While much ado has been made about Bienamado making his first start on the dirt in Saturday's $1-million Santa Anita Handicap, Neil Drysdale has a Kentucky-bred, Beat All, that will also be making his main track debut. "He works on the dirt over here and seems to handle it well," said Drysdale assistant John O'Donahue about Drysdale's decision to go in the Big 'Cap.While Beat All has won only two of 11 starts for earnings of $371,187, the 5-year-old has been facing the likes of Montjeu, Dubai Millennium and Fantastic Light while running in Europe's most prestigious events. With rain disrupting work schedules all week, the condition of the track on raceday will be a consideration for Drysdale."I'm sure Neil will take a look at the track before making a final decision," said O'Donohue. Jorrocks conditioner Bob Hess Jr. is one participant that wouldn't mind seeing the current wet weather pattern linger for another few days. "We're praying for rain," said Hess. Jorrocks, a 7-year-old gelding, was 5-for-7 on all-weather surfaces in Europe.Hess said the prospect of facing the 2000 Horse of the Year Tiznow isn't particularly palatable."I'd rather not go against him," Hess said. "I think I'd rather have a one-horse walkover. I've got no ego, just show me the money."Hess said that there might not be a better time than now to tackle Tiznow.
"With all due respect, he's got the foot problems and he's bled a little," said Hess. "I think the perception (about Tiznow) is that maybe he's not the same horse right now that won the Breeders' Cup."
In other Big 'Cap developments:
--Bienamado breezed three furlongs in :38.20 on a training track labeled muddy Wednesday. "He worked real nice," said trainer Paco Gonzalez.
--Tiznow galloped on the training track Wednesday and was on course to make the Big 'Cap.
--Trainer Niall O'Callaghan postponed Guided Tour's workout scheduled for Wednesday. "Just can't tell you what we're doing right now," O'Callaghan said from the Santa Anita backside. Probable to the Santa Anita Handicap, with jockeys and weights: Beat All, Gary Stevens, 113 pounds; Bienamado, Alex Solis, 119; Irisheyesareflying, Kent Desormeaux, 112; Jimmy Z, Victor Espinoza, 111; Lethal Instrument, Laffit Pincay Jr., 115; Moonlight Charger, Tyler Baze, 111; Perssonet, Brice Blanc, 110; Tiznow, Chris McCarron, 122; Tribunal, David Flores, 112; Wooden Phone, Corey Nakatani, 117, and Jorrocks, Garrett Gomez, 113. Possibles include: Guided Tour, Larry Melancon, 116; Nurdlinger, no rider, and Captain Steve, no rider, 121.