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Friday, October 25, 2002
Contact: Notes Team (847) 385-7472/7473
$1 million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Grade I)
Bull Market -- With so many 2yos in his care, trainer Bob Baffert often has no choice but to run them against one another. That is the glaring part of Bull Market's three-race career so far: he has been racing mainly against his own stablemates.
"I still think that he is a tough horse that likes to mix it up," Baffert said. "The only bad race he's run was when he got off badly. That can't happen on Saturday because you would be giving too much to too many good horses."
Mike Smith had been riding Bull Market, a son of Holy Bull whom Smith rode to victory in the Travers and to Horse of the Year honors, but opted to ride Vindication for Baffert in the Juvenile. Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey picks up the mount on Bull Market.
Hold That Tiger/Tomahawk/Van Nistelrooy -- Jockey Michael Kinane took the Aidan O'Brien-trained Tomahawk to the main track Friday morning for a canter. Kinane is hopeful the Kentucky-bred son of Seattle Slew can give him a second consecutive win in the Juvenile after the O'Brien-trained Johannesburg last year.
"I chose to ride him (Tomahawk) because he has that initial early pace and I think the pace of the race will suit him," Kinane said. "I'd have been happier if he'd drawn the hole where 'Tiger' (Hold That Tiger) is, though (3 instead of 11). He didn't come down the hill at Newmarket well twice, which affected his performance, so I think this track will suit him. The other horse (Hold That Tiger) is going to have to sit back a little bit so I think my horse is just a little bit less complicated.
"The race is a mile and a furlong this year but it's all about pace. I think our horses have the stamina that's required and whether or not they're good enough, we'll see. These are different horses to Johannesburg...last year the race was one turn and was a bit of a sprint."
Kieren Fallon, who will partner Hold That Tiger on Saturday, was also trackside Friday although he was not aboard his mount when he cantered on the main track.
"I watched him and he went well this morning," Fallon said. "If he faces up to the kickback (dirt in his face), he'll be hard to beat. He has the pedigree for the dirt and he has an action that should transfer well to the dirt."
Van Nistelrooy cantered on the main track Friday morning along with his stablemates. The son of Storm Cat is the only one of O'Brien's entries that has raced as far as one mile. He will be ridden by John Velazquez.
Kafwain -- With victories in the Best Pal and Norfolk, the son of 1994 Sprint winner and Eclipse champion Cherokee Run might have the right style to win the Juvenile. He has been rating off the pace and has gradually increased the distances in his races.
"We won't have any answers on these horses until after the race," Baffert said. "I think I've prepared my horses the right way to get them to get the distance, but this is going to be a very hard race for the 2yos. What I like is that my 2yos are all tough horses. Kafwain likes to get in there and scrap for everything. That's what it's going to come down to. All of these horses have talent, or else they wouldn't be here. Now, we're going to see who has heart and class."
Listen Indy -- The colt galloped 1 ½ miles with exercise rider Paul Nilluang Friday.
Trainer Richard Mandella planned to dine with owner Alain Wertheimer Friday night and hoped for the same Breeders' Cup luck as 1993 when he won the Turf with Kotashaan for Wertheimer and his brother, Gerard.
Mandella planned to school both Listen Indy and Turf entrant The Tin Man in the paddock during the sixth race.
Lone Star Sky -- Trainer Tom Amoss sent his Juvenile hopeful to the track for a 1 ½-mile gallop on Friday and was very satisfied with the colt's final exercise.
"Everything was perfect," said Amoss. "He's fine. He came back and cooled out well. We're very comfortable with how things are going."
In his last race, the Conquistador Cielo colt finished second to Sky Mesa, the morning line favorite before being declared Friday morning from the race with an ankle injury, in the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland.
When asked how he thought the late scratch would change the way the race sets up, Amoss replied: "I don't think it will change how the race is run. Sky Mesa was obviously a strong contender and his defection will just give the other participants more confidence."
Most Feared -- Trainer Ronny Werner led his Texas-bred Commanchero colt to the track for a 1 1/2-mile gallop on Friday. Most Feared, who will be seeking his fourth consecutive victory, added blinkers two races ago and wore the equipment for his gallop.
