$2 Million Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Grade I)
2-year-old Colts & Geldings
1 1/16 Miles
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Dixie Chatter – The 2yo colt had a long open gallop down the stretch under exercise rider Janeen Painter Wednesday in preparation for the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella said the colt represents the fourth generation of stakes winners he has trained for a very productive family.
Mandella trained the colt’s great-grandsire, Phone Trick, an Eclipse Award runner-up in 1986 and sire of Phone Chatter, who gave Mandella his first Breeders’ Cup win in the 1993 Juvenile Fillies.
Phone Chatter, the grand-dam of Dixie Chatter, produced the colt’s dam, Mini Chat. Mandella also trained the colt’s sire, Dixie Union, who won the 2000 Haskell Handicap here.
“He looks like a combination of his sire and dam,” said Mandella, admiring the colt while he was being hosed down outside Barn 16. “He’s more leggy like Phone Chatter, with the prettiness of Dixie Union. He was a pretty, fast horse.
“Dixie Union equaled the track record at Hollywood Park for five furlongs in his first start as a 2-year-old,” added Mandella.
Mandella remembered the day he won the Haskell with Dixie Union well. “I won another stake here that day with Recicada, I think the Eatontown Handicap,” recalled the conditioner of his stakes double.
Mandella is happy with the way Dixie Chatter is progressing. “He came up short in the Del Mar Futurity (a fifth-place finish) after missing some training but moved forward when he won the Norfolk (Stakes in his last start at Santa Anita),” said Mandella. “He is growing and gaining all the time.”
Globalization – The 2yo colt galloped 2m under Rodney Paine at Aqueduct Wednesday morning before vanning to Monmouth Park for a start in Saturday’s Juvenile.
The Rick Violette-trained colt came to life last time out to break his maiden impressively at Belmont Park in his fourth lifetime start after a couple of third-place finishes in sprints and a seventh-place finish on turf.
“He finally did something he wanted to do, which was go long,” said Violette, whose colt registered a front-running 7 ˝-length victory while running a mile in 1:36 4/5.
Globalization is expected to be prominent during the early going of the Juvenile.
“I think so. He’s awfully quick away from the gate. He leaves there running,” Violette said. “War Pass won’t get a free pass for the lead. (Jockey) Javier Castellano’s orders will be to get to the lead.”
Kodiak Kowboy/Pyro – Trainer Steve Asmussen’s two Juvenile contenders Kodiak Kowboy and Pyro each galloped 1m at Monmouth Park on Wednesday.
Asmussen has a total of three horses going into this year’s Breeders’ Cup; Curlin, in the Classic, is the third.
Asmussen has had six previous starters in Breeders’ Cup races and is seeking his first victory. His best finishes have been Posse, fourth in the 2003 Sprint, and Bwana Charlie, fourth in the 2004 Sprint.
“Kodiak Kowboy has been very consistent,” said Asmussen via cell phone on Tuesday afternoon. “In his last, Tale of Ekati just ran better than we did. With the races he has in him, he’ll be a formidable opponent.
“At Monmouth, with two turns and drawing the three post, he has an excellent chance. In his last race at Belmont, with the last eighth under 12 (seconds), with a three or four wide trip, he’ll stay on nicely. His experience and who he is mentally will go a long way,” said Asmussen.
He added, “Pyro is nothing short of brilliant as far as talent goes. He’s a deep closer and, at Monmouth, there’ll be 12 horses for him to figure out how to get around.”
Old Man Buck – One day after arriving from Kentucky, the Cradle Stakes winner stretched his legs over the Monmouth Park track, galloping 1 ˝ m on Wednesday. The Hold That Tiger colt will be making only his second start on a dirt track after three turf starts and one on Polytrack.
“He works like a monster on the main track at Churchill, which is why we decided to go in the Juvenile,” said McPeek. “It’s not that he can’t run on the dirt, it’s just that he couldn’t. There just weren’t any two-turn races for two-year-olds of his caliber on the main track. We’re expecting a big effort. He’s doing great.”
Jockey Rafael Bejarano picks up the mount on Old Man Buck for the first time in the Juvenile.
Overextended – Overextended was one of three Doug O’Neill-trained Breeders’ Cup contenders to gallop at Monmouth Park on Wednesday morning. The gray 2yo enters the Juvenile off his maiden win, a 1 1/16m race over the Cushion Track at Santa Anita. The Juvenile will mark his first race over dirt, as all five of his starts have come over synthetic surfaces in California.
“He’s always displayed a lot of talent,” said O’Neill, “but he’s been a bit immature. He trained well in the mornings, but was distracted in the afternoon. After his first start, we added the blinkers (for a few races) then took them off (for last start). He grew up and ran an impressive race last time (blinkers off).
“He may look like he’s short on credentials, but he could jump up and run big. Mr. Reddam (owner J. Paul Reddam) is such a competitor and loves the challenge.”
