11/01/2012 11:36PM

Breeders' Cup Clocker: Saturday report card

Barbara D. Livingston
Title Contender works a sharp five furlongs in 59.13 Saturday, suggesting he is capable of moving forward in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile after a well-graded maiden win.

ARCADIA, Calif. – The following are final impressions of selected horses competing on Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup program from observations made at Belmont Park and Santa Anita over the past two weeks.

Juvenile Turf

Artigiano has been the busiest of all the Euros during the past week, galloping over both the training and main track for several mornings.

Gervinho worked an average half-mile with Rafael Bejarano up last weekend, but I loved the way he galloped out into the turn and what I’ve seen of him in subsequent training sessions this past week.

Dundonnell, like most of the Euros, has not done all that much since his arrival, but did put in a stronger gallop over the turf Thursday.

 Balance the Books worked in company with stablemate Noble Tune over soggy Belmont turf on Oct. 22, and it was hard to separate the pair, the duo finishing well and galloping out eagerly over the soft ground. Both look like major players in the Juvenile Turf.

Noble Tune, see above.

[BREEDERS' CUP WORKOUTS: Full DRF coverage, Mike Welsch video reports]

Dry Summer turned in an average work over the turf in company with stablemate Gabriel Charles on Oct. 27, the latter arguably the better of the pair.

I’m Boundtoscore was full of run galloping over the turf course Wednesday, looks like a 2-year-old on the improve and peaking at this time.

Know More outworked Classic contending stablemate Handsome Mike, pulling away from his older partner with a nice burst of speed from the wire to the seven-furlong pole breezing over the main track Oct. 25. Encouraging sign for improving 2-year-old who does remain a bit of a question mark on the grass.

Filly and Mare Sprint

Belle of the Hall turned in just an easy maintenance work over the Belmont training track Oct. 21. In good form, but looks in over her head in this spot.

Dust and Diamonds is exiting a typical Steve Asmussen-type maintenance work Monday, but has made a good impression during her routine morning gallops, obviously at the top of her game at the present time.

Rumor a little headstrong away from the pole, blew out a swift three-eighths and did it easily, continued on very nicely into the turn to shade 47 seconds for her half-mile gallop out. She loves this course and obviously doing well, but, like Belle of the Hall, in very tough.

Turbulent Descent looked very sharp breezing over the Belmont training track Oct. 21, easily getting the better of the undefeated juvenile filly Kauai Katie and, according to colleague David Grening, has looked good on a regular basis over the past several weeks.

[BREEDERS' CUP 2012: Race-by-race coverage, video, early odds]

Musical Romance finished strong while under wraps over deep Calder strip going five-eighths Oct. 18, came back with monster five-furlong drill over wet track one week later when reportedly triple galloping out a mile in 1:41 and change, according to track clockers, a feat  pretty much unheard of around Calder.

Groupie Doll couldn’t have looked any better or done it any easier when just cruising through a 34.74 three-furlong blowout in her first serious business over the course earlier in the week, running away down the stretch from Richard’s Kid, who happened to be open galloping just outside her at the time. She’s giving every indication of being a worthy favorite in the Filly and Mare Sprint.

Switch flashed surprising speed, blazing her opening half-mile in 46.04 while seemingly going very easy before paying the price and tiring badly down the stretch of her bullet 1:11-and-change drill last Saturday, with the caveat that this is a mare who did not work particularly well, but finished second in each of her last two Breeders’ Cup tries.

Dirt Mile

Delegation galloped very strongly here Thursday, but has a stride more befitting a turf or synthetic specialist than a dirt horse.

John Scott didn’t look flashy, but finished willingly enough in company in his final BC prep last weekend.

Fed Biz left a very favorable impression after flying home his final quarter-mile split in 23.42 and galloping out nicely at the end of a solid five-furlong drill last Sunday. Horse for course giving every indication he remains on top of his game.

Shackleford looks much better and far more relaxed than he did this summer at Saratoga, rated very nicely and finished willingly enough in the second of his two local five-furlong works Oct. 27.

Emcee did all his major work at the Greentree training center in Saratoga, where he turned in a “sensational” five-furlong drill Oct. 19, according to Grening.

