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BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC – POWERED BY DODGE NOTES


October 25, 2005     E-mail this page to a friend!

A Bit O’Gold – The Two Bit Racing Stable’s A Bit O’Gold jogged two miles on the Belmont Park training track Tuesday morning under exercise rider Louise McDonald in preparation for Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic-Powered by Dodge.
Trainer Catherine Day Phillips said A Bit O’Gold arrived at Belmont at 6 p.m. Monday after vanning from Woodbine.
“It looked like ‘Ghostbusters’ with all the clouds circling the city when we got here yesterday,” said Day Phillips. “We got here before it started raining, but when we started to unload all the equipment it was pouring.”
Day Phillips is the daughter of trainer Jim Day, who saddled Dance Smartly to victory in the 1991 Breeders’ Cup Distaff. She along with Kristin Mulhall (Imperialism, Sprint) represent the first daughters of trainers to follow their dads into the Breeders’ Cup. Mulhall’s father, Richard, saddled three Breeders’ Cup starters.
A Bit O’Gold is scheduled to gallop on the main track Wednesday, weather permitting, according to Day Phillips. The 4yo gelded son of Gold Fever will be ridden Saturday by Jono Jones, who has ridden A Bit O’Gold in all 17 of his starts.
“Jono is our main rider and we have had a lot of success with him,” Day Phillips said. “The first time he got on this horse when he was a 2-year-old, he hadn’t even breezed yet, and he said ‘Miss Catherine, he’s going to win the Queen’s Plate.’ ”
Jones was close in his early assessment: A Bit O’Gold finished second in the Queen’s Plate before taking the remaining two jewels in the Canadian Triple Crown.

A.P. Arrow – The Allen E. Paulson Living Trust’s A.P. Arrow galloped at Churchill Downs under exercise rider Stacy Prior.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Robby Albarado would ride the homebred son of A.P. Indy if the colt gets in the Classic. A.P. Arrow is second on the preference list for the oversubscribed race.
Lukas is shipping his two hopefuls for Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies to Belmont on Wednesday and said A.P. Arrow would come Thursday if he gets in the Classic. Lukas said he had no other race planned for A.P. Arrow if he did not make the Classic.

Borrego – The 4yo chestnut son of El Prado hand-walked the shedrow for an hour Tuesday after working 5f in 1:01 2/5 Monday, foreman Leonardo Torres said.
“He’s coming good,” Torres said.
The foreman said the horse will be fine if he ends up having an off-track for the Classic Saturday. “He likes mud, too,” Torres said. “He was second in the [2004] Arkansas Derby to Smarty Jones by about a length and it was sloppy.” Officially, Borrego was beaten 1 _ lengths by the eventual Kentucky Derby-Preakness Stakes winner on a track officially rated “muddy.”

Chocktaw Nation – The son of Louis Quatorze, owned by Robert Bone and trained by Jeff Mullins, was due to arrive in New York Tuesday afternoon after a flight that originated in Southern California and stopped off in Louisville to pick up some other Breeders’ Cup prospects.
The 5yo gelding earned his way into the Classic with a third-place finish in Santa Anita’s Goodwood Breeders’ Cup Handicap Oct. 10. He finished his serious pre-Classic training Monday with a 6f work at Santa Anita in 1:12 2/5.

Flower Alley – Like his seven barnmates and nearly every other Breeders’ Cup contender the Travers Stakes winner didn’t venture far from his stall in Todd Pletcher’s barn Tuesday on the morning after his final workout ahead of the Classic.
“His work was solid, which is what we were looking for from him,” said Pletcher. “He’s the kind of horse that carries a lot of condition and we wanted to make sure he was tight enough after his last race and it looks like from the way he worked we got what we wanted out of him.”
Flower Alley was fourth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup Oct. 1 in his first attempt against older horses. He was 2-for-2 at Saratoga with wins in the Jim Dandy and Travers in his previous two starts.
Pletcher’s crew walked the 3yo son of Distorted Humor around the shedrow Tuesday.

Jack Sullivan – The 4yo son of Belong to Me cantered on the main track Tuesday morning. No jockey has yet been named for the British-based runner, who has won four races in his career including a Group III race in Dubai.

Lord of the Game – 2 Blondes Inc.’s Lord of the Game walked the shedrow a day after working 4f in 46 at Belmont Park.
The Tom Tomillo trainee is first on the preference list for the Classic and needs one defection to get in the race. Tomillo said if the gelded son of Saint Ballado does not make the Classic, he will ship Wednesday afternoon to Keeneland for Saturday’s Fayette Handicap.

Oratorio (IRE) – Trainer Aidan O’Brien’s entrant in the Classic was due to arrive on the backstretch at Belmont Park around 5 p.m. Tuesday after a charter flight from Shannon Airport, on the west coast of Ireland. He will be accompanied by four other runners from Ballydoyle who will contest Breeders’ Cup races. Stable jockey Kieren Fallon will get a leg up on the 3yo on Saturday. O’Brien is due in New York on Thursday.

Perfect Drift – Stonecrest Farm’s 6 yo Dynaformer gelding continued his preparations for a record fourth appearance in the Classic with a 1_-miles gallop at Churchill Downs Trackside on Tuesday. He is scheduled to arrive in New York on Wednesday along with several other Kentucky-based Breeders’ Cup starters.
“He’s doing super,” said trainer Murray Johnson. “Everything looks good. I’m very happy.”
When asked about how Perfect Drift has changed since his first Breeders’ Cup appearance as a 3 yo in 2002, Johnson replied, “He’s gradually improved. He’s more experienced now and has learned not to waste his energy. He takes everything in stride. We’ve learned what makes him happy and he lets us know when he’s not happy. Right now he’s a very happy horse.”

