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.
Among those working were the Richard Mandella-trained pair of B. Wayne Hughes' Siphonizer
and Diamond A Racing Corporation's Pleasantly Perfect
Pleasantly Perfect, the son of Pleasant Colony -- Regal State (by Affirmed) who has won the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) the last two years, was timed in :57 3/5 for his five furlong work. Mandella said he wanted the 5-year-old horse to work in about 59 seconds, so the final time is an indication of how fast the Santa Anita track surface is right now. Mandella said Pleasantly Perfect has had two solid works since the Oct. 4 Goodwood and "shows you how well this horse is doing."
Mandella was also pleased with the equipment changes he has made on Siphonizer, the Bessemer Trust Juvenile (gr. I) contender who breezed a half-mile in :47 3/5 under jockey Julie Krone. In his last start, a fourth-place finish in the Oct. 5 Norfolk Stakes (gr. II), the son of Siphon -- Thesky'sthelimit (by Northern Prospect) apparently displaced his palate. Krone said there was no sign of that happening in the Monday workout, for which Mandella equipped the colt with a "figure eight" bridle and a tongue depresser.
Robert L. Cole's Shake You Down
showed why he is one of the top contenders for the Sprint (gr. I), working a half-mile in :45 1/5. The 5-year-old Montbrook -- Mauvin Gway (by Rajab) gelding trained by Scott Lake has won six of his last seven races.
Initially, Santa Anita clockers reported that the chestnut went in :48 1/5, causing some confusion, but the error was eventually worked out, much to the relief of Lake.
"It was what we wanted; he did it really easy and finished great," Lake said. "I caught him in :44 4/5 so I was surprised at what they got. But they cleared it up and everything's fine now. I'm not upset about it; there were a lot of horses out there.
"To tell you the truth, this horse has galloped here better than he did back home. I'm looking forward to a big effort on Saturday."
In addition to Siphonizer, other Juvenile contenders on the track Monday included James McIngvale's Consecrate
, who went five furlongs in :58 3/5 in company with stablemate Exceedingly
for trainer Bob Baffert, and Everest Stable's Mambo Train
, a Marcelo Polanco-trained colt timed in :49 1/5 for a half-mile.
"I had more blinker on him today," Baffert said of Consecrate, a gray son of Silver Charm, who had jockey Patrick Valenzuela aboard. "He worked in company with a good horse and worked great. Basically (in the Juvenile) we're just trying to see who can go two turns."
Norfolk Stakes (gr. II) runner-up Capitano
, also gearing up for the Juvenile, went five furlongs in 1:01.
"He didn't need to do much," trainer Ray Bell said. "I was going to work him in company, but decided to send him out by himself and it was a good work."
Darley Stud's Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) probable Zosima
worked five furlongs in 1:00 in company with stablemate Silver Cat. Other Juvenile Fillies entrants on the track Monday were Triple B Farms' Vino Tinto
, who went six furlongs in 1:13 2/5; and Thomas Van Meter's Be Gentle
, who logged four furlongs in :49 2/5
"Awesome," trainer Nick Hines said. "Unbelievable. I could not be more thrilled with this filly."
Fellow Juvenile Fillies candidate Class Above
earned a final time of :45 2/5 for her half-mile breeze on Tuesday.
"She went good; she's ready," Baffert said.