10/18/2009 11:00PM

Gotta Have Her to try boys in Cup

Benoit & Associates
Gotta Have Her is greeted by trainer Jenine Sahadi after her Ken Maddy win.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Gotta Have Her's stylish win in the at Santa Anita on Saturday has led trainer Jenine Sahadi to plan a more ambitious spot - the $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint here Nov. 7.

Gotta Have Her has never faced males, but Sahadi wants to take advantage of the 5-year-old mare's ability on Santa Anita's hillside turf course, over about 6 1/2 furlongs, in the Turf Sprint.

"I had the idea in the back of my mind and I wanted to see how things played," Sahadi said. "I know it will be tough."

Owned by Green Lantern Stables, Gotta Have Her has won 8 of 23 starts and $720,608. She has won three graded stakes this year, the Grade 3 Las Cienegas Handicap on the hillside turf course in April and the Grade 2 Palomar Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on turf at Del Mar in September. In August, she was second in the Grade 1 John Mabee Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on turf at Del Mar.

Sahadi said the BC Turf Sprint plays to Gotta Have Her's home-course advantage.

"You walk out of your barn and go to the saddling paddock," she said. "It's about the trip. You can't take anything away from her level of versatility. She wasn't embarrassed going a mile and an eighth and then she came down the hill."

In the Maddy, Gotta Have Her rallied from sixth in a field of nine to win by two lengths in 1:12.09. Jockey Tyler Baze guided Gotta Have Her through an opening along the rail to take the lead in early stretch.

The BC Turf Sprint is an open race, led by California Flag, who won the Grade 3 Morvich Handicap here Sept. 30, and the European Group 1 winner Fleeting Spirit. The race is expected to have a maximum field of 14 starters.

Gotta Have Her would be Sahadi's first Breeders' Cup starter since 1997, the year she won the Sprint with Elmhurst. Sahadi, 46, won the 1996 Sprint with Lit de Justice.

Mine That Bird drills for BC Classic

Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird breezed a half-mile in 51 seconds Monday, his first workout since a sixth-place finish in the Grade 1 Goodwood Stakes on Oct. 10.

Mine That Bird is expected to have two additional workouts before his next start in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic here Nov. 7.

Mine That Bird's time was the 35th of 40 recorded works at the distance. Ridden by jockey Joe Talamo, substituting for regular rider Calvin Borel, Mine That Bird worked alone, starting before the half-mile pole and working past the finish line.

Trainer Chip Woolley said he did not intend for Mine That Bird to have a flashy workout.

"We wanted to stretch his legs," Woolley said. "I told Joe I wanted 50 or 51. He looked strong all the way." Mine That Bird was beaten 3 3/4 lengths by upset winner Gitano Hernando in the . Mine That Bird closed from last in the field of 10, making up nearly five lengths on the leaders in the final furlong.

Woolley insists he was not discouraged by the loss and says that the BC Classic distance of 1 1/4 miles, and a stronger pace, should help Mine That Bird's chances.

"It's not like he was faltering" in the Goodwood, he said. "He got beat 3 3/4 lengths. He didn't get beat 10 lengths. They got off slow, and we needed to be closer to the pace. It's called a prep race.

"A mile and a quarter will take care of that. There will be pace in the Breeders' Cup. Nothing will get a soft lead in the Breeders' Cup."

Nakatani taking a break from riding

Jockey Corey Nakatani said on Sunday that he is taking a break from riding for personal reasons, which he declined to specify. Nakatani has not ridden since Thursday and is not named to ride through this Friday, the farthest into the future that entries have been drawn.

"It's a personal problem I've got to take care of, nothing serious," he said by phone. "I'd like to do it privately."

Asked when he might return to riding, he said, "I'll play it by ear. It's nothing to do with racing."

Nakatani, who turns 39 on Wednesday, contacted track stewards on Friday and said he was battling a neck injury and would not ride, steward Kim Sawyer said.

Nakatani is winless with 21 starters at the current Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting. His last stakes win was aboard Global Hunter in the Grade 1 Eddie Read Handicap at Del Mar in late July.

Kaenel retires from race riding

Kyle Kaenel, 21, has retired from race riding, he told Santa Anita publicists over the weekend.

Kaenel suffered a broken collarbone, broken shoulder blade, and a pinched nerve in a spill at Fairplex Park on Sept. 27. He said an accumulation of injuries in his five-year career, including a broken neck and broken back, played a pivotal role in his decision.

"I've got a family now and I feel lucky if I can walk away from this one," he said. "It was a fun career, and I will miss it terribly."

Kaenel has a wife and a young son. Kaenel is the son of former jockey Jack Kaenel, who won the 1982 Preakness Stakes on Aloma's Ruler.

Kyle Kaenel ended his career with 608 wins. His mounts earned $11.7 million. Among his stakes wins was the Grade 3 TCA Stakes aboard Malibu Mint at Keeneland in 2007.

* Panamian native Carlos Diaz, 25, begins riding at Santa Anita on Wednesday. Diaz, who arrived in California over the weekend, will be represented by former trainer Dean Greenman, the son of the late trainer Walter Greenman. Diaz claims a seven-pound allowance. On Wednesday, Diaz rides the first-time starter Il Foro in the fourth race.