10/15/2009 11:00PM

Sadler thinks Noble Court is due

Benoit & Associates
Noble Court (left), winning the Ack Ack three starts back, is targeting the BC Turf Sprint.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Trainer John Sadler hopes to have six runners in Breeders' Cup races at Santa Anita on Nov. 6-7, and he considers his best chance to be a colt who has not won since June.

Noble Court, the winner of the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap who has subsequently placed in two Grade 1 races for sprints, is bound for the $1 million BC Turf Sprint on Nov. 7 and has Sadler's confidence.

"He's got a good record and never runs a bad race," Sadler said.

Owned by Joy Ride Racing, Noble Court was second to BC Sprint favorite Zensational in the Grade 1 Pat O'Brien Handicap over seven furlongs Sept. 6, a result Sadler said did not favor Noble Court.

"He was second in a paceless race," he said.

Noble Court has made one start over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course, the same course as the BC Turf Sprint. Last March, Noble Court won the Joe Hernandez Stakes.

Sadler, the leading trainer at the Hollywood Park spring-summer and Del Mar meetings earlier this year, said he also plans to start Get Funky in the BC Turf Sprint.

Other Breeders' Cup hopes from his barn include Cost of Freedom in the Sprint, Dave in Dixie in the Juvenile, Evita Argentina in the Filly and Mare Sprint, and Whatsthescript in the Mile.

Bickersons gets back to work

Bickersons, third in the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes here Oct. 4, worked five furlongs in 1:00 on Friday for the BC Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 6.

The workout was Bickersons first since she finished 2 3/4 lengths behind Blind Luck in the Oak Leaf Stakes, her first start over 1 1/16 miles.

"I think she's headed in the right direction," said trainer Kelly Breen. "If I can get her to improve a couple of lengths, it puts us in the winner's circle."

Breen, who flew to California from Monmouth Park for the workout, said Bickersons may not be his only starter in the Juvenile Fillies. He is considering starting Truth and Justice, who won the Sorority Stakes at Monmouth Park and the Presque Isle Debutante in her last two starts.

'Jockeys' star finally ends her slide

Jockey Kayla Stra ended a 100-race losing streak in Thursday's fourth race aboard Miss Edyta ($7.80), a win that left the 24-year-old native of Australia relieved.

Stra had not won since the final weekend of Hollywood Park in July. She was winless in 36 mounts at Del Mar and 45 mounts at Fairplex Park on this circuit earlier this year.

The lack of wins has led Stra to ride primarily at Fresno this month. She said she will relocate to Golden Gate Fields for that track's fall meeting, which beginsWednesday.

"I'll keep my foot in the door at Santa Anita and come back for certain horses," she said.

Stra, whose attempt to break into Southern California racing was featured in the television program "Jockeys" on Animal Planet, will be back at Santa Anita to ride Gothic Samurai in Sunday's $60,000 Lure Stakes. The mount, which will be Stra's first for Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale, came about through owner-breeder Arnold Kelsey.

"I met him when he came over" from Australia, she said. "We just started talking, and he watched me ride. After I met him, he said I was missing out on opportunities and he wants to give me a chance. It's one of the nicest horses I'll ride at this meeting."

Stra said she wants to ride more races and concentrate less on television in coming months.

"I've seen both sides of it now," she said. "I'm a bit worn out of it all from a media side of things. I want to stay focused on riding."

Racing board approves Hollywood meet

Hollywood Park received approval for its fall meeting at the California Horse Racing Board's monthly meeting in Coalinga, Calif., on Thursday.

The six-week fall meeting will have a slightly different schedule. The meeting will open with a three-day week Friday, Nov. 13, and then have four five-day weeks on a Wednesday-through-Sunday basis from Nov. 18 through Dec. 13.

The final week of the meeting will be a four-day week from Thursday, Dec. 17 to Sunday, Dec. 20.

Hollywood Park ran four-day racing weeks from mid-May through mid-July earlier this fall, cutting one day a week when a horse shortage became apparent. Officials have expressed optimism that there are sufficient horses in training in Southern California to allow for five-day weeks this fall.

The current Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting has run five-day weeks, including one six-day week.

Through Thursday, the Oak Tree meeting has averaged 8.24 starters per race, compared to 9 starters per race for the entire 2008 meeting. This week has been particularly tough, with only 58 starters in eight races on Wednesday and 56 starters in eight races on Thursday.

Sunday's nine-race program has 68 horses entered before scratches.