Most trainers have a go-to morning spot—a place to watch their top horses breeze at Santa Anita Park.
Some like to be perched up in the grandstand, others like to be on the ground level, and a few go wherever the wind seems to take them.
For Giant Expectations' work Jan. 19, trainer Peter Eurton found himself standing atop a wooden picnic table on the Santa Anita apron to see over the large infield video board, locked in on the chestnut through his binoculars.
Eurton wanted to get a good look at the 5-year-old son of Frost Giant in his final timed drill for the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park, and the last-out San Antonio Stakes (G2) upsetter didn't disappoint.
Giant Expectations motored through five furlongs on what has been a slow main track during morning training in :58 flat, according to Santa Anita's clockers. Under exercise rider Jose Aragon, the New York-bred even caught a bit of trouble as he worked the final furlong past the wire, as he had to duck toward the inside rail when two horses who were working in front of him began to slow down. Giant Expectations was the only horse to work five furlongs faster than :59 3/5 Friday at Santa Anita and only two others (out of 53 total for the distance on the main track) covered the distance in less than a minute.
"It got a little crowded over there, but it was OK," Eurton said as he walked back to his barn on the Santa Anita backside. "Well, that's what we hoped he was going to do (for his last work)."
Eurton said Giant Expectations will ship to Gulfstream Jan. 24, and could get a jog or light gallop in Jan. 26, a day ahead of the Pegasus.
"If I can walk him (Jan. 25) and school him in the afternoon, that's something to just get him out of the stall," Eurton said. "Then we can jog or gallop and school again Friday if I think he needs it. If he's not fit now, he's not gonna be."
As for the 1 1/8-mile test at Gulfstream, in which Giant Expectations will be a significant longshot once again, Eurton is just hopeful for a good trip for the two-time grade 2 winner owned by Exline-Border Racing, Gatto Racing, and Garrett Zubok.
"For him, it's the trip," Eurton said. "If you give me the trip, I'll be satisfied with what happens after that."