Tapizar was a little rank going to the pole, but settled into a nice stride on the turn during routine half-mile maintenance run here last Monday, finishing well without need of encouragement to the wire.

Second City easily ran down and pulled away from his target while not being asked to finish six furlongs in 1:13 and change last Saturday with Mario Gutierrez up, but appears overmatched in this heat.

Turf Sprint

California Flag, a previous Turf Sprint champ and still going strong at the age of 8, zipped through an easy but spirited half-mile in 46.65 while not giving the impression he was traveling that fast over the turf Sunday.

Great Mills, the swiftest of the Asmussen half-mile maintenance workers Monday, flashed big speed while in hand before tiring just a bit coming to the wire in main-track trial.

Tale of a Champion is a decided longshot, but did stride out nicely, galloping out strong in an easy half-mile turf drill over the weekend. Adds blinkers and might outrun his odds in Turf Sprint.

Reneesgotzip turned in one of the best works of the week, turf or dirt, going five-eighths in 59.48 on the grass with Garrett Gomez up last Saturday, cruising past two targets through midstretch while completing her final three-eighths in 34.76 under wraps. She also galloped out stronger than any other turf worker that morning, appears to relish the grass, but facing tough assignment against males in her grass bow.

Bridgetown was a little headstrong and just a bit better than stablemate Doubles Partner in half-mile maintenance run over the turf Sunday.

Corporate Jungle posted a blistering 22.16 opening quarter-mile split and then got very leg weary over the Belmont main track in a fast, but less-than-appealing, work Oct. 21, but had a freakishly good gallop over the main track Thursday and worth a second look off that effort alone.

Mizdirection showed abundant speed under Mike Smith, posting 22.59 and34.20 splits while still having something left to complete five furlongs in 58.91 in a very nice inner-course work here Saturday.  


Title Contender appeared to be waiting on workmate Power Broker, finishing well in hand to complete a very sharp five-furlong breeze in 59.13, galloping out six panels in 1:11.82 on Sunday and giving every indication he is capable of moving forward off his well-graded maiden win.

Speak Logistics did all his major prep work at Calder, but made a favorable impression with a strong local gallop Thursday.

He’s Had Enough worked a bullet from the gate Oct. 25,  but it was an eventful run that had a slow beginning and ended with him changing leads late and tiring badly under pressure approaching the wire. Son of Tapit has had gate issues in the past.

Shanghai Bobby couldn’t have looked any better breezing an easy half-mile in 47.01 over the Belmont training track Oct. 21 while easily getting the best of older stakes-caliber mate San Pablo, a work that ended with a very strong gallop out around to the backstretch.

Capo Bastone finished about a half-length better than recent maiden-claiming winner Key Reversal while appearing to be under more pressure coming to the wire. The DRF final time of 1:12.86 was more than a full second slower than his official clocking.

Power Broker broke off a couple of lengths behind Title Contender, finished on even terms while appearing to be under slightly more pressure at the wire, posting a 58.73 final clocking before galloping out three-quarters of a mile in 1:11.42. Like his mate, he seems to be coming into the Juvenile in peak form.


Point of Entry looked great even over a yielding course, breezing five-eighths in 1:02.51 at Belmont on Oct. 22. He worked even better, according to Grening, on firmer ground six days later and has made a fabulous appearance since shipping locally earlier this week.

Turbo Compressor was not quite as sharp as stablemate In Lingerie breezing a maintenance half-mile in 47.88 or galloping out  over the turf last weekend.

Shareta has made the best impression of all the European horses that arrived earlier this week, turning in a very strong gallop over the main track Wednesday.

Cogito struggled badly working over the main track, barely finishing his drill, in company, last week.

Little Mike breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:01.76 over the turf and looked like he handled the course well enough when allowed to gallop down the hill Wednesday.

Dullahan was a little ranker than usual during the early stages of his 1:00.12 work over the main course Saturday, zipping three-eighths in 34 and change before weakening a bit under pressure. From the looks of his stride, he figures to be better suited to the turf than dirt.

Slim Shadey tired badly at the end of his 1:01.12 main-track work with Gomez aboard. He is another clearly better suited to grass than dirt.

