10/20/2008 11:00PM

Clocker: Spring House flashes surprising speed


ARCADIA, Calif. - The first sighting of the European contingent and an unusual workout down the hillside turf course served as a prelude to Tuesday's all-important post position draw for Saturday's 14 Breeders' Cup events.

Tuesday's Breeders' Cup work tab was a light one with two members of that list, trainer Bruce Headley's pair of Surf Cat (Dirt Mile) and Magnificience (Filly and Mare Sprint), going in total darkness at 5 a.m. The action concluded 5 1/2 hours later when Idiot Proof came rolling down the hill in preparation for the Turf Sprint.

As has been the case all week, the Pro-Ride continues to yield very fast times while the turf course remains rock hard.

Work of the day

Spring House (four furlongs in 47.78 seconds): For a horse who does his best running from off the pace going 1 1/4 miles to 1 1/2 miles on the turf, Spring House showed some surprising speed working over the Pro-Ride surface for trainer Julio Canani. The horse, entered in the 1 1/2-mile Turf, stood near the 5o1/2-furlong pole just soaking in the surroundings for nearly five minutes before breaking off right on top of the three-eighths marker. Breezed willingly on a relatively loose rein down the stretch and around to the seven-eighths pole, posting fractions of 11.82, 23.74, and 35.98 before completing his final eighth around the turn in a creditable 11.85. Pulled up a little quickly during the gallop-out, completing five furlongs around the clubhouse bend, in 1:02.21. Has held his form well since returning from Dubai last spring.


Daytona (four furlongs in 47.80, according to track clockers): Was hard-held coming away from the pole while seemingly full of run, as one might expect from a horse who figures to set or be forcing the pace in the Mile. Finished up willingly before galloping out with good energy around the turn. Another who seems very comfortable over his home course.

Turf Sprint

Idiot Proof (about four furlongs in 47.85 on the hillside turf course): Local observers said they cannot recall any workouts down the hillside recently. Idiot Proof did a bit of schooling over the course prior to beginning his work in a sensible attempt to get him accustomed to the changeover from grass to dirt and back to grass again at the head of the stretch. Finally broke off somewhere in the vicinity of a half-mile pole obscured by palm trees then handled the switch in surfaces without a hitch while kept in hand throughout. Completed his final eighth in 12.04. Will be prominent from the outset in this event.

Heros Reward: Like Idiot Proof, was given permission to visit the hillside course for a schooling session of his own, although he merely open galloped down the hill and through the stretch after having worked for the race last Saturday at Laurel.

Filly and Mare Sprint

Tiz Elemental (three furlongs in 36.84): Simply a maintenance-type move just three days removed from her race. Galloped out a half-mile in 49.44. Seems to be doing well but in pretty steep in this spot.

Leading the large European contingent to gallop over the Pro-Ride for the first time Tuesday was Goldikova, the Irish-bred filly who will take on males in the Mile. The two-time Group 1 winner made a good appearance while doing little more than jog along with Only Answer. She did lose her focus briefly while ducking out amidst traffic near Clocker's Corner at the head of the stretch.

Eagle Mountain (Turf) had the busiest and most eventful day of all the Euros, jogging a mile accompanied by a stable pony before breaking off to gallop another easy mile on his own. Was kept near the inside rail, a path normally reserved for workers only at U.S. tracks, and was briefly startled when passed by a pair of workers approaching the three-eighths pole before quickly resuming his normal pace.

Other Euro sightings included Fleeting Spirit, Sixties Icon, Winchester, and Beyond Our Reach on the main track, along with stablemates Visit and Conduit, who cantered five furlongs over the turf course.

Smooth Air (Classic) was allowed to stretch his legs for the first time since arriving here Sunday, going 2 1/4 miles while picking up the pace the second time around.

Mauralakana (Filly and Mare Turf) had a great morning, pulling her rider out of the saddle during a very energetic and eye-catching gallop while her rival Wait a While (Filly and Mare Turf) was once again full of run, galloping at a pace closer to a workout than a two-minute lick.

All times clocked by Daily Racing Form unless mentioned otherwise.