10/28/2012 6:07PM

Santa Anita: Group of 16 Europeans arrive for Breeders' Cup

Japan Racing
The 4-year-old filly Sharta, shown in Japan last November, was among the European-based horses to arrive at Santa Anita this weekend for the Breeders' Cup.

Three flights carrying 16 horses based in England, Ireland, and France arrived without incident on Saturday at Santa Anita.

The first group in, traveling on a private charter, included the horses associated with the ruling family of Dubai. Next came a plane with other horses from England and Ireland, and finally the four horses, all fillies, that traveled from France.

[BREEDERS' CUP PPs: Visit DRF's official BC Handicapping Center]

All 16, including such prominent runners as Ridasiyna (Filly and Mare Turf), Shareta (Turf), The Fugue (Filly and Mare Turf first preference over Turf), Moonlight Cloud (Mile), and  Sky Lantern (Juvenile Fillies Turf) were bedded down Sunday morning in the quarantine barn on the Santa Anita backstretch, and if blood-testing goes as smoothly as possible, the first group of horses will be released from quarantine in time to get in a training session late Monday morning. The horses that arrived later Saturday won’t be cleared for training until Tuesday.

Yet to ship overseas are the Breeders’ Cup entrants trained in Ireland by Aidan O’Brien. Their flight is due to arrive late Monday night, and those horses probably won’t be able to train until Thursday. O’Brien, though, typically ships his stock internationally as late as possible, and horses having two days of moderate training over the local track is routine for his outfit.

O’Brien’s contingent will number either eight or nine: Infanta Branca is not among the14 horses that earned their way into or were selected as participants in the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Entries are to be taken Monday morning, however, so O’Brien will know before he has to ship his horses whether Infanta Branca got into the race or not.

Things were not so clear for trainer John Gosden, whose 2-year-old charge Snow King would be the first horse into the Juvenile Turf if any of the top 14 in that race defect. Snow King has raced only once, beating 16 foes in a maiden race at Ascot, but keep in mind that Gosden won the Juvenile Turf both years it was contested at Santa Anita, with Donativum in 2008 and Pounced in 2009.