Rock Hard Ten, winning the Santa Anita Handicap, is being pointed toward the Breeders' Cup.

Rock Hard Ten, winning the Santa Anita Handicap, is being pointed toward the Breeders' Cup.

AP/Reed Saxon

Rock Hard Ten Back Galloping; BC Classic Still in Plans

Rock Hard Ten, winner of the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), is back galloping and is being pointed for the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita, said trainer Dick Mandella, whose ultimate goal is the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I).

The son of Kris S. has not started since his 1 3/4-length victory in the Big Cap, which was his third straight score following wins in the nine-furlong Strub Stakes (gr. II) and seven-furlong Malibu (gr. I).

"He just started galloping," Mandella said. "I gave him a break after the Santa Anita Handicap, and when I started back up, he got stiff and sore all over. I had to deal with that for a month, and I just went ahead and took it real easy with him. Sometimes, when you let up on an older horse they'll stiffen up on you, and that's what he did. But with a little patience and backing off on him, he's come around real well.

"Now, I'm faced with a little too much time to the Goodwood, but it would be too much rushing to try and get him ready for a prep for the Pacific Classic (gr. I). So, well just scrap that and go for the most important thing. We'll use the Goodwood as a prep for the Classic."

Mandella is looking to win his second Classic in the past three years, having saddled Pleasantly Perfect to an impressive score at Santa Anita in 2003. It was one of four Breeders' Cup races the Hall of Fame trainer captured that year.

Mandella took over the training of Rock Hard Ten when owners Ernie Moody of Mercedes Stables and Madeleine Paulson sent him the colt last fall. Since arriving at Mandella's barn, Rock Hard Ten has won all three of his starts. He previously had been trained by Jason Orman, for whom he won the Swaps Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Hollywood Park and finished second in the Preakness (gr. I) and third in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) after being disqualified from second.