Breeders' Cup Hopefuls Busy in Southern California

Several runners with their eyes on upcoming Breeders' Cup World Championship prep races around the country lit up the Southern California work tab Sept. 18, led by Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) winner Point Ashley, who logged six furlongs in 1:11 4/5, breezing, on the fast main track at Santa Anita Park.

With regular jockey Victor Espinoza up, the Zayat Stables filly worked in company with maiden winner Malt Magic, who was clocked in 1:12 2/5 for the distance.

"Malt Magic broke off in front of Point Ashley and they finished up together," trainer Bob Baffert said. "But she looked good; the way she did it was impressive."

Baffert said Point Ashley's next likely start would come Sept. 30 in the $250,000 Oak Leaf Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. I) at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meet, though there is an outside possibility she'll run out of state in her final World Championships prep.

"She's got a great mind--her sire's mind," Baffert said of the bay daughter of Point Given. "She's really learning how to run."

Malt Magic, Baffert said, may make his stakes debut in the $250,000 Norfolk Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) Oct. 8. The son of Cherokee Run is also owned by Zayat Stables.

"He'll go in the Norfolk or out of town," Baffert said. "I nominate all my horses to everything and then decide that week where to run, so nothing's definite."

Point Ashley, who has won two of three career starts, has banked $187,200. Malt Magic, who broke his maiden at a mile by 9½ lengths Sept. 4 at Del Mar, has earned $53,560.

Baffert also sent out Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) winner Point Determined for a five-furlong move in :59 4/5. The conditioner said he's considering several next-race options for the sophomore son of Point Given.

Fellow Oak Leaf probable Jump On In, who finished fifth in the Del Mar Debutante, went five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 for trainer John Sadler.

"It was a good work," Sadler said. "She's doing very well now."

With a strong Oak Leaf showing, Sadler said, the Kentucky-bred daughter of freshman sire Jump Start  will most likely use the event as a springboard to the Nov. 5 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.

Owned by CRK Stable, Jump On In has won one of her two career starts and has earned $36,800.

Prepping for what could be her final career start in the $250,000 Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Oak Tree, Pamela Ziebarth's Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) winner Healthy Addiction worked six furlongs in 1:11 4/5. The 5-year-old daughter of Boston Harbor is set to be retired and bred next year, Sadler said, and will only be in the gate for a start in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) if she produces an impressive performance in the Lady's Secret.

"If she runs well, she might make the Breeders' Cup," Sadler said. "But she's going to be a mommy next year; she's going to be bred to Tiznow ."

Healthy Addiction has racked up a career line of 21-9-6-1 for earnings of $882,837. In addition to the Hirsh, she also captured the 2005 edition of the Lady's Secret, as well as that year's Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) and three other black-type events.

Working a mile on the turf course around the "dogs" was Arlington Million (gr. IT) winner The Tin Man, who logged a final time of 1:41 4/5 for Hall of Fame conditioner Richard Mandella. The 8-year-old son of Affirmed, who has won four of his five starts this year, including the San Marcos Handicap (gr. IIT) and American Handicap (gr. IIT), may be looking to better his two fourth-place finishes in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) in 2002 and 2003 this year at Churchill Downs.

The Tin Man has earned $2,976,860 from a record of 26-11-5-2.

Across town at Hollywood Park, Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) and Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) winner Aragorn went a half-mile in :50 1/5 over the new synthetic surface. The Irish-bred son of Giant's Causeway who is owned by Ballygallon Stud and trained by Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale may make his next start in the $250,000 Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IIT) on Oct. 7.

Aragorn, who has yet to finish worse than second in his seven stateside starts, won the Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) in his last start Sept. 26.