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Breeders' Cup Clocker Report: Baffert's seven all look magnificent
By Mike Welsch
Temperature 65 Sunny Main Track Fast/Turf Firm
ARCADIA, Calif .- The weather was Chamber of Commerce beautiful Sunday morning at Santa Anita, a perfect complement to the beehive of Breeders’ Cup workout activity that featured a number of impressive breezes, topped by an eye-catcher of a move from Breeders’ Cup Classic favorite Game On Dude.
The main track, which tightened up to a degree on Saturday, was even firmer and faster on Sunday, putting a smile on the faces of many trainers none more so than Bob Baffert, who sent out seven potential Breeders’ Cup starters, ed by Game On Dude and a trio of top contenders for the Sprint.
Work of the day
Game On Dude (six furlongs in 1:13.32 for Classic): He isn’t the prettiest galloper in the world but he couldn’t have looked any better or instilled any more confidence in his legion of supporters after a near- perfect six-furlong work in company with a stablemate. Breaking off about 1 ½ lengths behind his partner, Game On Dude was restrained through a series of 12-and-change early splits, drew even with his target approaching the stretch , and then finished strong, pulling two lengths clear, while never given any encouragement in the run to the wire. The best part of the work game during the gallop out as Game On Dude shaded 12 from the finish line to the seven-furlong pole before pulling up a mile in 1:39.29! It’s his race to lose over the home course after watching this one.
Other main track works
Fast Bullet (four furlongs in 48.42 seconds for Sprint): The final time doesn’t give any indication how impressive the lightly raced, undefeated 3-year-old looked this morning. Fast Bullet appeared to be just galloping away from the pole through an opening furlong in a leisurely 12.67, continued along as easily as can be to the stretch then really accelerated from the head of the lane to the wire completing his final quarter in 23.72 with his rider just allowing him to cruise along the entire way. Fast Bullet got a little shake of the reins passing the finish line and turned in a Game On Dude-like gallop out to the seven-eighths pole, also shading 12 to complete five furlongs in 1:00.42.
Capital Account (four furlongs in 48.91 for Sprint) and Coil (four furlongs in 48.61 for Sprint) :worked in company with Coil breaking off a length behind and finishing on even terms, with both just breezing easily to the wire in little more than a maintenance type run for the first- and second-place finishers in last month’s Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship.
Power Broker (five furlongs in 58.73 for Juvenile) and Title Contender (five furlongs in 59.13 for Juvenile) went in company with the Power Broker breaking off two lengths behind under Rafael Bejarano. The Baffert duo hooked in with another unidentified worker down the backstretch but readily pulled away from their company after an opening three-eighths in a brisk 34.73. The two then finished on even terms with Title Contender appearing to be slightly more in reserve waiting on his partner at the wire. Both galloped out well, Power Broker in 1:11.42, Title Contender in 1:11.82. This was yet another work that surely had to put a smile on Captain Bob’s face when all was said and done.
Fed Biz (five furlongs in 1:00.19 for Dirt Mile): He gave Baffert even more to smile about shortly after Game On Dude’s work. With Martin Garcia up and going in company with a stablemate, Fed Biz broke off at the 4 1/2-furlong pole about a length behind his mate, was rated off his target through an easy three-eighths in 36.77 before exploding home a final quarter in 23.42 to the 7 1/2-furlong marker without being asked. He did not gallop out quite as strong as “the Dude” or Fast Bullet but did continue on willingly all the way around the bend to pull up seven-eighths at the top of the backstretch in 1:27.88.
Contested (five furlongs in 59.13 for Filly and Mare Sprint): She went a little faster than her male stablemates but was getting a little tired and needed some encouragement to finish after busting through a 34.51 opening three furlongs.
