10/20/2008 11:00PM

Idiot Proof tries the downhill turf


Idiot Proof may be based at Santa Anita, but until Tuesday there was at least one part of the track he hadn't seen. So in a departure from the normal routine, Idiot Proof worked approximately four furlongs down the hillside turf course on Tuesday morning in preparation for Saturday's $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. Daily Racing Form timed his move in 47.85 seconds, with a final eighth in 12.04.

Trainer Clifford Sise said the reason he wanted the horse to work down the hill - most works are done on the flat part of the course - was because in races configured that way horses cross over the Pro-Ride surface for several strides and he wanted the horse to have already done that before Saturday's race.

"Every time you do something new to him, he's like a baby, he's got to look at everything," Sise said. "Today, when he crossed over that dirt, he wanted to go, he looked very good."

Idiot Proof, who finished second in last year's Breeders' Cup Sprint, has raced on turf only once, finishing second to BC Turf Sprint contender Get Funky in the Green Flash Handicap going five furlongs at Del Mar. Sise felt his horse was short for that race.

Idiot Proof drew post 11 for the inaugural Turf Sprint, while Get Funky landed in 13 and the speedy Mr. Nightlinger got stuck in post 14.

Idiot Proof was not the only horse to get acquainted with the downhill course. The Maryland-based Heros Reward also trained down the hill, starting his gallop before Idiot Proof worked.

"I wanted to get him on it, down the hill, across the dirt - he hadn't seen anything like that before - and he handled it just fine," trainer Dale Capuano said.

* Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. had to cancel a Monday workout at Aqueduct for Salute the Count because of filling in a back leg. Dutrow said the filling had subsided by Monday afternoon and the leg looked good Tuesday morning, so he put him on the plane bringing other New York-based horses for the Cup.

If the leg continues to look good, Salute the Count will blow out on Thursday morning here.

"I'm just going to think he kicked the wall and jammed his back ankle or pastern up; it's not a big deal," Dutrow said.