory will serve as a nifty catalog update for Monday's Fasig-Tipton November Sale, where she is listed as Hip No. 29.

George Vancouver navigates winning trip in Juvenile Turf

Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith's George Vancouver showed a turn of foot worthy of his freshman sire, Henrythenavigator, to score handily in Saturday's $909,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. By beating the Chad Brown duo of Noble Tune and Balance the Books, the Irish shipper gave his Coolmore connections, and trainer Aidan O'Brien and jockey Ryan Moore, their second straight win in this race, following Wrote a year ago at Churchill Downs.

Boisterous retains Red Smith crown

Phipps Stable's homebred Boisterous successfully defended his title in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct. Rating in third under Edgar Prado for more than a mile, Boisterous eased into the lead at the top of the stretch and drew off to win by a comfortable three lengths. The final time for 1 3/8 miles over yielding turf was 2:19 1/5. An overwhelming 1-5 favorite, Boisterous returned $2.70, $2.20 and $2.10.

Breeders' Cup Friday winners doing well

Trainer Bill Mott spelled out how Royal Delta was doing Saturday, the morning after her gate-to-wire victory in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic. It was the four-year-old filly's second consecutive win in the race and Mott's third straight and fifth overall.

BC Friday handle off 5 percent

A crowd of 34,619 was on hand at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, on Friday for the first day of the 29th Breeders' Cup World Championships. The attendance figure was a slight decline over the 2009 Friday attendance at Santa Anita of 37,651, but up from the 2008 figure of 31,257.

Grandeur rudely interrupts Speaking in Twilight Derby

Yvonne Jacques' Grandeur, who trailed much of the way after stumbling at the start in Friday's Grade 2, $150,000 Twilight Derby, flew home in deep stretch to catch 5-2 favorite Speaking of Which. Trained by Jeremy Noseda and ridden by William Buick, the English shipper bested the Irish colt by a half-length in the all-European exacta.

Zagora kicks best late in Filly & Mare Turf

One year ago, owner Martin S. Schwartz and trainer Chad Brown endured the bitter disappointment of watching their 9-5 favorite Stacelita trudge home 10th in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf. But in Friday's renewal at Santa Anita, they experienced a much happier reversal of fortune, courtesy of the consistently classy Zagora.

Flotilla flows to Juvenile Fillies Turf victory

Sheikh Mohammed al Thani's Flotilla was sent off at 11-1 to continue the double-digit winners on Breeders' Cup Friday, taking the Grade 1, $909,000 Juvenile Fillies Turf by 1 1/4 lengths after coming with furious late rally down the middle of the lawn at Santa Anita. With Christophe Lemaire aboard, the dark bay daughter of Mizzen Mast was forced to swing wide around the turn but kicked into gear to get up and finish a mile on the firm turf in 1:34 3/5.

Southern Lights Stroll returns for 11th season

With the return of the Southern Lights holiday festival, the Southern Lights Stroll once again debuts as its opening night on November 15. The only evening of the entire event when the public is allowed to experience a major portion of the lighted route on foot, visitors may choose to run, walk or stroll their way through thousands of dazzling holiday lights in the heart of horse country, on the grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.

Mott reflects on Classic winner Cigar ahead of possible record-setting weekend

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott was smiling and content Friday morning with his horses safely back in their stalls after completing their exercise. Mott will run defending champion Royal Delta in the Ladies' Classic Friday afternoon and has three runners -- Flat Out, Ron the Greek and To Honor and Serve -- in the $5 million Classic on Saturday.

Baffert: Dude's on his game

Game On Dude, the Classic morning-line favorite, had another strong gallop Thursday morning, heading out with trainer Bob Baffert's 7:45 a.m. (PDT) set under regular exercise rider Dana Barnes. He returned to the Baffert barn on the Santa Anita backstretch and got a treat of a couple of carrots from Barnes, who is married to Baffert's chief assistant, Jim Barnes.

Team Europe takes to the track

Having cleared quarantine Wednesday evening, Aidan O'Brien's powerful Breeders' Cup team took to the Santa Anita track for the first time to stretch their legs Thursday morning.

Shanghai Bobby gets first look at Santa Anita

Undefeated Grade 1 winner Shanghai Bobby, trainer Todd Pletcher's morning-line favorite for Saturday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile, got his first glimpse of picturesque Santa Anita Thursday morning after arriving on the Tex Sutton flight Wednesday.

Amazombie, Musical Romance try for title defenses in Sprint races

Amazombie, defending champion of Saturday's Breeders' Cup Sprint, was put through what amounted to a faster-than-usual gallop on Thursday morning at Santa Anita under exercise rider Javier Meza that trainer Bill Spawr likened to the one or two days before the 2011 Sprint at Churchill Downs.

Goldikova attracts eight

One day after wrapping up the 2012 Breeders' Cup, Santa Anita will offer the Grade 2, $150,000 Goldikova (formerly Las Palmas) sending a competitive field of eight distaffers one mile over the turf on closing day Sunday.

O'Brien gives updates on Breeders' Cup runners

While the Cup horses from Aidan O'Brien's Ballydoyle Stables remain in quarantine until they are able to make their first appearance on the track Thursday, the trainer was at the barn on Wednesday morning and spent some time with members of the international media discussing some of his Breeders' Cup hopefuls:

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