Breeders' Cup World Championships week began Monday with a flurry of track activity at Santa Anita Park, where the Breeders' Cup races hosted by the Oak Tree Racing Association will be held Saturday.
Wertheimer Farm's homebred Halfbridled, one of the leading contenders for the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), breezed six furlongs in 1:16 3/5 at Santa Anita Saturday morning.
James McIngvale's Consecrate, fifth in the Norfolk Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita on Oct. 5, turned in a five furlong breeze in :59 at Santa Anita on Monday, indicating his readiness for the Oct. 25 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) candidates Heat Haze and Tates Creek were both on the Hollywood Park worktab Sunday morning, logging half-miles in :47 2/5 and :48, respectively.
Minister Eric, prepping for the $1.5 million Bessemer Trust Juvenile, and The Tin Man, a candidate for the $2 million John Deere Turf, each worked Friday morning for Richard Mandella.
John Scanlan says Toccet is at his best for Saturday's $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita at 1 1/8 miles. If the trainer has any reservations as to how the well-traveled 3-year-old will fare, it's because the son of Awesome Again is making his debut against his elders.
While most of the Breeders' Cup attention in his barn has centered on 2-year-old Halfbridled, trainer Richard Mandella is looking for a big effort from his other promising juvenile, Siphonizer, in Sunday's $250,000 Norfolk (gr. II) at Santa Anita.
Defending Goodwood Handicap (gr. II) champion Pleasantly Perfect, who hasn't raced since March 1 when he was fourth in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), "is coming up to Saturday's Goodwood very good and I expect him to run as good as he can run," trainer Richard Mandella said Wednesday at Santa Anita.
Ralph and Aury Todd's homebred The Tin Man will make his next start in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) on Oct. 25, trainer Richard Mandella said.
Wertheimer Farm's unbeaten Halfbridled, the likely favorite for next month's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), showed her versatility in winning Sunday's $250,000 Oak Leaf States (gr. II) for jockey Julie Krone at Santa Anita.
Maktoum al Maktoum's odds-on favorite Storming Home, ridden by Gary Stevens, caught a determined Johar in deep stretch and went on to a half-length victory in Sunday's $245,000 Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship (gr. IT) on opening day of the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita.
In spite of coming out in the stretch, Wertheimer Farm's front-running Spring Star held on gamely between Magic Mission and Garden in the Rain to register a neck score in the $191,000 Palomar Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares on the Del Mar grass.
Cooperation will carry trainer Bob Baffert's hopes for an eighth straight Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) victory Wednesday.
Trainer Bob Baffert's top prospect for an eighth straight Del Mar Futurity victory lived up to his name Thursday morning when the 2-year-old Cooperation buzzed five furlongs in :59 2/5 to wind up preparations for Wednesday's $250,000 Futurity (gr. II) at seven furlongs on the main track.
A happy Richard Mandella reported Sunday morning that Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) winner Halfbridled came out of her stirring 4 3/4-length victory Saturday in good shape.
Wertheimer Farm's Halfbridled showed why she's likely to be heard from later this year when she recorded a scintillating five-length victory in the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies at Del Mar Saturday.
A documentary depicting the daily workings of the Richard Mandella stable will premiere at Del Mar next Sunday.
Eight 3-year-old fillies, including two entries of two horses each, are set for Sunday's $300,000 Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) at 1 1/8 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Kudos was scratched from Del Mar's $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) Friday morning when it was discovered he bowed a tendon in his left foreleg during Thursday's five-furlong workout on the main track.
If there were betting on who will have the early lead in Saturday's Arlington Million (gr. IT), the Richard Mandella-trained The Tin Man, owned by Ralph E. & Aury Todd, would be a prohibitive 1-5 favorite. However, the Hall of Fame conditioner says that his charge is comfortable coming from just off the lead should such a scenario develop.
Candy Ride left no doubt about his readiness Thursday morning as he zipped a mile in 1:35 2/5 over a fast Del Mar main track in his most serious workout in preparation for the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) on Aug. 24.
The well-traveled Harlan's Holiday familiarized himself with new surroundings in Stall 20 in Barn 52 at Hollywood Park Thursday morning after completing his first trip to California for the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) Sunday.
Saturday's 50th running of the $750,000 United Nations Handicap (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park could materialize as a repeat of last year's edition, won by the old pro With Anticipation, who defeated Denon by a neck in a thrilling finish to the 11-furlong classic.
Trainer Doug O'Neill worked Avanzado and Geronimo Sunday for the $300,000 Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at seven furlongs on Saturday.
Redattore, winner of the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) on the Hollywood Park grass Monday, could return on the dirt in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) on July 13, trainer Richard Mandella said Thursday from his Santa Anita stable office.
A classy field of eight, headed by Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT) winner Noches de Rosa, is entered for the $150,000 Yerba Buena Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares on the Bay Meadows turf Saturday.
