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Clocker: Godolphin gets its work done early
ARCADIA, Calif. - If I have learned one thing since arriving at Santa Anita earlier this week, or from previous experiences prior to the 2008 Breeders' Cup and this past spring in Louisville before the Kentucky Derby, it's this: If you want to see the Godolphin horses train you had better plan on getting up early. Very early. Having a little night vision would also help.
For the second consecutive morning, Godolphin blue headlined the list of Breeders' Cup workouts at Santa Anita. And for the second morning in a row, those drills came shortly after 6 a.m., long before the first rays of sunlight began to light up the majestic San Gabriel mountains - or the five-furlong pole for that matter.
Godolphin stablemates Seventh Street and Sara Louise were two of seven potential Breeders' Cup candidates to work at Santa Anita on Friday, five of those drills coming over the Pro-Ride surface and two more on the turf. There were also eight Breeders' Cup workers on Friday at Hollywood Park and three more several hours earlier at Belmont Park.
Seventh Street and Sara Louise will both run in the same race, the Filly and Mare Sprint.
Seventh Street (five furlongs in 1:02.40) is coming off a series of longer races and has been a model of consistency throughout her career. She took a long run to the pole under jockey Aaron Gryder to begin her work but quickly came to hand and went in splits of 24.84 and 36.78 seconds for the opening three furlongs. Seventh Street hugged the rail nicely, changed leads on cue turning for home, and was never really asked to pick up the pace, completing her final quarter in 25.62 before galloping out six furlongs in an ordinary 1:16.38.
Sara Louise (four furlongs in 47.98) broke off at the half-mile pole and showed a much higher turn of foot while also under her own courage most of the way. She went her opening quarter in 24.44, eased about two paths off the rail leaving the bend, then came home in 23.54 under the mildest of urging from jockey Richard Migliore before continuing willingly into the turn and pulling up five-eighths in 1:00.96. From the looks of this work, she seems to have taken readily to the Pro-Ride and could be a sleeper in the Filly and Mare Sprint.
Bickersons (four furlongs in 46.64) may have been even more impressive. Already a proven commodity on the Pro-Ride, the Juvenile Fillies candidate breezed immediately after the renovation break. She eased into the turn in a soft 12.51 before accelerating suddenly and almost imperceptibly, completing her final three-eighths in an eye catching 34.13 before galloping out five furlongs in 59.07 under only very mild encouragement.
Rainbow View (final four furlongs in 47.07) had a target, the Irish-bred Achak, who finished second under a $50,000 claiming tag in his U.S. debut here in October. Rainbow View, a 3-year-old filly prepping for the Ladies' Classic, broke off at the five-furlong pole and was about four lengths behind Achak when he left the half. Rainbow View drew even with Achak entering the stretch but had to be put to some pressure just to finish on even terms at the wire. She galloped out five-eighths in 59.07 while remaining under urging to keep pace with her work partner into the turn.
Ferneley (five furlongs on the turf in 58.94) finished full of run under jockey Rafael Bejarano, completing the final quarter-mile around the dogs in 23.00 before galloping out an extremely strong six furlongs in 1:10.19 under light urging.
Elusive Galaxy (five furlongs over the turf in 1:02.03): Worked in company with stablemate Rosa Gray, breaking off four lengths behind her mate. The pair loped through an opening three furlongs in 39.19 and were on even terms nearing the eighth pole, at which point Elusive Galaxy was put under some real urging to finally edge clear of Rosa Grace, an older filly with Grade 1 experience who was merely loping approaching the wire. Elusive Galaxy did complete her final furlong in 11.21 and continued that momentum into the turn, pulling up six furlongs in 1:13.34 under some pressure.
Einstein made an awesome appearance when he came on the racetrack and was allowed to gallop along at nearly a two-minute clip by trainer Helen Pitts from the five-furlong pole and through the stretch before pulling up at the five-eighths pole.
Awesome Gem (six furlongs, 1:13): Worked in company for trainer Craig Dollase. Went off aggressively from the pole, then settled into a steady rhythm under exercise rider Juan Olivera and finished evenly in final prep for BC Classic.
El Gato Malo (five furlongs, 59.40): Another Dollase trainee who also worked with Olivera. Long-striding colt motored aggressively on the far turn and finished evenly. Needs defections to get into either Turf Sprint or Dirt Mile.
Life Is Sweet (six furlongs, 1:11.80): Worked in company for trainer John Shirreffs. Broke off about three lengths behind Poet Laureate, moved up without encouragement to engage workmate on turn, then finished about two in front under exercise rider Isabel Bournez in final work for Ladies' Classic.
Proviso (four furlongs, 48.80): Nice, steady, even work, only her second locally since being disqualified in the Spinster. Exercise rider Jose Dominguez was aboard for trainer Bobby Frankel, whose string is overseen by assistant Humberto Ascanio. Also running in Ladies' Classic.
Ventura (five furlongs, 59.80): The defending champion in the Filly and Mare Sprint could not be coming into this year's race any better, based on this sensational drill. Went off under a pull, then finished like a locomotive, with her final three furlongs in 34.80 seconds on Ascanio's watch, while never asked at any point by Dominguez. Work was designated breezing, which is given out stingily in California, but it was most deserved here.
Visit (four furlongs, 48): As with the previous Frankel workers this morning, went without company. Just an easy maintenance drill under Dominguez in final tune-up for Filly and Mare Turf.
- Jay Privman
Devil May Care (five furlongs in 1:01.02): Gorgeous bay filly continues to thrive since her head victory in the Grade 1 Frizette on Oct 10. Working by herself shortly after the 9:30 renovation break on the training track, Devil May Care, a candidate for the Juvenile Fillies, went off her opening quarter in 25.19 seconds, three furlongs in 36.83, and she came home in 24.19 with minimal encouragement from John Velazquez. She galloped out extremely well, going six furlongs in 1:14.34 and seven-eighths in 1:28.36. Velazquez had to reach up and grab her or Devil May Care would have gone out an additional furlong or two.
How she handles Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface will be the biggest question. Two turns will not be.
Nite Light (five furlongs, 1:00.64): Prior to Devil May Care's move, Nite Light, a well-built 5-year-old son of Grade 1 winners Thunder Gulch and Lite Light worked in company inside of the 4-year-old Storm Play, starting off a little bit in front of that horse before getting outfinished by three-quarters of a length. Storm Play went in 1:00.49. Marathon prospect Nite Light, under Hector Ramos, went his first three quarters in 36.18 seconds and basically went one-paced throughout the move. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.62.
Rose Catherine (five furlongs 1:01.50): Dominant maiden turf winner at Belmont, Rose Catherine breezed in company with the 2-year-old maiden filly Irving Rules. The two broke off slowly, going a first eighth in 13.73 seconds before picking it up through a quarter in 24.71 seconds and three furlongs in 36.99. With only slight urging from exercise rider Walter Malasquez, Rose Catherine came home her final quarter in 24.51 seconds, galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.36 and seven furlongs in 1:31.67.
Rose Catherine needs one defection to get into the Juvenile Fillies Turf, but should get that as trainer Graham Motion has said he is likely to just run Smart Seattle in the Turf while running Zilva in the Juvenile Fillies on the synthetic.
- David Grening
:: OCT. 29: