10/24/2013 2:08PM

Breeders' Cup Classic: Moreno close to elite 3-year-olds in ability

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Eric Guillot said he believes the 1 1/4-mile distance of the Breeders' Cup Classic is ideal for his 3-year-old gelding Moreno.

ARCADIA, Calif. – When there is a loose horse on the track at Santa Anita, a siren goes off, and lights flash, to warn other riders. No such warning exists when trainer Eric Guillot arrives for work each morning, but, like a loose horse, he usually makes his presence known in short order.

Guillot often sets up shop at midstretch on the track apron, where he watches his horses train, and dispenses with his views of the world. Sometimes he’s funny, sometimes he’s uncouth, often he’s both, but in recent months, Guillot has become best known for the charge he made against jockey Luis Saez following the Travers Stakes, claiming Saez had used an electrical device to propel Will Take Charge past Guillot’s trainee, Moreno, in the closing yards.

[BREEDERS’ CUP 2013: See DRF’s top contenders]

After an extensive review, the New York State Gaming Commission called the charges “wholly unsubstantiated.”

Guillot, in his initial filing with the commission, said he thought he noticed something untoward on television footage provided by his brother. On Thursday morning at Santa Anita, he joked, “My brother needs a new TV.”

The circus sideshow has overshadowed the progress Moreno has made this year for Guillot. After taking 10 starts to finally beat maidens, Moreno has acquitted himself well in graded stakes ever since. He won the Dwyer, was third in the Jim Dandy, lost the Travers by a nose, and then was second – again to Will Take Charge – in the Pennsylvania Derby.

If Will Take Charge and Palace Malice are considered the leading 3-year-old males in the country, Moreno, at least on ability if not stakes wins, is not far behind. All three are scheduled to compete against a star-studded group of older horses in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic here on Nov. 2.

“He’s a stayer. He wants a mile and a quarter,” Guillot said, referring to the distance of the Classic, as well as the Travers. “Some people were surprised he didn’t go in the Dirt Mile, but he’s a-mile-and-a-quarter horse.”

Guillot said Moreno has come on in the second half of the year owing to his being sound, despite his poor conformation, and to being gelded earlier this year.

“He’s got three crooked-ass legs out of four,” Guillot said. “He’s got more problems than a fifth-grade algebra class. We gelded him because he’s too crooked to breed to, and because he gets nervous. It did settle him down quite a bit.”

Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Just had the unfortunate luck to hear Conan O'Brien call the 2nd at SA. What a joke! He called the 5 second the whole way when it was the 7. He sounded like a complete idiot. Don't quit your day errrrrr night job.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Silly move and a waste of money to enter him here. It's just a pipe-dream. As someone else mentioned, he could make for a lively pace, but I don't think he's seen the kind of speed Fort Larned and Game on Dude can throw down and carry. If anything it helps Mucho Macho Man having him in the race.
saratogajunkie More than 1 year ago
Todd Elliot More than 1 year ago
his description of the horse at the end sounds like my ex wife but she couldnt run
Jamie DeRouen More than 1 year ago
if baffert had Moreno he would be 3 -1
Mark More than 1 year ago
He'd be even $ to be retired
Mark More than 1 year ago
FL will bury him up front.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Aliens are out on this thread. Lmao . Do some of you actually believe the crap you post? Wow. Free comedy .
Allan Gauthier More than 1 year ago
Your so smart Mark!
Mark More than 1 year ago
Love u too Allan !
Ian GW More than 1 year ago
I been betting him since he went to NY every race. I had him at 33-1 when he got beat WTC because he blew the turn. He is entering a whole new realm now. Game on Dude, and these other OLDER horses are gonna be too much. I'd give him time off and bring him back fresh as a 4yr. He is going to be a nice horse as he gets older. Maybe deep exotics.
B More than 1 year ago
This horse does not belong in this race, but he could very well cause problems for others. Wish the wacko trainer would not run him, but I guess that sentence explains why he will run him.
prose More than 1 year ago
I love the fact that this horse is in the race. I can not stand Game On Dude and think he is just about the most over-hyped horse to ever step on the track. GOD won't waltz on the front end with horses such as Moreno in the race, and he will be proven the fraud that he is.
B More than 1 year ago
I think you may be very unhappy next weekend.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Took ten races to break his maiden, just don't like that or the trainer, people talk about how east coast horses are so superior, this horse could not win out west, and then won a grade 2 at the Holy Mother of God Belmont Park. Lol. He did send Verrazano to the dirt mile, and we no longer have to here all the Verrazano is so great talk anymore, I thank him for that. He will be in the mix early, closer should get away from him late or he might end up in there lap like verrazano did to WTC in derby.
Mark More than 1 year ago
You bet against Verrazano you will lose. Period. Thanks for your donation.