My Miss Aurelia (four furlongs in 48.04 for Ladies’ Classic): She was given a patented Steve Asmussen maintenance half-mile work five days out from her race and couldn’t have looked any better. Eager to begin and a handful for her rider coming to the half-mile pole, the undefeated, Eclipse Award winner settled in nicely around the turn and put up matching 24 quarter-mile splits, just cruising along very easily throughout and giving the impression she wanted to do much more. She continued on nicely into the turn, galloping out five-eighths in 1:00.57.
Slim Shadey (five furlongs in 1:01.12 for Turf) showed surprising early speed, especially for a grass horse working on the dirt, completing a restrained opening three-eighths in 35.58 under Garrett Gomez only to struggle to the wire, tiring noticeably through the final furlong while also having little left for the gallop out.
Juniper Pass (five furlongs in 1:00.89 for Marathon) worked like a long distance runner early Sunday morning, finishing nicely without pressure before galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.13 and pulling up seven-eighths in 1:27.67 over a track that might not have been quite as tight at the time as it was following the ensuing maintenance breaks.
Almudena (three furlongs in 35.86 for Marathon or Filly and Mare Turf) blew out three-eighths under Jose Valdivia and did it easily enough, the South American-bred breezing over the local strip for the first time in preparation for her U.S. debut. The versatile mare galloped out a half-mile in 48.76 with her head cocked sideways into the turn.
Calidoscopio (three furlongs in 37.68 for Marathon) didn’t receive an official work but was in the process of two-minute licking at the end of his second mile when passed by another worker on the turn. The Argentinean-bred, who trains bareback, then dragged his rider through a final quarter-mile in 24 and change down the lane while reaching out with long and very impressive looking strides to the wire. Little known South American invader may be a sleeper in the Marathon.
Bridgetown (four furlongs in 47.29 for Turf Sprint) and Doubles Partner (four furlongs in 47.29 for Mile) breezed in company on the grass with Bridgetown a little more headstrong and about a half-length in front throughout in what was little more than a maintenance run for the two turf specialists, both of whom galloped out very nicely into the turn.
California Flag (four furlongs in 46.65 for Turf Sprint) a former Turf Sprint winner, bit longer in tooth now but still loves the local course. He sizzled effortlessly through an opening quarter in 22.80 before completing a half-mile in a time that was a lot quicker than it appeared from the naked eye, always a good sign for any worker whether on turf or dirt.
Tale of a Champion (four furlongs in 47.31) turned in pretty much a mirror image of the team Pletcher breeze several minutes earlier, going along easily from start to finish, and then galloping out very eagerly into the turn.
It is not how fast a horse works but rather how the horse works fast. Body language , action, ground coverage and the consistency of the surface over which the work is taking place. All these factors taken into consideration make up the perception of the work and how it should be interpreted.
Baffertt's horses always work fast. I learned it in HorsePlayerNow Night School. And how do we know if Welsch hit the button on his stop watch a second or a few fifths slow or fast when he started and stopped it? Workout info is just too inprecise and haphazardly done for me to put much weight on it. Some times these guys are trying to time two horses at a time , the horses start and stop all over the track, stuff like that. There's a lot of tricks done to mislead people. Heavy jocks, front wraps with weight hidden underneath, the jock running the horse out in the middle of the track on the turns, etc. Read Ainslie's book. He talks all about it.
I believe Alydar blew out a mile in 1:34 a few days before his Belmont Stakes, and we should get Excited about this horse's mile gallop out in 1:39 and change? And this, from a horse who I believe has never won at 10 furlongs, makes it his race to lose???? Puh-leeasseee! If he wins, God bless him, and I will humbly apologize. Until then, good luck to him AND Mr. Welsch in his new career as a horse racing tout.
I saw Baffert on TVG prior to Power Brokers win, and he pretty much said that Title Contender is something special !...................its getting to be the norm, that Bafferst longest price in a race usually gets there ! Impressive Blond Fog today.............for example his 6-5 shot ran 2nd to Blond Fogs 5-1
Baffert has another good filly in his barn with Blond Fong romping by 12 lengths in style!
Thanks for the insight on Calidoscopio.... He had seemed very interesting on paper...20-1 please
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