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Wild Spirit won't go in Distaff
ARCADIA, Calif. - Trainer Bobby Frankel pre-entered eight horses in five Breeders' Cup races, but it is "wait until next year" for Grade 1 winner Wild Spirit. Frankel said Wild Spirit, the romping winner of the Grade 1 Ruffian Handicap, was not pre-entered in the $2 million BC Distaff, where the Chilean import would require a $400,000 supplement.
"I don't think it's a good business decision - she could finish second and the owner would only break even," Frankel explained. He said Wild Spirit's owner, Oussama Abou-Ghazale, told him that if there were any doubts, "don't worry about it."
Frankel said Wild Spirit "is a great filly, and I want her for next year. She's liable to be the best filly in the country next year. Her numbers are the best in the country."
The defection of Wild Spirit means Frankel will have one starter in the Distaff. It might be enough. Sightseek, runner-up in three graded stakes at Santa Anita early this year before launching a four-race win streak in Kentucky and New York, will be the first Frankel trainee to face Azeri.
Sightseek must also deal with Got Koko, who beat Sightseek in the La Canada in February at Santa Anita.
Frankel pre-entered Aldebaran and Midas Eyes in the Sprint, and they worked six furlongs in company Tuesday at Hollywood Park. Aldebaran broke off behind Midas Eyes, and they finished evenly. Aldebaran was timed in 1:13.20; Midas Eyes was timed in 1:13.60. They will work once more before game day.
Peace Rules posted the fastest work of the day - six furlongs in 1:12.40. "That's his typical work," Frankel said. The trainer said Peace Rules was cross-entered in the Mile and the Classic, but he expects to start Peace Rules in the Mile, while Medaglia d'Oro will run in the Classic.
Frankel said his eight pre-entrants were Medaglia d'Oro, Sightseek, Peace Rules, Aldebaran, Midas Eyes, and three for the Filly and Mare Turf - Heat Haze, Megahertz, and Tates Creek.
Be Gentle, Got Koko work out
It was dark and foggy, but Be Gentle did in fact work five furlongs Tuesday morning at Santa Anita. Runaway winner of the Alcibiades on Oct. 3 at Keeneland, Be Gentle will take on Halfbridled in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Be Gentle worked before dawn and was timed in 59.80 seconds. Track clockers did not record the workout.
Cornelio Velasquez will ride Be Gentle and BC Juvenile entrant Race for Glory for Lukas; the trainer was looking for a rider for Juvenile Fillies entrant Renaissance Lady.
In other workouts, Got Koko went seven furlongs early Tuesday morning in 1:29 and will have one more drill before she meets Sightseek and Azeri in the Distaff.
Class Above worked seven furlongs Tuesday in 1:25 under David Flores for the Juvenile Fillies. "She came home really good the last three-eighths," Flores said. Class Above will be one of two Bob Baffert-trained runners in the Juvenile Fillies, along with Victory U. S. A.
Honor in War withdrawn from Mile
Honor in War has been declared out of the Mile after being diagnosed with filling and heat in a front ankle, trainer Paul McGee said Tuesday at Churchill Downs.
Honor in War, winner of the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve in May and most recently a sharp second behind Perfect Soul in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland, most likely will be able to race again, but "obviously the timing on something like this is awful," said McGee.
"He actually X-rayed clean and ultrasounded clean, but clinically, there is some heat and swelling there," he said.
Honor in War is owned by 3rd Turn Stables, a Louisville-based syndicate headed by former NFL All-Pro lineman Will Wolford. A 4-year-old horse by Lord at War, Honor in War has been pre-entered in Keeneland's breeding stock sale next month.
McGee said further diagnosis will determine whether Honor in War can race in the Nov. 16 River City at Churchill. "We're trying to get past this first," he said.
Clock Stopper, Ethan Man to Sprint
Clock Stopper, winner of the Perryville Stakes at Keeneland last week, has been pre-entered in the Sprint, although "we're going to watch how he trains before we make an absolute final decision," said trainer Dallas Stewart.
