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Hollywood Park: Ellis's three Breeders' Cup runners will race again next year
By Jay Privman
INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Ron Ellis had three runners in the Breeders’ Cup, and while none of them won, two finished in the money, and, best news of all for the trainer, it appears all three will remain in training for 2013.
The best-known of Ellis’s trio is Rail Trip, who rallied for second in the Dirt Mile behind Tapizar after finding himself caught in traffic for much of the race.
“It was a tough track to close on,” Ellis said the other morning at Betfair Hollywood Park. “He’s not used to running that way. I was pretty proud of him.”
Now age 7, Rail Trip was rejuvenated this year after being returned to Ellis, who trained Rail Trip for his first 12 starts before he was hastily transferred to Richard Dutrow Jr. in the summer of 2010. After an unsuccessful East Coast odyssey, in which he lost five times, Rail Trip returned to Ellis and improved sharply, highlighted by a victory in the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar in July.
Ellis said he “hasn’t ruled out” running Rail Trip in the Grade 3, $250,000 Native Diver Stakes here on Dec. 1, but is not sure he wants to bring him back within a month of his Breeders’ Cup effort.
“We’re still evaluating what to do,” he said.
Rail Trip is owned by Samantha Siegel, who also owns Include Me Out, who was an excellent third behind champions Royal Delta and My Miss Aurelia in the Ladies’ Classic, beaten just 2 3/4 lengths. Ellis said Include Me Out will get a lengthy vacation before returning next year at age 5.
“She’s been going hard for a year and change,” Ellis said. “She’ll be off a couple months, at least. She ran as good a race as she ran all year. It’s a good time to regroup and point for next year.”
Teddy’s Promise, who set the pace in the Filly and Mare Sprint before fading to eighth, will race early next year, and the quality of how she does will likely determine whether she races all year, Ellis said.
“We’ll point for the Santa Monica,” Ellis said of the Grade 1, seven-furlong race at Santa Anita in January. “If she runs well, she’ll probably stay in training all year. If not, she could be bred. I think the Santa Monica will be the determining factor.”
Ellis is glad to have some permanence in the barn, because he’s undergoing a bit of a transition – albeit a proudly satisfying one – outside the track. His oldest daughter, Elizabeth, who graduated earlier this year with a broadcast journalism degree from Chapman College in Southern California, was recently hired as a news reporter and weekend anchor at the NBC affiliate in Rapid City, S.D. Elizabeth Ellis is the girlfriend of jockey Joe Talamo, and has done some work for TVG, but her goal is to work in news.
“It’s a great opportunity for her,” Ellis said. “This is what she wants to do. Her professor at Chapman was amazed she got a job of that quality that quickly, because you usually have to start as a gofer and work your way up.”
* Tiz Flirtatious, who won the California Cup Distaff on Oct. 13, worked six furlongs in 1:13.80 on Saturday for trainer Marty Jones in preparation for next Sunday’s $75,000 Cat’s Cradle Handicap. The time equaled the best of 15 at the distance on Saturday.
Both Include Me Out and Rail Trip far exceeded my expectations for them in the Breeder's Cup. Include Me Out made more sense to place, given she had won 2 grade 1 races and 2 grade 2 races this year, but she had been taking advantage of a very weak group of older females in California and her Lady's Secret 3rd was mediocre. But Include Me Out ran a career best to be 3rd in the Ladies Classic, and gave Royal Delta a show-me-what-you-got challenge at the top of the stretch. I think the 9 furlongs distance, as well as Royal Delta's greatness, proved too much for Include Me Out. As for Rail Trip, he did not appear to be talented enough or to like dirt enough to place in the Dirt Mile. In 2009 and 2010, Rail Trip was a leading older horse, at least on synthetics. But in 2012 Rail Trip had shown himself to be a level or two below the grade 1 level, and like in the past had run better on synth than dirt. Rail Trip's game 2nd in the Dirt Mile was stunning to me and validated his class and Ron Ellis' preparation.
Ron Ellis - a class act. Wish there were more like him.
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