11/03/2009 12:00AM

Clocker: Euros start acclimating to track

Barbara D. Livingston
Mambo Meister, with exercise rider Simon Harris up, was headstrong Tuesday as he worked five furlongs in 1:00.52.

ARCADIA, Calif. - The Euros are coming, the Euros are coming!

Actually, the European contingent for the 2009 Breeders' Cup has already arrived and is sure to strike fear into the connections of every U.S. Cup hopeful following the success of overseas shippers in this event here one year ago.

Slowly but surely, the European runners have begun to clear quarantine and make their way to the racetrack. Nearly two dozen Euros were on the track during regular training hours Tuesday, their itineraries running the gamut from merely walking the course to the extended session put in by the Godolphin trio of Gladiatorus, Vale of York, and Buzzword.

Railbirds hoping Tuesday to see the king and the queen of the European contingent - Rip Van Winkle and Goldikova - had to wait another day as neither had cleared quarantine before the end of training hours.

There were only a handful of Breeders' Cup workouts Tuesday as most of the serious stuff has been done. But there was action aplenty from the time the track opened at 4:45 a.m. until closing nearly six hours later.

Zip Quik (five furlongs in 1:00.69 for Juvenile Turf) broke off two lengths behind stablemate Grand Central under jockey Mike Smith and was in hand while completing his opening quarter-mile in 24.90 seconds. Picked up the pace approaching the quarter pole, quickly joining his mate entering the stretch, but had to be put under pressure through the final sixteenth of a mile just to finish within a head of his partner at the wire. Did shade 36 seconds for his final three furlongs but continued to struggle to stay with his company through a gallop-out of 1:13.66.

Mambo Meister (five furlongs in 1:00.52 for the Dirt Mile): He was originally scheduled to work only a half-mile, according to trainer Phil Gleaves, but was so headstrong, exercise rider Simon Harris dropped Mambo Meister down on the rail at the five-furlong pole. Relaxed well enough to get the first quarter in 24.93 before really accelerating around the turn, covering his next furlong in 11.35 before drifting about five or six paths wide entering the stretch. Continued under some vigorous urging down the stretch while drifting a bit more nearing the wire and even farther out while galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.57.

Mushka (three furlongs in 38.76 for Ladies' Classic): Just a simple maintenance move 72 hours before her race as she breezed well in hand throughout before being eased up fairly abruptly just past the wire.

Piscitelli (three furlongs in 39.98 for the Juvenile): Not much more than an open gallop around the turn and down the stretch while kept out in the middle of the track throughout.

Desert Code (four furlongs in 46.66 on the turf for Turf Sprint): Although he rallied from the rear of the field to win the race a year ago, it seemed the intention this morning was to have him on his toes for Saturday. At least that was the impression after Desert Code came away from the half-mile pole full of run and did not let up until getting into the clubhouse turn. Covered the final quarter in 22.57 while being roused several times down the stretch. With the dogs out approximately 40 feet, the final time of this work was probably equivalent to a 45-and-change half-mile drill over the main track.

King Ledley (three furlongs in 36.84 on the turf for the Juvenile Turf): With jockey Rafael Bejarano up, King Ledley cruised along around the dogs at a fairly even pace, reaching out nicely and getting over the firm course in an effortless manner.

While two of their mates, Masterful and Delegator, simply jogged a mile the wrong way over the main track, Gladiatorus, Vale of York, and Buzzword did some serious work coming right out of quarantine following the renovation break. All three went to the seven-furlong training track first, jogging twice around the wrong way before turning around and galloping one circuit clockwise. They then came out of the tunnel and proceeded on to the main track, where they all galloped an additional mile. Despite the busy schedule, Gladiatorus was still a handful before pulling up near the wire on the main track. Buzzword seemed to struggle the most of the group at the end of the grueling morning and looked a little warm coming off the track.

Defending Turf champion Conduit joined stablemates Spanish Moon and Zacinto on the turf course shortly before the break and was the least impressive of the trio. Spanish Moon and Zacinto both turned in very strong and efficient-looking gallops, each covering their final five furlongs in 1:14 and change while switching leads on cue at the head of the stretch. Conduit, on the other hand, cantered along at a much slower pace well behind his mates, remained on his left lead down the stretch, and did not look very fluid striding out over the course. All of that may be moot, since he trained similarly over the same going in the days leading up to his impressive victory in the 2008 Turf.

Among the Breeders' Cup candidates who made favorable impressions were Careless Jewel, Maram, and Dynaforce.

Careless Jewel gallops with her head cocked sideways but has dragged her exercise rider around all week and was full of run blowing out an easy quarter-mile in 25.40 down the lane before galloping out an addition eighth-mile into the turn in 12.47.

Maram, last year's Juvenile Fillies Turf winner, looked full of herself during a very energetic gallop.

Dynaforce has been a handful for her exercise since her arrival, despite training in draw reins. She was another who was full of run blowing out to the wire.

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