O'Neill Enthused with Private Zone's Workout

Grade I winner Private Zone worked four furlongs on the Santa Anita Park main track Oct. 17 in a bullet :45 4/5 with regular rider Martin Pedroza aboard as he prepares for the $1.5 million Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).

"He worked fantastic," trainer Doug O'Neill said of the last month's Vosburgh Invitational (gr. I) winner. "He was visually super-impressive. He just flew around there. He's spot-on ready to go."

Private Zone, a son of Macho Uno  , is to make his next start in the six-furlong Breeders' Cup Sprint Nov. 2 at Santa Anita. His latest drill was the fastest of 21 at the distance on the morning.

O'Neill gives credit to retired jockey Rene Douglas for Private Zone's resurgence after suggesting that the 4-year-old needed a break following his ninth-place showing in the Dubai Golden Shaheen Sponsored by Gulf News (UAE-I) March 30. Douglas, paralyzed in a riding accident at Arlington Park in 2009, is racing manager for the Good Friends Stable, which owns Private Zone.

"It was Rene's idea to freshen him up," O'Neill said. "I think that did a world of good. He's come back gangbusters and he continues to look great. I love how we're doing coming into the biggest race of his life."

Private Zone returned to win the Pirate's Bounty at Del Mar Sept. 4, followed by his neck victory over Justin Phillip   in the Sept. 28 Vosburgh at Belmont Park.

Pedroza said Private Zone worked "super" and that the plan is for his life-long friend and fellow Panamanian Douglas to attend the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita.

Private Zone, who began his career in Panama in 2011 before being sold and transferred to Southern California, owns a 5-6-1 from 19 starts with earnings of $513,820.

Elsewhere at Santa Anita, Diamond Bachelor, likely for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) with an outside chance of going in the Juvenile Turf (gr. IT), worked five furlongs on the main track in :59 2/5 for trainer Patrick Biancone. The son of War Front   was upset at odds of 2-5 when second in Santa Anita's Zuma Beach Stakes on turf Oct. 6. It was the colt's first defeat in three starts.

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