10/14/2009 12:00AM

Midships will miss Breeders' Cup Turf


ARCADIA, Calif. - Midships, the dominant turf marathoner in California during the spring and summer, has been turned out at Juddmonte Farms in Kentucky, and will miss the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 7, farm manager Garrett O'Rourke said on Wednesday.

"He's had a bump in the road," O'Rourke said. "We decided to bring him back to the farm. At the moment, the plan is to put him back into training in December."

Midships, 4, has not started since finishing ninth in the Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park in July. Earlier this year, he won the Grade 2 San Luis Rey, Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano, and Grade 1 Charles Whittingham handicaps in succession.

"We'll point for the same races" in 2010, O'Rourke said.

O'Rourke did not elaborate on what has caused Midships to be sidelined. A winner of 5 of 16 starts and $527,975, Midships would have been one of the top domestic hopes for the BC Turf.

In late August, Midships spiked a 102-degree fever before an intended start in the Del Mar Handicap. He has not had a recorded workout since late August at Del Mar.

Juddmonte has several contenders for the Breeders' Cup, including the European import Midday and the locally based filly Visit for the Filly and Mare Turf. O'Rourke said the group of European imports includes Zacinto (Mile), Father Time (Marathon), and Famous Name (Dirt Mile).

A decision on Visit's participation in the Filly and Mare Turf will be made closer to the race, he said. Visit was fourth in the 2008 BC Filly and Mare Turf, and is winless in eight starts since then.

Track handles heavy rain

The Santa Anita main track absorbed approximately 1 1/4 inches of rain on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to track superintendent Richard Tedesco.

The Pro-Ride synthetic surface drained sufficiently, although horsemen took a conservative approach to training on Wednesday, with only four works on the main track.

Trainer Bob Baffert said he postponed a workout for his sprint star Zensational until Thursday or Friday.

"I was going to work a lot of good horses, but it was a little soft," Baffert said.

Trainer Dan Hendricks said he sent his normal number of horses to the track, but did not have any workers. "Everything went out," he said. "The track was a little heavy on the outside rail, but it was good on the inside where it should be."

Tedesco said he received positive feedback from exercise riders on Wednesday.

"It's behaving okay," he said as training concluded on Wednesday. "I did some renovation to it yesterday and it needed some work on it. It's fine, as far as I'm concerned. I talked to a few of the riders and they said it was okay."

The weather cleared late Wednesday morning, with partly cloudy skies for the first race at 1 p.m., but the first rainstorm of the autumn did lead to two of Wednesday's races being transferred from the turf course to the main track.

Ken Maddy draws field of 11

After hosting nine graded stakes over the first two weeks of the Oak Tree meeting, there are only two graded stakes between this weekend and the first day of the Breeders' Cup weekend, on Nov. 6.

Saturday's main race on a nine-race program is the $100,000 Sen. Ken Maddy Handicap, a Grade 3 on the hillside turf course for fillies and mares. Gotta Have Her, second in the Palomar Handicap at Del Mar on Sept. 9, is the 122-pound highweight.

The Maddy drew a field of 11, including defending champion Queen ofthe Catsle, who won the Daisycutter Handicap at Del Mar on Sept. 3, and Tuscan Evening, who won the Grade 2 Royal Heroine Stakes at Hollywood Park in July.

There is a Grade 3 race on Oct. 24, the $100,000 Harold Ramser Handicap for 3-year-old fillies on turf.

Summer Bird on the grounds

Summer Bird, who won the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on Oct. 3, arrived at Santa Anita on Monday for the Breeders' Cup.

Trainer Tim Ice is planning three workouts for Summer Bird in advance of the BC Classic, beginning with a five-furlong workout on Saturday. Summer Bird galloped 1 1/8 miles on Santa Anita on Wednesday.

Summer Bird has emerged as a leading 3-year-old in the nation this year, winning the Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes during the spring and summer in New York.