Updated on 09/15/2011 1:17PM

BC Roundup 10/22: Officer drills before shipping out


ELMONT, N.Y. - The biggest favorite on the eight-race World Thoroughbred Championships card is expected to be Officer, Bob Baffert's undefeated 2-year-old colt who will be the odds-on choice in Saturday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Officer had his final pre-Breeders' Cup workout Monday morning at Santa Anita, where he worked five furlongs in :59.1 while under a tight hold much of the way under exercise rider Dana Barnes. He changed leads at the top of the stretch, and galloped out strongly past the wire in a sharp overall showing.

Officer will be ridden on raceday by David Flores, who was quoted on Sunday as saying "I've never ridden a horse like him and I don't think anyone has.

Every race he's getting better and better, so he should be even better for the Breeders' Cup."

Flores will be wearing the familiar green and white striped silks of the Thoroughbred Corp., which also owned Preakness, Belmont and Travers winner Point Given, who retired due to injury following the Travers. With a win on Saturday, Officer is next in line to pick up the torch from Point Given and become America's most renown horse heading into next season.

Before Officer gets his name engraved on the Eclipse Award for top 2-year-old male, however, he'll have to get past the Juvenile. Several other top Juvenile contenders also took to the track Tuesday morning at Belmont Park.

Siponic, winner of the Lane's End Futurity by six lengths at Keeneland in his last start, drilled a workman-like six furlongs in 1:12.4 with jockey Jerry Bailey asking his mount to pick things up on more than one occasion during the workout.

Siphonic's trainer David Hofmans, who faced Bob Baffert's Point Given with Millennium Wind in this spring's Kentucky Derby, again expects to seriously challenge this new Baffert superstar, and is not buying into the theory that Officer is unbeatable.

"We heard the same talk before the Derby with Point Given," said Hofmans.

"Unbeatable? This is the same talk all over again, except now the horses are different."

Godolphin's one-two punch of Juvenile contenders, Essence of Dubai and Ibn Al Haitham, also had their final pre-race workouts Monday morning. Essence of Dubai went five furlongs in 1:02.2, while Ibn Al Haitham was asked for more in a 1:00.2 move under jockey David Flores.

"They went very well separately," said trainer Eoin Harty. "They're both setting up for good races."

Other workouts for the Juvenile Monday morning included Jump Start (5f, 1:00.2), It'sallinthechase (4f, :47.3), Saarland (4f, :47.2), Repent, who went four furlongs in :46.2 at Churchill Downs, and Came Home, who went four furlongs in :47.2. at Santa Anita.

Frankel: Flute will set the tone

Trainer Bobby Frankel has had a dream year in 2001, and the Hall of Fame conditioner is optimistic that his 0-for-36 Breeders' Cup losing streak is about to come to an end.

Frankel will send out horses in six of the eight Breeders' Cup races: Flute in the Distaff, You in the Juvenile Fillies, Squirtle Squirt in the Sprint, Starine in the F&M Turf, Timboroa in the Turf, and Aptitude in the Classic. Of that impressive sextet, Frankel seems highest on the chances of Flute who he will send out in the first race on the card.

"I'm very attached to [Flute]. I think that first race will set the tone for the whole day. I just think it's meant to be with her," said Frankel. "She told me she's going to win, and I keep telling her she's going to win. You've got to go in with confidence."

When asked about his 0-for-36 Breeders' Cup "jinx," Frankel said there is no such thing. Not yet.

"This is the strongest hand I've had and this year is my best chance," said Frankel. "If I don't win this year, then you can call it a jinx."

Hook And Ladder hopeful for Sprint spot

Hook And Ladder, currently on the outside looking in at the

Breeders' Cup Sprint as the first alternate on the also eligible list, continues to hope for a spot in the starting gate.

"We're running somewhere on Saturday, we just don't know where," said trainer John Kimmel in reference to the Sport Page Handicap on the Breeders' Cup undercard where Hook And Ladder is likely to run if he cannot draw into the Sprint.

Hook And Ladder's best chance of a Sprint defection seems to hinge on City Zip, who is also pre-entered in the Mile. City Zip's trainer Linda Rice said on Sunday that she is "leaning toward the Mile."

"The weather will play a big part in our decision," said Rice. "I want a firm course for him."

Californians turn in final drills

Several California shippers went to the track at Santa Anita Monday morning for their final pre-Breeders' Cup workouts.

Likely Sprint favorite, defending champion Kona Gold drilled three furlongs in :37.0 while under a tight hold by jockey Alex Solis. Val Royal, expected to be one of the favorites in the Mile after capturing the Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile in his last start, breezed four furlongs in :47.2.

Kona Gold and Val Royal will be joined by several other California horses including Officer, Came Home, and Tranquility Lake on flights to New York Tuesday morning.