10/22/2011 2:34PM

Santa Anita: Majestic City headed to Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf after strong turf work

Benoit & Associates
Majestic City will switch to grass for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Majestic City already has had success going short and going long, and now he’ll get a chance to prove himself on turf, because he is headed to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf following an impressive workout over the grass here at Santa Anita on Saturday morning.

On a day when a number of Breeders’ Cup prospects – including the unbeaten 2-year-old filly Weemissfrankie – worked here and at Hollywood Park, Majestic City’s drill might have been the most significant, both in terms of the way he did it and because it helped determine which race he would run in Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs.

Majestic City worked a half-mile, around orange cones known as dogs, in 47.60 seconds, which was the best time of four at the distance. Jockey Joe Steiner was aboard for the work, but Garrett Gomez has the mount for the Juvenile Turf.

“The big question was him getting over it, but Steiner said he skipped over it,” said Jeff Bloom, the former jockey who manages the partnership that owns Majestic City. “It really was impressive.”

Majestic City, a son of City Zip who is trained by Peter Miller, won the Hollywood Juvenile in the summer and most recently was second in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland. The Juvenile Turf will be his first race on grass.

Pre-entries for the Breeders’ Cup must be turned in by Monday, but Bloom said he already had pre-entered Majestic City in both the Juvenile, at 1 1/16 miles on dirt, and the Juvenile Turf, at one mile, with the Juvenile Turf being the first preference.

“I like that it’s a mile, not that I think a mile and sixteenth is beyond his scope,” Bloom said. “City Zips have a history of running well on turf, and the competition in the Juvenile Turf might be slightly softer.”

Earlier Saturday morning, Weemissfrankie stayed on course for the Juvenile Fillies by working five furlongs in 59.40 seconds for trainer Peter Eurton.

Amazombie, who continues to train sharply for trainer Bill Spawr for the Sprint, flew through a half-mile in 46.60, the second-best time of 49 at the distance.

Jeranimo, who will take on Goldikova and Gio Ponti in the Mile, worked a half-mile on dirt in 47 seconds for trainer Mike Pender.

Dubawi Heights, who won the Yellow Ribbon last time out for trainer Simon Callaghan, worked five furlongs on dirt in 59.80 in preparation for the Filly and Mare Turf. Another Filly and Mare Turf prospect, Cambina, worked five furlongs on turf in 1:00.20 for trainer Jeff Bonde.

Self Preservation, most likely to run in the Juvenile Fillies Turf for trainer Ben Cecil, went six furlongs in 1:15.

Across town at Hollywood Park, trainer Marty Jones sent out Unzip Me, a possibility for the Turf Sprint, for a five-furlong work in 1:02.80, while Tres Borrachos, whom Jones could run in the Dirt Mile, went five furlongs in 1:01.40.

Atta Boy Roy will skip Dirt Mile

Even though Atta Boy Roy successful stretched out to a mile when winning a money allowance at Santa Anita on Friday, trainer Valorie Lund said she would not bring him back in the BC Dirt Mile and would instead await races at Santa Anita this winter.

“It really is too soon,” she said of the Breeders’ Cup. “I need to be careful with him. He’s all I’ve got.”

Atta Boy Roy has won 3 of 7 starts this year in a campaign that has seen him race at Santa Anita, Churchill Downs, Prairie Meadows, Saratoga, Canterbury, and Turf Paradise, where Lund is based and where she returned with Atta Boy Roy overnight Friday.

“I drive the van,” she said. “I don’t let anyone else touch him.”