Most Feared most recently won the Arlington-Washington Futurity on Sept. 28.
Sky Mesa -- John Oxley's undefeated Sky Mesa was declared Friday morning from Saturday's Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile because of an ankle injury in his right fore. The undefeated son of Pulpit was the 3-to-1 morning line favorite for the 1 1/8 miles test.
"It looks like it could be a strain or a wrench," said trainer John Ward. "The best part of it is that there is no evidence of a condylar fracture and initial pictures show no crack. It's going to take Dr. (Larry) Bramlage a couple of days to sort it out. It's unfortunate timing, but the future might still look good."
"It wasn't there when he came back from the track yesterday," said Donna Ward, the trainer's wife and assistant. "Who knows when it happened? The groom said he left at 10:30 last night and the colt was moving around fine.
"When the groom called this morning he said it looked like he was tender in the stall. The fortunate thing is that better today than tomorrow (during the race). The local vet (Dr. Vincent Brencick), who saw him this morning, said it looked like a sprain. Let's hope that's all it is."
Statement from Dr. Larry Bramlage, AAEP on-call veterinarian: "I looked at the horse this morning with John Ward and Dr. (Vincent) Brencick, who is the attending veterinarian. There was some swelling (right fore) just above the ankle joint and he was sore. The X-rays came back negative (for fracture). We'll get him back to the clinic (Rood & Riddle) in Lexington early next week and do a digital bone scan."
Toccet -- Trainer John Scanlon was smiling as he stood looking at his 2yo Friday.
"He loves it," Scanlon said of the muddy track on which the colt galloped 1 ¼ miles Friday. I really don't care what the track is. He likes everything," Scanlon said. "But I think he likes mud a little bit better."
Vindication -- Jockey Mike Smith was one of New York's top jockeys in the 1990s, but has since moved to California and found success there as well. He is a stellar Breeders' Cup jockey having won eight Breeders' Cup races: the Distaff (1995, Inside Information; 1997, Ajina), Sprint (1994, Cherokee Run), Mile (1992-93, Lure), Juvenile, (1995, Unbridled's Song), Turf (1994, Tikkanen) and the Classic (1997, Skip Away).
Smith was already convinced that Vindication would make a good showing in the Juvenile, but the defection of morning line favorite Sky Mesa on Friday only bolstered his confidence.
"Vindication is extremely talented," Smith said. "I know that a lot of people knock him because they say his numbers aren't very fast. But that's because he loafs when he gets to the lead. He didn't break that well last time (Kentucky Cup Juvenile, Sept. 14), but he still won. Don't let that race fool you. If breaks clean, he is a very quick horse."
Smith also remembers that Vindication made a strong first impression.
"I remember the first time I saw him," Smith said. I was working another horse for (trainer) Bob Baffert, and (exercise rider) Dana Barnes was on Vindication. Another horse broke off in front of her and she had to check and move around while we got through, then, all of a sudden, Dana and this horse swarmed right by us.
"It was one of those middle moves that you saw with Arazi (1991 Juvenile winner). You just don't see horses make that kind of move. When I got back, Bob asked me how my horse worked. I said, `The hell with him, put me on that other S.O.B. that Dana was on.'"
Vindication is a son of 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew.
"He's pretty laid back, for a Slew," Baffert said. "He's relaxed and not as erratic as some of the Slew horses."
Wando -- Trainer Michael Keogh had Juvenile contender Wando out for a one-mile jog Friday morning, followed by a 1 ¼ miles gallop over the sloppy track. Wando was also schooled in the paddock before and after training.
"He seemed to handle the track," said Keogh. "We'll never know for sure until he races over it."
Whywhywhy/Zavata -- The 2yos returned to the track Friday after a day of walking at Arlington on Thursday and galloped 1 ¼ miles "easy," according to Yan Durepainre, assistant to trainer Patrick Biancone.
Whywhywhy has two victories in two races over off tracks, so Durepainre said weather is of no concern for that colt. Zavata has not raced on an off track but the assistant trainer said he wasn't worried about him either.
"They (weathermen) said no rain the rest of the day and then the Chicago wind will dry things," he said.