Mister Acpen went wire-to-wire against several Grade I and Group I winners to win Wednesday's Hollywood Park feature, a $62,000 allowance for 4-year-olds and up over 1 1/8 miles on turf.
Major Idea, whose three-race winning streak ended when favored in Santa Anita's Providencia Stakes last month, will be out to make amends Saturday in Hollywood Park's $100,000 Senorita Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on turf.
Makeup Artist worked three furlongs in a bullet :34.80 Wednesday at Hollywood Park and will be supplemented to the $100,000-added Senorita Stakes (gr. IIIT) on Saturday, trainer John Shirreffs confirmed.
Front-running The Tin Man is the 123-pound high weight for the $400,000 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap at 1 1/2 mile at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Continental Red worked six furlongs in 1:13 on the main track at Hollywood Park Friday in preparation for the $400,000 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap at 1 1/2 miles on turf May 10.
Alexine, a gray mare who lost by a nose when favored in last year's Hawthorne Handicap (gr. III), will be the high weight and probable favorite in this year's $100,000-added running on Friday night at Hollywood Park.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s grade I winner Johar, sidelined since suffering a hairline fracture to a shoulder in late January, is doing well at his owners' Bradbury, Calif., farm, trainer Richard Mandella reported, and isn't too far from a return to training.
Santa Anita presents a pair of graded turf events Saturday. In the $250,000 Santa Barbara (gr. IIT), Noches de Rosa goes for a repeat of her sharp Santa Ana score against Megahertz and Garden in the Rain. Juddmonte Farms' Speak in Passing returns after a 15-month absence in the $125,000 San Simeon (gr. IIIT).
Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) contenders Kudos, Pleasantly Perfect and Olmodavor are pointed toward important early stakes races by trainer Richard Mandella. Argentine-bred mare Palmarola prepares for the Humana Distaff (gr. II) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby day.
Medaglia d'Oro, whose connections bypassed last weekend's Dubai World Cup, will lead a small field to the post with top weight of 122 pounds in Saturday's $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II).
Problem-plagued Pleasantly Perfect will miss Saturday's $150,000 San Bernardino Handicap (Gr. II) with a foot injury.
Diamond A Racing Stable's Noches de Rosa notched the biggest win of her career Saturday, upsetting Garden in the Rain and even-money favorite Megahertz with a front-running effort in the $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT) on the turf at Santa Anita.
San Luis Obispo (gr. IIT) winner The Tin Man will not run in the Mar. 15 San Luis Rey Handicap (gr. IIT) and will likely miss the remainder of the Santa Anita meet. Trainer Richard Mandella says River God, Pleasantly Perfect and Kudos are ready for action.
Alex Solis made the most of his opportunity to ride Redattore for the injured Laffit Pincay Jr. in the $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) Saturday at Santa Anita. He took the 8-year-old Brazilian-bred son of Roi Normand to the front and kept him there, scoring a one-length victory over the hard-closing favorite, Good Journey.
Trainer Bob Baffert expressed delight in having Jerry Bailey back aboard Congaree for Saturday's $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) following the defection Tuesday of Medaglia d'Oro
Ralph and Aury Todd's homebred The Tin Man carved up the field in Saturday's $200,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT), romping to an easy front-running victory on a yielding Santa Anita turf course.
The Tin Man, second by a nose to stablemate Johar in his most recent start, will carry top weight of 121 pounds as the expected favorite in Saturday's $200,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 ½ mile on turf at Santa Anita Park.
Perhaps influenced by his patient father, Richard, Gary Mandella is not caught up in Derby fever with a promising 3-year-old colt named Man Among Men, who went from turf to dirt in upsetting 2-5 favorite Empire Maker in Santa Anita's Sham Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 7.
Milwaukee Brew is set to defend his title for owner Frank Stronach and trainer Bobby Frankel in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) on March 1, but with war drums in the Middle East beating loudly, Frankel could add Strub Stakes (gr. II) winner Medaglia d'Oro to the Big 'Cap mix.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Johar, who won the thrilling San Marcos Stakes (gr. IIT) on Jan. 20 at Santa Anita, will be out of action for at least 90 days after suffering a stress fracture of the shoulder, trainer Richard Mandella revealed Sunday.
Noches de Rosa, a 5-year-old Chilean-bred mare, recorded her first North American victory Friday, capturing the featured $81,800 Reloy Handicap at Santa Anita Park by one length.
A well-matched field of nine fillies and mares will meet on the turf Saturday in the $100,000 Brown Bess Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Golden Gate Fields.
The technicality that kept Pleasantly Perfect out of the Breeders' Cup Classic is history, and trainer Richard Mandella believes his lightly raced 5-year-old is ready to deliver a smasher in Sunday's San Antonio Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s rapidly blossoming Johar unleashed an explosive stretch run to prevail in the final jump by a head over The Tin Man and Grammarian in Monday's exciting $150,000 San Marcos Stakes (gr. IIT) on the grass for older horses at Santa Anita.
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