Trailblazer made a nice first impression galloping over the main track for the first time Thursday.


Jimmy Creed, in hand, looked fine blowing out a swift three-eighths in 35 and change Wednesday.

Coil was going very easily and looked slightly best of the team when in company with Capital Account breezing a maintenance half-mile in 48.61 on Sunday. He doesn’t need to do too much to maintain his sharp present form.

Justin Phillip looked best of all the Asmussen half-mile maintenance workers Monday, finishing strongly while in hand throughout.

Fast Bullet’s final time of 48.42 was no indication of how impressive he looked in his latest half-mile breeze as he was merely cruising through a final three-eighths in 35 and change before shading 12 seconds galloping out into the turn, reportedly looked even better in his previous two drills earlier this month.

The Lumber Guy turned in an easy, maintenance half-mile breeze at Belmont on Oct. 21 before bulleting the same distance six days later, razor-sharp now.

Capital Account just cruised through an easy maintenance half-mile in 48.91 while in company with Coil on Sunday, should be sitting on another big effort in the Sprint.

Trinniberg was restrained through nice-looking 47.70 half-mile before being allowed to stretch out another eighth into the turn in 12 and change while breezing without the blinkers he’ll wear for Sprint. He is looking the best I’ve seen him since early summer.

Smiling Tiger zipped a fast half-mile from the gate, but was being asked down the backstretch and appeared to be getting out a bit completing his drill at the quarter pole.

Amazombie impressed going five furlongs in 1:00.39 on Oct. 26, the best part of this work a very strong gallop into and around the turn. Expect the defending champ to bounce back with a big effort following a disappointing try in his last.

Boxer des Rues easily ran away from workmate Cogito during and average main-track trial.


Wise Dan looked like the same monster I saw this summer at Saratoga, pulling his rider out of the saddle during a routine turf gallop Thursday.

Animal Kingdom made his usual good physical impression, while not asked to do too much locally this past week.

Excelebration got pretty hot during just a routine training session Thursday, but hard to say how significant that is not knowing this horse’s tendencies.

Suggestive Boy turned in average-looking six-furlong drill with Smith up over the turf last week.


Flat Out finished strong and galloped out well, although he did finish on his left lead in five-furlong Belmont training track work Oct. 22 and did lose one of his bar shoes somewhere during that drill. He has made a favorable impression in all local training appearances.

Fort Larned has reportedly been training extremely well in Kentucky, and there is nothing not to like about his first local appearance, a very routine gallop, on Thursday.

Game On Dude couldn’t have turned in a more appealing final work than Sunday’s six-furlong beauty when finishing full of run under restraint, galloping out seven-eighths in 1:25.29, and pulling up a mile in 1:39 and change. Last year’s Classic runner-up should stand some beating over his home course, even in this outstanding field.

Brilliant Speed looked very good working five-eighths in 1:00.54 over the Belmont training track two weeks ago, finishing very strongly without urging before punctuating the move with a big gallop out. He is facing a Herculean task switching to dirt for his career finale.

Handsome Mike wasn’t very impressive in his final major prep Oct. 25, when basically outworked by 2-year-old Know More, but he bounced back with a series of very strong open gallops earlier this week.

Nonios is another decided longshot in the Classic, but he was very impressive breezing a half-mile in hand in 46.98 with Martin Pedroza up Tuesday.

Richard’s Kid overpowered and overmatched his maiden workmate during an average six-furlong drill Oct. 25.

Ron the Greek turned in a decent-looking, but certainly not outstanding, five-furlong work when pressured to finish on even terms with mate over the Belmont training track Oct.22, but has made a very good appearance since returning to the scene of his finest hour in the Santa Anita Handicap.

Mucho Macho Man was extremely impressive posting a 59-and-change, five-furlong clocking over the wet and somewhat laboring Belmont Park training track Oct. 27, galloping out very strong while in hand throughout., He also looked great during his routine gallop here Thursday.

To Honor and Serve finished strongly and galloped out the best of all of trainer Bill Mott’s Classic hopefuls over the Belmont training track Oct. 22. He also looked good, according to Grening, in his final half-mile maintenance breeze at Belmont six days later.