Southern California trainer Phil D'Amato, who starts outsider Big John B in the Breeders' Cup Turf, is an overnight success story that was 16 years in the making.
Bright Thought, winner of the John Henry Turf Championship (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park, will not run in the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), trainer Phil D'Amato said Oct. 17.
Bright Thought turned the tables on his heavily favored stablemate Big John B in the $200,000 John Henry Turf Championship (gr. IIT) Sept. 28 at Santa Anita Park with his first win since March 2013.
An overpowering 5 1/4-length winner of the Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) last month, Big John B returns for the John Henry Turf Championship (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Sept. 28 against many of the same horses he beat previously.
Midnight Storm was able to parcel his speed effectively while on an easy lead in the $300,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) and glided through the stretch in command to post a 17-1 surprise Aug. 31 over the turf.
Big John B, a $50,000 claim in April, qualified for the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) with a runaway victory in the $200,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 22.
Winner of the past two editions of the Del Mar Mile (gr. IIT), the speedster Obviously goes for a three-peat on the turf as part of the TVG Pacific Classic undercard Aug. 24 at the seaside track.
Fresh off a front-running romp in the American Stakes one month ago, Obviously faces fellow grade I winner Winning Prize and several other talented older runners in the $400,000 Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) June 14 at Santa Anita.
Grade I winner Obviously (IRE) showed he's at the top of his game in his first start in 7 1/2 months, romping to a repeat victory in the $100,000 American Stakes (gr. IIIT) May 17 on the grass at Santa Anita Park.
Looking for a repeat victory, grade I winner Obviously will battle the likes of Winning Prize, Silentio, and Chips All In in the American Stakes, to be contested for the first time on the Santa Anita Park turf May 17.
Mike Mitchell, recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor, is doing well and is in fine spirits, according to his assistant trainer, Phil D'Amato, who visited the longtime Southern California conditioner July 3.
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