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Bluesthestandard Flashes Speed; Victory U.S.A. Breezes

By Dan Liebman, Tom Lamarra and
Margaret Ransom

It was another sunny morning at Santa Anita Sunday as Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships hopefuls went through their final paces.

Thomas F. Van Meter's Victory U.S.A. breezed six furlongs in 1:14, according to trainer Bob Baffert's stop watch, as the 2-year-old daughter of Victory Gallop -- Fordyce (by Cox's Ridge) worked toward the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). Exercise rider Dana Barnes was aboard.

"She went nice and easy and she finished up good," Baffert said. "She really relaxed nicely today and I think she will like two turns. She (Barnes) had a hard time pulling her up, so that's a good sign."

Victory U.S.A. broke her maiden at first asking before finishing third in the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I). In her third and most recent start, the filly was runner-up to Society Selection in the Frizette (gr. I).

Jeffrey Sengara's Bluesthestandard continued to flash his speed, breezing a half-mile in :45 2/5 in preparation for the Sprint (gr. I).

"I am very happy he's coming up the race so well because it eliminates any doubt he is going to fire," said trainer Ted West. "I expect him to run well."

A 6-year-old son of American Standard -- Bob's Blue (by Bob's Dusty), Bluesthestandard pressed the pace in the Pat O'Brien Handicap (gr. II) before eventually finishing seventh and then was third in the Ancient Title Breeders' Cup (gr. I).

"His last two works have been head and shoulders above anything before," West said. "He has been freakishly fast in those last two. The timing of the race is perfect."