With Tuesday's break in the recent rainy weather hitting California, several top horses were out on the track at Santa Anita getting workouts in before the next wave of wet weather is scheduled to pass through the area on Wednesday. The main track was labeled fast, but was still very wet after several days of measurable precipitation.
Champion Halfbridled, getting ready to make her sophomore debut in the March 13 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), worked five furlongs in :59 for trainer Richard Mandella. The daughter of Unbridled and the Deputy Minister
mare Half Queen was forced to miss the Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) earlier this month after developing a cough. Tuesday's work was the third-fastest of the 53 who went the distance on the day.
Madeleine Paulson and Mercedes Stables' impressive maiden winner Rock Hard Ten went five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 under regular rider Corey Black. The nearly black son of Kris S. will "probably" make his second start in a non-winners "other than" allowance event, trainer Jason Orman said, rather than heading into a stakes event and being pushed along the Triple Crown trail.
Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) runner-up Lucky Pulpit went six furlongs in 1:13. The Cliff Sise-trained chestnut is expected to start next in the March 6 San Rafael Stakes (gr. II).
"I got him the last quarter in :23 and one and him galloping out in 1:26 and change," Sise said. "He's doing really well right now; I could run him today. All I have to do is keep him happy and healthy until the race."
James McIngvale's Consecrate, third in the San Vicente Stakes (gr. II), worked five furlongs in :59, tying Halfbridled as the third-fastest horse to work at the distance. The gray son of Silver Charm
is expected to turn up next in the one-mile San Rafael, according to trainer Bob Baffert. Recent eight-length maiden winner Wimbledon, also owned by McIngvale, tuned up for a probable next start in the Mar.ch13 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) with five furlongs in :59 as well. He is also trained by Baffert.
Two other Baffert-trained sophomores, Courageous Act and Teton Forest, worked half-miles in :49 4/5 and :49 2/5, respectively. Baffert hasn't yet picked out starts for either one.
Turf Paradise Derby winner Mambo Train logged a three furlongs in :38 for trainer Marcelo Polanco.
Minister Eric, unraced since his runner-up performance in the Oct. 25 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), posted four furlongs in :49 in preparation for Saturday's grassy Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT).
Across town at Hollywood Park, Sham Stakes winner Master David went six furlongs in 1:13 1/5 for trainer Bobby Frankel in preparation for the Florida Derby (gr. I). Sham runner-up Borrego, considered probable for the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds by trainer Beau Greeley, went the same distance in 1:14 4/5.
Older horses on the Tuesday work tab included Big 'Cap contenders Pleasantly Perfect, who went a mile in 1:27 1/5 under regular jockey Alex Solis in company with Whirlaway Handicap (gr. III) winner Olmodavor, who logged the same time; 2002 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Sarava, who posted five furlongs in 1:00; and last year's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Buddy Gil, who earned the bullet for seven furlongs in 1:25 1/5.
John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) hero Johar, unraced since finishing 14th in the Japan Cup (Jpn-I), went four furlongs in :50 4/5. Trainer Richard Mandella said the son of Gone West
may be ready to make his first start of the year in the Apr. 3 Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT).
If Wayne Lukas is going to make the Derby this year, his best shot may be with Hasslefree, who turned in another long, sharp work, getting his 6 furlongs in 1:12 3/5.