Rock Hard Ten – The 4yo colt jogged one mile and galloped 1 _ miles at Santa Anita Tuesday under exercise rider Paul Nilluang for the Classic. “He galloped great, and everything looks good,” said trainer Richard Mandella. “He leaves tomorrow at 6:30 (a.m.).”
Rock Hard Ten, winner of the Goodwood Breeders’ Cup Handicap in his last start at Santa Anita on Oct. 1, was reshod Monday after suffering a bruise to his left front foot in a work Thursday.

Sir Shackleton – With the wind and rain taking over outside, the son of Miswaki, owned by Tracy Farmer and trained by Nick Zito, jogged in the shedrow Tuesday morning. He’s expected to return to the main track on Wednesday, weather permitting.
Trainer Zito has hopes for the 4yo colt, pointing out that “he’s been a gem of consistency all year. He has great credentials. He was third to Ghostzapper in the Met Mile and he was second to Saint Liam last time out in the Woodward. He’s put together some great races.”

Saint Liam – Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren, Jr.'s Saint Liam, who breezed 5f at Aqueduct Monday in 1:01 3/5, walked the shedrow today for trainer Rick Dutrow Jr.
Saint Liam will jog Wednesday and then gallop into the Classic.
On the track, Saint Liam is the complete package: he's got a high cruising speed, strong finishing kick and as his Whitney Handicap effort showed, a great deal of determination. Off the track, Saint Liam has undergone extensive work on his feet, which have been troublesome at times. Saint Liam wore glue-on shoes on all four of his feet during Monday’s work. The shoes were removed after the work and Dutrow said Saint Liam would likely be re-shod on Thursday.
"Alex Leaf does the work on his feet," Dutrow said. "He's the best guy I have ever seen on a foot. If it weren't for him, I can't see Saint Liam being as good as he is. Saint Liam has got the best people around his feet."

Starcraft (NZ) – The Australian Syndicate’s Australian champion was rerouted from the main track to Allen Jerkens’ indoor jogging track in Barn 30 on a blustery Tuesday morning. In company with trainer Luca Cumani’s other Breeders’ Cup entrant, Turf hopeful Alkaased, the son of Soviet Star jogged a half dozen times around right-handed, then reversed direction and did the same number of circuits left-handed. Jerkens told Cumani that seven laps constituted one mile.
Cumani was not particularly concerned with what sort of track Starcraft would face on Saturday. “He’s trying the dirt for the first time, so whatever dirt turns up it will be new to him,” the trainer said. “Tomorrow we’ll take him to the track to see how he likes it. He’ll have a faster canter on Thursday.”
“The owner (Paul Makin, managing partner) and I have talked some strategy and it is an evolving thing. Pat Valenzuela will ride him. He hasn’t ridden for me before but there’s always a first time. The horse can get a little edgy when the jockey gets up, but he is fine on the track.”
“It’s a bold decision to run in the Classic (instead of the Mile), but one I totally agree with. He’s a fully mature, street-wise horse and if you didn’t try the Classic with a horse like him, you’d never try it.
“There’s less pressure on me to run him in the Classic. If you run him in the Mile, he has to win. If he runs in the Classic and he doesn’t win, we can blame the dirt, so we’re OK!”

Suave – Jay Em Ess Stable’s Suave jogged two miles early Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs under exercise rider Luis Rodriguez ahead of a scheduled noon ship to Belmont Park.
“It’s not raining here today, just cold,” trainer Paul McGee said of morning conditions that were decidedly better than the fare offered up at Belmont Park.
With more rain in the forecast for the week, McGee was asked what an off track would do to Suave’s chances.
“I think we would be all right with it,” McGee said. “He won a stake here at Churchill, the Northern Dancer, on an off track.”

Sun King – A day after a sharp 5f work that closed out his serious training toward the Classic, Tracy Farmer’s Charismatic colt walked trainer Nick Zito’s shedrow Tuesday morning. He’s expected to return to the track Wednesday.
Zito said he’s eager to see how Sun King will run in Saturday’s race, adding that he believes the 3yo is sitting on a big performance.
Of the veteran of the Triple Crown trail, Zito said, “Sun King is one of the top 3-year-olds of 2005, I think. Other than the Kentucky Derby, he was one of the promising horses in the Triple Crown mix.
“He got a little sidetracked in the Blue Grass [at Keeneland]. Even though he won his first two races of the year, people were waiting to see how he would run in the Blue Grass, and he got sidetracked there for some reason and it wasn’t his best effort. He didn’t do well in the Derby.
“But he was fourth in the Preakness, which wasn’t too bad, and then he just put together some really good races after that – winning the Leonard Richards at Delaware, was second in the Haskell, won the Pennsylvania Derby and was third in the Jockey Gold Cup. I think he’s a worthy horse and he worked great yesterday.”

Super Frolic – The California-based Classic hopeful was aboard the Tex Sutton flight out of Los Angeles that was winging its way to New York Tuesday. Thirteen horses boarded the plane out of Los Angeles for a 5 a.m. takeoff and they jetted to an 11:30 (Eastern) arrival in Louisville to pick up three more runners. The plane was airborne again at 12:15 and scheduled to arrive at Farmingdale Airport on Long Island at 1:45.
Super Frolic, a 5yo by Pine Bluff, traveled well from California for his most recent start, a photo-finish victory in the Hawthorne Gold Cup outside of Chicago. Trainer Vladimir Cerin, who will join his charge at Belmont Park’s Barn 18 Thursday, was hoping for more of the same for Saturday’s Classic.