Clock Stopper, a 3-year-old gelding owned by Overbrook Farm, was ridden by Robby Albarado in the Perryville, but Albarado will stay in Kentucky to ride Tenpins in the Fayette Stakes on BC Day. Stewart, based at Churchill Downs, was checking into his jockey options Tuesday.
Another Churchill-based gelding, Ethan Man, definitely will run in the Sprint, said trainer Pat Byrne. "He'll breeze next Tuesday or Wednesday," said Byrne. "We're on the Wednesday flight out to California."
Rene Douglas, who guided Ethan Man to a runner-up finish in the Oct. 3 Phoenix at Keeneland, will be back aboard in the Breeders' Cup.
Gygistar to miss Sprint again
Maybe Gygistar has a case of stage fright.
For the second straight year, Gygistar will miss the Sprint. Last year, he injured a foot three days after pre-entries were made. This year, Gygistar was diagnosed with a 104-degree temperature Sunday morning, two days before pre-entries were due.
Trainer Mark Hennig said Gygistar was not pre-entered in the Sprint and, if he gets healthy in time, could make his next start in the De Francis Dash at Laurel Park on Nov. 15.
"He's got that curse of the Bambino, only it's the curse of the Breeders' Cup," Hennig said. "He worked great Saturday but left all his dinner, and on Sunday he had a 104 temperature. We treated him and he snapped right out of it, but he's going to miss four or five days of training."
Forest Music a go in Juvenile Fillies
Forest Music, who earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 105 for her first-out maiden win at Laurel Park on Oct. 8, will run in the Juvenile Fillies, trainer Mark Shuman confirmed Tuesday.
Shuman said owner Michael Gill expressed a desire to run in the race if the filly was okay, and Shuman said he couldn't find a reason to say no.
"I told him, 'You've got to face some seasoned horses,' " Shuman said. "He said, 'If she's physically doing good, I'd like to try her.' "
Although Shuman said Forest Music had a "sensitive shin" the morning after the race, he said she was problem-free the following day. Shuman said it wasn't surprising to have some sensitivity considering that Forest Music ran six furlongs in 1:08.53, the fastest final six-furlong time for a first-time starter in the history of Laurel Park.
Shuman said Edgar Prado has accepted the mount on Forest Music, who will ship to California on Tuesday.
Eight entered in BC Steeplechase
Eight horses, headed by McDynamo, have been entered in Saturday's $175,000 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase at the Far Hills Races in Far Hills, N.J.
McDynamo was a runaway winner of his only previous start this year, in the Royal Chase at Keeneland. That marked his third consecutive victory. Jockey Craig Thornton is traveling from New Zealand for the ride. McDynamo tuned up for the Breeders' Cup with a second-place finish in a National Steeplechase Association training race on the flat on Sept. 28 at Foxfield in Virginia.
Sanna Hendriks, the trainer of McDynamo, also is represented by Lord Zada, who will be making his first start since capturing the 2002 version of the Royal Chase. He was second in the 2001 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase.
The other entrants are Mulahen, Mr Perkolater, Trebizond, Indispensable, Pelagos, and Hotspur.
The Breeders' Cup Steeplechase encompasses 2 5/8 miles and 14 fences. It is the fourth race on a six-race program that begins at 1 p.m. Eastern.
Breeders' Cup roundup
* Voodoo Dancer, who has not raced since winning the Grade 1 Diana Handicap on July 26, worked an easy half-mile in 50.60 seconds over Belmont's main track Tuesday morning. Trainer Christophe Clement said he was not looking for anything faster because Voodoo Dancer puts so much into her morning gallops.
* Trainer Patrick Byrne said Tuesday that Everyday Angel, second to Zosima in the Arlington Matron, would skip the Juvenile Fillies. "We decided to back off her," Byrne said.
* Buy the Sport was pre-entered on Tuesday in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, according to trainer Bobby Barbara, who said a rider for 3-year-old filly had yet to be determined.
* That's An Outrage won a two-turn maiden race Sunday at Santa Anita in his sixth career start - earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 86 - but the effort was enough to convince trainer Mike Puhich and the colt's owners to pre-enter in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
- additional reporting by David Grening, Marty McGee, and Jay Privman