Walkslikeaduck On Track for BC Mile

Walkslikeaduck, one of the most interestingly named horses aiming for the Breeders' Cup Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs, remains on target for the Mile in the Santa Anita stable of trainer Paddy Gallagher.

"He worked a half mile in :47 3/5 last Friday and will work again this weekend," said Gallagher. "If everything goes according to plan, we will leave for Kentucky on the 30th." Walkslikeaduck has blossomed into one of the leading three-year-old grass colts in the nation after consecutive victories in the Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) and Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Derby (gr. IIIT) in September.

The Irish-born Gallagher, a former assistant to Bill Shoemaker before his retirement from training, looks forward to sending out his first Breeders' Cup starter. He was with Shoemaker when Diazo finished sixth in the 1993 Classic.

Walkslikeaduck has won four of seven starts and earned $335,394 for owners Chuck Winner, David Bienstock, Michael Parks and Eric Siegel of Beverly Hills, Calif. Gallagher bought the colt, then unraced, privately last winter through Madeleine Paulson.

Walkslikeaduck, by Blushing John out of the Theatrical mare Nabla, was bred by Paulson's late husband, Allen. Paulson has bred a record five Breeders' Cup winners: Cigar, Eliza, Escena, Ajina and Fraise.

Walkslikeaduck will be ridden by Hall of Famer Eddie Delahoussaye, who has won seven Breeders' Cup races.

Tout Charmant, winner of the $554,000 Winstar Galaxy Stakes (gr. IIIT) Oct. 13 at Keeneland, remains a question mark for the Filly & Mare Turf. "She's just a possibility," said Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally at Santa Anita. "She just came back Tuesday. I'm going to weigh the competition after I look over a printout and decide by the weekend." The four-year-old filly is the only horse under Breeders' Cup consideration by McAnally, who has won four Breeders' Cup races.

Cindy's Hero, winner of the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I), will have her status for the Juvenile Fillies clarified this weekend. "We're going to work her Sunday and then decide," said trainer David Hofmans of the filly, who would need to be supplemented for $90,000. "We're leaning toward going." Cindy's Hero, a stretch-running daughter of Sea Hero, most recently finished third in the Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) at one mile here Oct. 8. She is a homebred owned by Nebraskans Tom and Elizabeth Baxter.

Smooth Player, winner of the $204,600 Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares here Oct. 9, will be flown to Louisville but probably not to run in the Distaff. "There is a 90 percent chance she will compete in the $200,000 Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II), a 10 percent chance she will compete in the Breeders' Cup Distaff," explained trainer Dan Hendricks. "If the opportunity came up had Riboletta run in the Classic or if the forecast was for rain we might consider the bigger race."

Smooth Player, a California-bred four-year-old filly, has won seven of 17 starts and earned $625,496 for owner-breeders Marty Wygod and John Spohler. "Marty has Feverish running already in the Cal Cup Matron (Oct. 28), and winning another Grade 2 would mean a lot more to her record," continued Hendricks of the decision. "Besides, Marty already will be flying Tranquility Lake out (for the Filly & Mare Turf with trainer Julio Canani)."