West Coast Preps Include Ancient Title, Yellow Ribbon, Norfolk

West Coast Preps Include Ancient Title, Yellow Ribbon, Norfolk
Photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese<br>
Ancient Title contender Swept Overboard makes his first start since this decisive Met Mile victory.
Swept Overboard finished a fast-closing fourth on the rail in last year's Breeders' Cup Sprint. Trainer Craig Dollase has better things in mind this year as he goes for his second victory in the $1 million race.

Trainer Craig Dollase hopes Saturday's $200,000 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) at the Sprint distance of six furlongs will provide the springboard to victory at Arlington Park on Oct. 26. Swept Overboard has been sidelined with an undisclosed ailment since winning the Metropolitan Mile in convincing fashion on May 27.

"He doesn't necessarily have to win this race (Ancient Title) to move forward," said Dollase, the youngest trainer to saddle a Breeders' Cup winner when at age 27 he sent out Reraise to capture the 1998 Sprint.

"Obviously, I'd like to see him run well. I think he loves this track (four victories and a second from five career starts, including a 2 1/2-length triumph in last year's Ancient Title). And it looks like there's plenty of pace in there for us. I don't think there's a :21 and one pace like there was last year when Freespool was in there, but there should be plenty of pace. If he comes out of it good, we're going on to the next dance (Breeders' Cup Sprint). That's the big one, really, but it would be nice to knock this one off, too.

"I think he'll run well. He loves this track and he won this race last year. I'm confident we're moving in the right direction with him."

Jockey Corey Nakatani, Dollase's brother-in-law, will be aboard Swept Overboard in the Ancient Title for the first time since Sept. 8, 2001, when he finished second on the son of the late End Sweep in the Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Sprint. Jorge Chavez rode Swept Overboard in his most recent race, the Met Mile, which he won by 4 3/4 lengths at odds of 11-1. Eddie Delahoussaye had ridden the 5-year-old gray horse in five races prior to the Met Mile, but the Hall of Fame jockey is sidelined for some three months from injuries suffered in an Aug. 30 spill at Del Mar.

"Corey knows the horse," Dollase said. "He's ridden the horse well in the past."

As to how Swept Overboard would handle the Arlington surface, Dollase said: "If everything goes well, we'll get there ahead of time, have a work over the track and go from there. He handled the surfaces in New York well, and there might be similarities at Arlington."

A field of six is signed on for the Ancient Title, with Swept Overboard, at 121 pounds, spotting the field three to seven pounds.

$200,000 Ancient Title (gr. I), 6 furlongs, 3 & up
1. Crafty C.T., Patrick Valenzuela, 116
2. Explicit, Lonnie Meche, 118
3. Swept Overboard, Corey Nakatani, 121
4. Rio Oro, Gary Stevens, 114
5. Mellow Fellow, Laffit Pincay Jr., 115
6. Kalookan Queen, Alex Solis, 119.

P. Val Sees Golden Chance in Yellow Ribbon
Patrick Valenzuela has never been accused of lacking confidence.

The 39-year-old jockey's enthusiasm usually borders on infectious, but Thursday morning, when speaking of his mount Golden Apples in Saturday's $500,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes (gr. IT), it registered a tad stronger.

"There are some good mares in there," Valenzuela said, referring to Banks Hill and Voodoo Dancer, "but I feel we've got the best mare in the race and I feel we're going to win the race. There's no doubt in my mind."

Valenzuela rode Golden Apples for the first time on Aug. 17 in the Beverly D (gr. IT), winning by three-quarters of a length. He says she's improved since that effort.

"I feel she's probably a little bit better than she was going into the Beverly D," Valenzuela said. "It's hard to really comprehend that, because she was so good in the Beverly D. But she's doing really good right now and she seems to like this turf course. I look forward to her running another big race."

Golden Apples, trained by Ben Cecil for Gary Tanaka, has two wins and a second in three starts over the Santa Anita turf.

Meanwhile, Richard Mandella is looking for a trouble-free journey for Noches de Rosa, who figures to be the rank outsider in the prestigious Yellow Ribbon.

"She didn't have good trips in either one of her first two races (in the United States)," Mandella said. "I think she should have run better, and she will sure have to to run with these, but there's nowhere else to run right now."

Mandella said Fernando Toro recommended the Chilean-bred daughter of Stagecraft.

$500,000 Yellow Ribbon (gr. IT), 1 1/4 mile, Fillies & Mares
1. Noches de Rosa, Alex Solis
2. Nepenthe, Mike Smith
3. Golden Apples, Pat Valenzuela
4. Voodoo Dancer, Gary Stevens
5. Banks Hill, Corey Nakatani
6. Viernes, Jose Valdivia Jr.

All carry 123 pounds.

Norfolk: Newcomer Royal Siphon Can Prove He Belongs
(From track report)
Trainer Clifford Sise Jr. was excited about a young Siphon colt named Royal Siphon early on.

And, as the son of 1997 Santa Anita Handicap winner steps from a maiden victory into Saturday's Norfolk Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-olds, Sise's optimism hasn't waned.

"He acts like he's as good a horse as I've ever had," said Sise, who numbers 1996 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. i) runner-up Paying Dues among his more prominent alumni.

Saturday's race includes a pair of highly-regarded Bob Baffert-trained juveniles in Bull Market and Kafwain among the seven starters.

Mr. And Mrs. Larry D. Williams' Royal Siphon won his maiden race at Fairplex by six lengths on Sept. 18. Jockey Goncalino Almeida never asked him to run that day, but on Saturday, the Kentucky-bred bay colt will step up from a maiden event at a five-eighths of a mile track to graded competition. That wasn't the game plan.

"I had him up to a race at Del Mar and intended to run him there but he got sick," Sise said. "You don't want to run a maiden in the Norfolk, so I wanted to get a race into him at Pomona. It all worked out pretty good so far. He had worked in 1:11 1/5 out of the gate at Del Mar, but he had mucous coming out of his nose that day."

Sise, a St. Louis native who turns 51 on Oct. 18, has great admiration for Siphon as a stallion.

"Royal Siphon is a great-looking horse," he said. "And he moves good, too."

$200,000 Norfolk Stakes (gr. II), 1 1/16 mile, 2-year-olds
PP Horse, Rider
1. Bull Market, Mike Smith
2. Mr. Technique, Gary Stevens
3. Manhattan Express, Patrick Valenzuela
4. Kafwain, Victor Espinoza
5. Royal Siphon, Corey Nakatani
6. Oberwald, Laffit Pincay, Jr.
7. Listen Indy, Solis.

All carry 120 pounds. Manhattan Express was supplemented to the race at a cost of $4,000.

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