10/08/2011 1:31PM

Santa Anita: Camp Victory preps for Breeders' Cup in Morvich Stakes

Shigeki Kikkawa
Camp Victory is looking to use Monday's Morvich Stakes as a springboard to the Breeders' Cup.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Keeping Camp Victory moving toward a start in the Breeders’ Cup next month is trainer Mike Mitchell’s goal in Monday’s $100,000 Morvich Stakes at Santa Anita.

“I think it’s a real good prep race for whatever we do at the Breeders’ Cup, if we’re that good,” Mitchell said.

The possible races for Camp Victory at Churchill Downs include the BC Turf Sprint, the Sprint, or the Dirt Mile.

“We need a good performance to be thinking about those races,” Mitchell said.

Since claiming Camp Victory for $40,000, Mitchell has watched the 4-year-old gelding win 2 of 5 starts and finish second in the other three races. The sequence includes a runner-up finish by a nose to Regally Ready in the San Simeon Handicap on the hillside turf course.

The Morvich is run over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course.

“He’s run very well off that hill,” Mitchell said.

Camp Victory was second to The Factor in the Grade 1 Pat O’Brien Stakes over seven furlongs on Del Mar’s synthetic main track Aug. 28. The Morvich is Camp Victory’s first start on turf since the San Simeon.

The race drew a field of eight, all stakes winners.

Camp Victory is a stalker and will have a pace to follow from the quick Ain’t No Other, a former maiden claimer and three-time stakes winner.

“You don’t want him setting the pace,” Mitchell said of Camp Victory. “It looks like we’ve got some speed in front of him. He blew out really nice for the race.”

The richest runner in the field is California Flag, a winner of 9 of 23 starts and $1,168,825. Best known for winning the 2009 BC Turf Sprint at Santa Anita, California Flag won the Morvich in 2008 and 2009. He is winless in two starts this year, including a fifth in the Pirate’s Bounty Stakes at Del Mar on Sept. 7, but has left trainer Brian Koriner encouraged in recent weeks.

“He’s shown a lot of energy,” Koriner said. “He had a little setback before the last race, an infection.”

Leroy’s Dynameaux is a threat from off the pace. He was second in the Joe Hernandez Stakes on the hillside in March.

“He’s very capable down the hill,” trainer Mark Glatt said. “No matter the situation, he has to have an early pace.”

Goodman: Secret Circle, Sweet Swap step up

The striking Del Mar maiden race winners Secret Circle and Sweet Swap make their first start in a stakes in Monday’s $65,000 Jack Goodman over six furlongs for 2-year-olds.

Secret Circle, a colt by Eddington trained by Bob Baffert, won a maiden race over 5 1/2 furlongs by 7 1/4 lengths July 23, but has not started since. Sweet Swap, a Candy Ride colt, won a maiden race over 5 1/2 furlongs by 1 3/4 lengths Aug. 20 for trainer John Sadler.

The Goodman drew a field of six and could produce a few starters for the new $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4.

The Goodman field has one stakes-placed runner in Galex, who was second in the Alameda County Fair Futurity at Pleasanton in July and last of six after a troubled trip in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 7.