09/28/2009 11:00PM

Mine That Bird gets feel for surface

Charles Pravata/Eclipse Sportswire
In his first work over Santa Anita?s Pro-Ride surface, Mine That Bird works five furlongs in 1:01.80 on Tuesday under jockey Joe Talamo.

ARCADIA, Calf. - Mine That Bird was not expected to dazzle anyone Tuesday morning in his first autumn workout over the Santa Anita racing surface, and the Kentucky Derby winner performed to expectations.

Jockey Joe Talamo and Mine That Bird came onto the track in a busy period after the 8 a.m. break. They broke off at the five-eighths, went the first quarter in 25.20 seconds, the half in 49.60, and finished in 1:01.80 over a track that produced relatively slow times.

Trainer Chip Woolley was not looking for anything more.

"It was just a good stretch of his legs over the racetrack. We'll fine-tune next time," Woolley said, though he admitted he wished Mine That Bird had shown more punch in the lane.

"I might have liked him to finish a hair more, but it was the first time [Talamo] was on him, and he [Mine That Bird] was not gassed at all." Woolley said. "He was fresh as a daisy coming off the track. I was happy with it. When he comes back not blowing, that's the main thing."

Mine That Bird will work again early next week at Santa Anita, after which he and Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel will try to knock off older horses Oct. 10 in the Grade 1 Goodwood as a prep for the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 7.

Talamo, filling in for Borel for the workout, liked what he felt underneath.

"I loved the way he got over the track," Talamo said. "He was nice and relaxed, almost like a turf horse on a long rein. He was comfortable and that's what this was all about, to see how he handles the surface."

Colonel John breezes slowly

Colonel John, a troubled fifth in the Pacific Classic on Sept.6 and potentially the favorite for the Goodwood, also worked Tuesday. With regular rider Garrett Gomez aboard, Colonel John was well within himself in a six-furlong workout timed in a slow 1:14.80.

Gomez was under instructions from trainer Eoin Harty to go easy.

"He said don't do anything flashy. It's deep out there, and I was impressed with his work," Gomez said.

Colonel John got stuck behind horses on the far turn and into the stretch of the Pacific Classic, then went one-paced to the wire.

His lack of a finishing kick left some handicappers disappointed, but not Gomez.

"He's a big, long-striding horse, and long-striding horses don't quicken," Gomez said.

Espinoza gets on Chocolate Candy

The new jockey for Chocolate Candy familiarized himself with the 3-year-old Tuesday morning. Victor Espinoza will ride Chocolate Candy in the Goodwood, and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said Espinoza worked the colt Tuesday morning.

Chocolate Candy was timed in 1:12.80. Chocolate Candy finished second in his comeback at Del Mar. The horse that beat him, Grazen, is expected to start favored Saturday in the $200,000 California Cup Classic.

Hollendorfer was reluctant to commit to the Breeders' Cup Classic.

"I try not to think too far ahead," he said. The Goodwood "is the next step, and it's a key element."

Chocolate Candy has won 4 of 12, and finished second in the Santa Anita Derby in April.

Pedroza, O'Neill extend dominance

Jockey Martin Pedroza won his 11th consecutive Fairplex Park riding title, and Doug O'Neill won his sixth training title in eight years, as the 15-day Los Angeles County Fair meet ended Monday. Pedroza won 45 races from 136 mounts. Christian Santiago Reyes finished second with 20 wins. O'Neill won 16 races, eight more than Cliff Sise.

Business was down at the Fair, which shortened its meet from 16 to 15 days for the 2009 season. Total handle was $82.1 million, or $17 million less than the 16-day meet in 2008. Handle figures released by Fairplex showed a decline of $7.6 million over a comparable 15-day period a year ago. The biggest hit was inter-track wagering, which was down more than 20 percent. According to Fairplex figures, out-of-state handle was up 5 percent.

Pedroza was suspended five days (Oct 7-11) for a "careless riding" incident Sept. 27 in which jockey Kyle Kaenel went down and sustained a fractured collarbone and a heel injury. Reyes was suspended three days (Oct. 7-9) for "careless riding" in the same race. Talamo was suspended three days (Oct. 3, 4, 7) for careless riding in race 11 on Sept. 25.

Misremembered to Indiana Derby

Misremembered, winner of the Grade 2 Swaps in summer at Hollywood Park, is on his way to Indiana for the $500,000 Indiana Derby on Saturday.

Trainer Bob Baffert said Victor Espinoza would ride the colt. Misremembered worked a half-mile Tuesday in 47.80 under Joe Steiner.

Baffert also worked Del Mar Oaks winner Internallyflawless seven furlongs in 1:26.80. He said the 3-year-old filly would run take on older fillies and mares in the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Stakes on Oct. 10 at Santa Anita or ship to Keeneland for the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth for 3-year-olds.

Copa de Plata back with Periban

The 6-year-old Copa de Plata seeks his fourth straight win Thursday in race 2, a $25,000 claiming race. He will be running for trainer Jorge Periban and owner Mickey Gonzalez, even though Copa de Plata was claimed away from them Aug. 23 at Del Mar.

Chris Hartman claimed Copa de Plata for $16,000. Later, Gonzalez, whose stable name is M Racing, approached Hartman and asked about re-acquiring Copa de Plata.

"I'm not sure what he paid," Periban said.