Zavata's jockey, Gary Stevens, will look a little bit different in the saddle compared to the rest of the riders Saturday. He plans to wear an exact copy of the silk pants George Woolf wore riding Seabiscuit. Stevens is playing the role of Woolf in the movie "Seabiscuit" that is filming at Santa Anita.
The pants were made by the film costume director, who was able to borrow them from a local restaurateur who collects Woolf memorabilia. The main difference between pants of the 1930s and those of today are that they were made of silk and had side buttons.
Stevens also is riding Nuclear Debate in the Mile and Macho Uno in the Classic.
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Thursday, October 24, 2002
Contact: Notes Team (847) 385-7472/7473
$1 million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Grade I)
Bull Market/Kafwain/Vindication -- Trainer Bob Baffert sent out his three-horse Juvenile squad to the main track at Arlington Park on Thursday for easy gallops. They have respectively drawn posts 5, 2 and 6 for the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
"To tell you the truth, I don't like drawing next to each other," Baffert said. "But I'm glad I'm not Toccet (post 14).
"The Juvenile is going to be a wide-open race. Sky Mesa is a good horse, but he might be a little lazy. Whywhywhy is a very good horse. But we have three tough horses, too."
One that Baffert made particular note of is Vindication, the undefeated son of Seattle Slew, who overcame a troubled start to win the Kentucky Cup Juvenile on Sept. 14 by six lengths. He is 4-1 on the morning line, the second-choice behind 3-1 favorite Sky Mesa.
"I watched the Kentucky Cup on television, so I didn't know what the hell was going on out there," Baffert said. "I even said to someone that if we don't see him soon, we're in trouble. Then, all of a sudden, this whoosh comes across the screen. I didn't know if it was a five-eighths move or a half-mile move because he wasn't in the picture.
"In a way, I'm glad that happened to him because it showed what he is made off. In these championships races, figures don't mean anything. It's all about heart."
Hold that Tiger/Tomahawk/Van Nistelrooy -- Trainer Aidan O'Brien left his three Juvenile aspirants in their stalls Thursday morning awaiting clearance of their blood tests by the USDA. All seven of O'Brien's runners in the World Thoroughbred Championships are expected to canter Friday morning.
"Tomahawk is in good form -- he's just run in two Group Is in the last three weeks, so it's a big call for him -- and we just hope that he's okay," O'Brien said. "We'll learn from it...we'll either do it again next year or we won't. Hold that Tiger we just saw in France...he settled well, quickened well, and won well. He was only getting going at the line and is a half-brother to Editor's Note, who won a Belmont, so you'd hope he would stay. Van Nistelrooy we always thought would appreciate a mile or a little bit further, so we're hopeful of a good race.
"Tomahawk looks a real dirt horse. He races like one...he has that real strong, level pace. Van Nistelrooy is a tough horse who loves a battle. I hope we can ride him handily and he can be competitive all the way. He has a strong, level pace as well and a real dirt pedigree. He's better when the pace is flat and he can grind. The Group I he ran in (National Stakes), the pace was just a little bit quick for him and it just caught him out a little bit.
"Mick (Kinane) had his choice of mounts and the question always was would Tomahawk get over the Dewhurst, which we won't know until he runs, but Mick has always had faith in the horse so he stuck with him. Kieren (Fallon) had won on the other horse (Hold that Tiger) in France, and Mick is a real team player, so he did what he thought was best for everyone."
Fallon was on the backstretch Thursday morning and spoke about Hold that Tiger: "I rode some good colts this year and he was the one who gave me a really good feel. He was doing his best work at the finish in France and they went very quick. I'm hopeful that he'd get 1 1/8 miles and he's got a good draw which is important here."
Listen Indy -- The 2yo colt, improving as distances get longer, galloped 1 3/8 miles Thursday under exercise rider Paul Nilluang. Jose Vera is his groom.
"He has always given us the feeling that 1 1/8 miles would be in his favor," said trainer Richard Mandella of the A.P. Indy colt. "If the race was just seven-eighths, we wouldn't have considered it."
Listen Indy, a homebred owned by the Wertheimer brothers, broke his maiden in his third outing at one mile and returned with a creditable third-place finish in his stakes debut in the Norfolk at 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita Oct. 5.
