09/25/2011 1:15PM

Santa Anita: Drill puts in final work for Norfolk Stakes

Shigeki Kikkawa
Drill, winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity, will make his two-turn debut in Saturday’s $250,000 Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita.

Drill, winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 7, worked seven furlongs in 1:23.20 on Sunday, preparing for his first start around two turns in Saturday’s $250,000 Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita.

Drill actually worked six furlongs in 1:11.20, according to trainer Bob Baffert.

“He did it the right way,” Baffert said. “He did it pretty effortlessly.”

After a disappointing eighth as the even-money favorite in his debut July 30, Drill rebounded to win a maiden race Aug. 13, followed by a neck win over Majestic City in the seven-furlong Del Mar Futurity. Majestic City was disqualified from second to third for a bumping incident in the stretch, which led to the promotion of Creative Cause from third to second.

Majestic City and Creative Cause are candidates for the Norfolk, which is run over 1 1/16 miles.

Baffert had a busy morning Sunday, working several leading horses in his stable.

Game On Dude, winner of the Santa Anita Handicap in March but fourth in the Pacific Classic in his last start, worked seven furlongs in 1:24.60 and may go favored in Saturday’s $250,000 Goodwood Stakes over 1 1/8 miles, a key California prep for the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov 5.

Prayer for Relief worked five furlongs in 1:00.80. Though nominated for the Goodwood, Baffert said Sunday that he has not finalized plans for the 3-year-old, who won his third consecutive graded stakes in the Grade 2 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 10.

Plum Pretty, winner of the Kentucky Oaks in May but beaten in her last three starts, worked five furlongs in 1:25.20. Fourth in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 20, Plum Pretty will travel to the East Coast for the $750,000 Cotillion Handicap at Parx Racing on Saturday.

Euroears, winner of the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar on July 31, breezed a half-mile in 47.20 and will prep for the BC Sprint in the $350,000 Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday.

In other works, Awesome Gem, winner of the Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs in August, worked six furlongs in 1:13.40 at Hollywood Park on Sunday. Awesome Gem, 8, is nominated for the Goodwood Stakes, with a decision on his participation to be made Wednesday, when entries are taken, trainer Craig Dollase said.

The Goodwood will not feature Twirling Candy, who was second in the Pacific Classic. Hampered by a bruised foot in early September, Twirling Candy will be trained toward the BC Classic or BC Dirt Mile. Trained by John Sadler, Twirling Candy had his first workout since late August on Sunday at Santa Anita, going a half-mile in 47.40.

Two leading contenders for Grade 1 stakes for fillies and mares next weekend worked at Santa Anita on Sunday.

The Sadler-trained Zazu worked six furlongs in 1:11.40. She starts in Saturday’s $250,000 Lady’s Secret Stakes over 1 1/16 miles, a race led by Blind Luck, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2010, and Ask the Moon, winner of two Grade 1 races at Saratoga during the summer.

Malibu Pier, a 4-year-old filly trained by Carla Gaines for B. Wayne Hughes, will be after her first Grade 1 win in Saturday’s $250,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes over 1 1/4 miles on turf. The winner of the Grade 2 Santa Barbara Handicap at Santa Anita in April, Malibu Pier worked five furlongs in 59.80 on Sunday. She was second in the Grade 2 John Mabee Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 14, her most recent start.