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Breeders' Cup clocker report: Richard's Kid has maintenance move
By Mike Welsch
ARCADIA, Calif. – Trainer Doug O’Neill planned to spend Thursday evening in San Francisco watching his beloved Detroit Tigers take on the Giants in the second game of the World Series. He spent Thursday morning at Santa Anita, where he worked six potential Breeders’ Cup starters, including Classic contenders Richard’s Kid and Handsome Mike.
The O’Neill runners made up the bulk of Thursday’s Breeders’ Cup work tab at Santa Anita, where the weather was picture-perfect, sun shining and just a hint of a chill in the air at daybreak. The main track seemed a bit on the cuppy side, with workout times on the modest side throughout the course of the morning.
Richard’s Kid (six furlongs in 1:15.76 for the Classic): The three-time Grade 1 winner worked with 2-year-old maiden Cinco de Mario and, as expected, proved too strong for his company during the latter stages of the work. Richard’s Kid was in hand early while nearest the rail, with the pair briefly hooking up with two other breezers entering the stretch. Richard’s Kid posted fractions of 25.03 seconds for the opening quarter and 50.10 to the wire, after which he steadily began to pull away, opening four lengths on his outclassed partner after five furlongs in 1:02.51. Richard’s Kid began easing up well before completing six furlongs and was merely galloping at the end of what appeared to be just an average, maintenance-type move.
Handsome Mike (five furlongs in 1:02.52 for the Classic): The Pennsylvania Derby winner went in company with the 2-year-old Know More and struggled a bit to keep up with his partner through the latter stages of a work that appeared to end a furlong earlier than originally scheduled. Handsome Mike, not equipped with the blinkers he normally wears when racing, was under a little more hold and slightly in front of Know More before not cornering well and bearing out several paths leaving the turn. The team completed their opening half-mile to the wire in 49.82, after which Handsome Mike gradually began dropping back despite being put to pressure into the turn. Handsome Mike was nearly two lengths behind when the work seemingly concluded at the seven-furlong pole before pulling back on even terms again with his younger mate after galloping out six furlongs in 1:15.92.
Know More (five furlongs in 1:02.10 for the Juvenile Turf): With jockey Mario Gutierrez aboard, Know More breezed closest to the rail and went easily throughout, ultimately edging clear from the more accomplished Handsome Mike with a nice little burst around to the seven-eighths pole in 12.28, after which he was eased up and allowed to gallop out six furlongs on even terms in 1:15.92. Nothing flashy from Know More, but yet significant for a 2-year-old turf horse to get the better of a 3-year-old Grade 2 winner.
He’s Had Enough (six furlongs in 1:12.40 from the gate for Juvenile): Going in company with Group 1 winner Private Zone, and equipped in a full-cup blinker, He’s Had Enough missed the break a couple of lengths and had to rush up to join his partner after the opening furlong. The pair zipped right along to the stretch after which He’s Had Enough dropped a length behind when failing to change leads until inside the eighth pole. He’s Had Enough was finally able to draw even again after being put to stiff pressure nearing the wire, the final quarter-mile split of 26.09 a factor of both his slow start and subsequent fast, early pace.
Boxeur Des Rues (five furlongs in 1:01.26 for the Turf Sprint or Sprint): With Gutierrez up, Boxer de Rues easily got the best of workmate Cogito, posting honest fractionss of 23.76 and 48.57 before readily pulling away around the bend, covering his final eighth in a respectable 12.69 while under just a little mild encouragement. He, too, appeared to be easing up around the bend while no longer in company, galloping out six furlongs in 1:15.32.
Cogito (five furlongs in 1:03.11 for the Turf): The grass specialist struggled over the main track trying to keep up with Boxer De Rues, falling back steadily after the opening three furlongs of their work. Despite being put to pressure before the wire, Cogito continued to lose ground as the duo approached the clubhouse turn, dropping eight lengths behind and easing up after the completing just five furlongs of a scheduled six-furlong work.
Beholder (five furlongs in 1:01.22 for the Juvenile Sprint): Beeholder was in hand breaking off a length behind stablemate In the Stars, drew even with his target after completing an opening three-eighths in 36.50, and although never asked barely managed to edge a head past her partner, who was under stout restraint throughout the stretch. Coming off a 106 Beyer Speed Figure effort, I was expecting to see a little better from Beholder who galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.98.
Suggestive Boy (six furlongs in 1:13.67 on the turf for the Mile): This multiple Group 1 South American winner cruised along into the stretch and was put under some late pressure shading 12 seconds for the final furlong of an average-looking drill over the turf.
Moulin De Mougin (five furlongs in 1:02.08 on turf for the Juvenile Fillies Turf): Broke off at a very leisurely pace, barely breaking 14 seconds for her opening eighth and then finished willingly enough when set down through the final furlong by jockey Mike Smith.
◗ At Calder, where the track was sloppy:
Musical Romance (five furlongs in 59.90 for the Filly and Mare Sprint): The defending Filly and Mare Sprint champ had the Calder clockers raving not only by shading 1:00 for five furlongs but after pulling up a mile in 1:41.63 over a very wet track. She was flown to Santa Anita late Thursday afternoon.
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