Listen Indy is owned by brothers Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, for whom Mandella won the 1993 Breeders' Cup Turf with Kotashaan en route to Horse of the Year honors.
"Listen Indy is a little untested to tell if he's Derby quality," said Mandella. "After Saturday, we should know more."
Lone Star Sky -- Walter New's Conquistador Cielo colt, one of only two in the 14-horse field to have raced at the host track, got reacquainted with the Arlington surface Thursday after arriving from Louisville on Wednesday afternoon. Lone Star Sky also took time to school in the paddock.
"He's fine, doing well," said trainer Tom Amoss, who is also doubling as a TVG commentator this week. "We're very satisfied with how he's doing. He'll have some light training in the morning and that will be all for us."
Lone Star Sky won his career debut at Arlington on June 5 and has since raced strictly in stakes, winning two and finishing second in the other two. He most recently finished second to the 3-to-1 morning line favorite for the Juvenile, Sky Mesa, in the Lane's End Futurity.
Most Feared -- The Arlington-Washington Futurity winner and second horse in the field with a trip over the track galloped 1 ½ miles on Thursday. Trainer Ronny Werner, who will also saddle Touch Tone in the Sprint, says he hopes the weather clears as predicted to aid his Commanchero colt's chances.
"I'm really hoping for a deep, laboring track," said Werner. "I know my colt can run all day. The rain's probably going to tighten the track and benefit the speed.
"I'm happy with our post (12 of 14). If I had my druthers, I'd be closer to the inside, but I like the location."
Sky Mesa -- The 3-1 morning-line favorite galloped 1 ½ miles Thursday as he moved closer to the moment of truth on Saturday in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
Assistant trainer Donna Ward expressed satisfaction with the progress of the son of Pulpit, saying, "We're ready to go with what we got."
The undefeated colt, who will break from post position 9, will walk the shedrow Friday, which is the normal pre-race day routine for the colt, Ward said.
Toccet -- The colt galloped 1 ¼ miles "strong" at a two-minute lick, trainer John Scanlan said. The draw for post positions was not, since the colt got stuck in the extreme outside.
"I'd like to be 7, that's my lucky number," he said. "Maybe 14 can be my lucky number too because that's the date of my birthday, in August."
Wando -- The Canadian-bred Wando arrived at Arlington Park at approximately 5 a.m. Thursday by van from his Woodbine base.
"He shipped well and we walked him a little this morning, put him in, and did him up with bandages," said trainer Michael Keogh. "Tomorrow he will jog a mile and then gallop a mile and a half. We're also going to school him in the paddock in the morning."
Accompanying Wando on this trip away from home is Dexter, Keogh's stable pony.
"He (Wando) really likes him. He's a great companion," said Keogh, a former jump rider in England.
Keogh noted Thursday morning that the weather in Canada was actually a little bit warmer when they left last night than it is currently here in Chicago.
"He likes the cool weather...most horses do. He does seem a lot sharper since summer passed," said Keogh.
Whywhywhy/Zavata -- The two colts jogged the horse path beside their Arlington Park barn in the rain Thursday. "I didn't want them on the track today," trainer Patrick Biancone said. "And I don't want them to catch cold."
Biancone planned the schedules of the two juveniles to keep them from racing one another and rues that he can't do so any longer. "I still would prefer it," he said, "but there is only one Breeders' Cup. They are ready to do what they were trained to do on Saturday. Both are fresh and happy."
Biancone said he'd been worried earlier this fall when Zavata kicked his stall and developed a little filling in the leg but there no problem now.
"It was nothing much. Until last week I thought I only had one shot to win the race. Now I think I have two chances to win the race," Biancone said, referring to Zavata's final work, 4f in 50 3/5 on Wednesday.
The trainer was asked to compare Zavata and Whywhywhy.
"Both are extremely talented horses," he said. "Whywhywhy is a warrior. Zavata is more of an artiste."
Noting that Zavata's jockey Gary Stevens is playing the role of George Woolf in the movie "Seabiscuit," he joked: "That's good, huh? An artiste and an actor."
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Monday and Tuesday notes
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