10/10/2015 1:36PM

Smooth Roller works for Breeders' Cup Classic

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Smooth Roller wins the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes last month at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Smooth Roller, the winner of the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 26, will have his first start outside of California in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland on Oct. 31, a race jockey Tyler Baze wishes would arrive sooner.

“I can’t wait,” he said. “I think he’ll be competitive and he’ll be right there.”

On Saturday at Santa Anita, Smooth Roller worked a half-mile in 48.20 seconds under Baze, the 4-year-old gelding’s first workout since the Awesome Again Stakes.

Working alone, Smooth Roller was not urged. He quickened noticeably going into the turn and ran through the stretch in hand. Trainer Victor Garcia timed Smooth Roller in 47.80 seconds and had him galloping out five furlongs in 1:01.40.

“It doesn’t get much better than that,” Baze said. “It was a leg-stretcher today.”

Owned by Lucky Charm Stable, Smooth Roller has won 3 of 4 starts and earned $261,810. Garcia said he plans to work Smooth Roller next Saturday at Santa Anita before shipping to Keeneland on Oct. 19. Once there, Smooth Roller will have a workout before the BC Classic.

On Saturday, trainer John Sadler worked two Grade 1 winners bound for Breeders’ Cup races – Classic longshot Hard Aces and Distaff contender Stellar Wind.

Stellar Wind, 3, worked six furlongs in 1:16.80. Sadler timed the filly in a quicker 1:14.40. The winner of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks in April, Stellar Wind has not raced since winning the Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 30. Sadler said a two-month layoff leading into the BC Distaff is not a concern.

“I’m not worried about that,” he said. “We have a couple of works to go.”

Hard Aces, who worked a half-mile in 47 seconds, earned a fees-paid berth in the BC Classic with a win in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita in June. He was sixth in the Awesome Again.

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Joseph Bartelli More than 1 year ago
Stellar Wind wins the Distaff! You heard it here first!