Yankee Gentleman, Dimitrova Work; Shake You Down Arrives

By Margaret Ransom and Ron Mitchell

Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) hopeful Yankee Gentleman displayed his quick turn of foot Wednesday, breezing five furlongs in a quick :58 1/5 over Santa Anita's main track. The time was the co-second fastest of the day among 39 horses working that distance.

"Obviously, we wanted to go a little slower but he did it so easily I am not worried," trainer John Shirreffs said. "It was just a maintenance work. He will have one more breeze."

In his most recent effort, the 4-year-old son of Storm Cat--Key Phrase (by Flying Paster) disappointed as the 6-5 favorite in the Ancient Title Breeders' Cup (gr. I), finishing fourth, three lengths behind the winner. Shirreffs said the colt owned by Mr. and Mrs. Martin Wygod had a hard race at Del Mar when winning the Pirate's Bounty Handicap by five lengths and had problems in the Ancient Title. "He had a reason to bounce," the trainer said. "It retrospect, it was not quite as bad as it looked right after the race."

Yankee Gentleman has won four of nine lifetime starts, with earnings of $167,147.

Also working Wednesday was Joseph Higgins' Dimitrova, a 3-year-old daughter of Swain--The Caretaker (by Caerleon), who went three-quarters of a mile on grass in 1:16 4/5 as she continued working toward the Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT).

"I really just wanted her to get a feel of the course," said stable lad Joe Mulholland. "It wasn't hard or soft, really. It was cushiony and she got over it well. She's doing fine here and has acclimated well."

Mullholland wasn't sure when trainer Dermot Weld would be arriving in Southern California, but assumed it would be sometime early next week.

Dimitrova has four wins, two seconds, and one third, in eight starts, with earnings of $1,047,292.

Meanwhile, Coleman, Dasaro and Thompson et al's NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I) hopeful Irish Warrior worked six furlongs in 1:13 3/5 over Hollywood Park's fast main track Wednesday morning.

Regular rider Bruno Delgadillo was in the irons for the work, which was the exact same time as the other three horses who went three-quarters on the day.

"He went just like I though he would," trainer Wally Dollase said. "He got the last eighth in :11 2/5, which I really wanted to see. It was an easy work for him; he rates well so I knew he'd go nicely. I wanted him to go easy in the early part and run a little bit down the lane, which is exactly what he did."

Irish Warrior won the 11-furlong Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) and placed in two other grade 1 events this year, giving him enough graded stakes points to draw into what is expected to be an over-subscribed field. The chestnut son of Irish River and the Alleged mare Spiritofpocahontas overall has won six of 20 career starts for earnings of $499,500.

"He's doing really well right now; I couldn't ask for anything more."

Robert L. Cole's Sprint candidate Shake You Down arrived in Southern California late Monday afternoon and tested Santa Anita's main track for the first time early Wednesday morning, jogging before dawn with exercise rider Paul Birrane aboard.

The 5-year-old gelded son of Montbrook--Mauvin Gway (by Rajab) was accompanied by trainer Scott Lake's assistant Sonny Righter and bedded down in trainer Darrell Vienna's barn 86.

"Everything went smoothly; no problems at all," Righter said.

Lake is expected to arrive in Southern California on Wednesday night to supervise the rest of Shake You Down's preparations for Racing's Championship Day.

Shake You Down was claimed for $65,000 in March and has subsequently won three graded stakes, including the Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. III) in July by 8 ΒΌ lengths. Overall he's banked $743,360 from a record of 33-13-5-3 and is expected to be one of the public's top choices in the Sprint on Oct. 25.