Salute the Sarge – Juvenile prospect Salute the Sarge was expected to arrive at Monmouth Park late Wednesday afternoon after a flight from Southern California.
Trainer Eric Guillot preceded the Forest Wildcat colt, arriving in the area Tuesday. His plans for the colt that’s not been worse than second in his five lifetime starts call for him to jog both Thursday and Friday prior to his Saturday date in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
Salute the Sarge, who drew post position 12 in the 13-horse field, will be ridden by David Flores. The colt has three wins and two seconds.
Shore Do – Trainer Chuck Peery is adding French cup blinkers to his 30-1 outsider’s equipment for the Juvenile.
“If you watch a replay of the Norfolk, he was just a little green down the lane with Mike Smith,” Peery said of the lightly raced colt’s third-place finish in his stakes debut. “It was just the third start of his life.
“Then we got a good breeze at Santa Anita with Mike while he was wearing blinkers, and Mike thought they helped. He said they made him more focused. He wasn’t too aggressive, just more focused.
“We’re not going to change his style. He’s still going to make one run.”
He’ll do so after starting from the No. five post. “I’ve got a good post at a good price,” Peery said. “I couldn’t be happier. It’s perfect.”
The Southern California trainer noted that he was unique in coming to Monmouth early enough to work his 2yo male.
“I’m surprised,” he said. “I guess I’m the only one who thought it was important for a 2-year-old to get a work over the track.
“I did everything I could for the colt. The only way a horse knows anything is to show it to him.”
On Wednesday, Shore Do jogged 11/2m, schooled in the paddock and then galloped 4f over to the backside.
Slew's Tiznow – The Joseph Lacombe Stable’s Slew’s Tiznow completed the Kentucky phase of his training for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile by galloping at Keeneland on Wednesday morning according to trainer Francois Parisel.
Slew’s Tiznow will arrive Thursday morning.
Julien Leparoux, who has ridden Slew’s Tiznow in all three of his starts, will have the mount in the Juvenile and break from post four.
Tale of Ekati – The 7-2 second choice in a field of 13, the once-beaten son of Tale of the Cat jogged once around the track at Belmont Park Wednesday and then stood in the gate before another gallop. He will be on a van with Nobiz Like Shobiz Wednesday headed for Monmouth.
“He’s done everything we’ve asked of him,” said trainer Barclay Tagg, who typically ships from his home base at the last possible moment for big races. “He’s got a tough post (10) and it’s a very small course (1m main track). There’s not really anything we can do with that. He can’t fly over them.”
Other than his maiden victory at Belmont in early July, Tale of Ekati has shown a preference for stalking and coming off the pace in his last two starts. He’s given every indication that he’ll be comfortable going two turns for the first time, according to Tagg.
The Kentucky-bred owned by Charles Fipke is only the second offspring of Tale of the Cat to run in a Breeders’ Cup race. Be Gentle was off the board in the 2003 Juvenile Fillies. Eibar Coa, who has been aboard in two of the colt’s three starts, has the ride.
War Pass – The 5-2 morning line favorite was sent out for what trainer Nick Zito described as “an easy gallop” of a little less than a mile and a half over the Oklahoma training track in Saratoga. The unbeaten colt owned by Robert LaPenta was being loaded on a van just before noon for the approximately four-hour trip to Monmouth Park.
Zito said he is looking forward to the Juvenile.
“I really like our chances, obviously,” he said before leaving Saratoga Springs. “He’s really a super horse. It’s going to be tougher, like every other Juvenile. I’m hoping we can get away from the gate cleanly and go from there.”
Wicked Style – Trainer Rusty Arnold was not happy with drawing the 13 post for Saturday’s Juvenile, but he remains confident in his undefeated colt.
“It’s a horrible post. It’s hard to believe it happened to us again (extreme outside draw),” Arnold said. “He handled it last time (won from post 12 in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland), so he’ll have to again.”
The 2yo son of Macho Uno has never raced on a conventional dirt track, but he does have two Graded stakes victories already on his resume.
“When I got him in April, I was amazed with what a big, pretty chestnut horse he was,” Arnold recalled. “A lot of horses who come out of the 2-year-old sales are all fired up and hard to handle, but not him. He went right to the track the first day we had him, and hasn’t missed a beat since.”
He “wasn’t quite ready” to run at Churchill, so Arnold sent Wicked Style to Arlington, where he broke his maiden at first asking over 6 ˝ furlongs on July 21.
“We circled the (Arlington-Washington) Futurity on our calendar that day,” Arnold said. “We were very confident that he’d be an even better horse over more distance.”
Dismissed at odds of 8-1, Wicked Style won the Arlington Washington Futurity by a game head.
“He was on the inside and got passed at the sixteenth pole, but came back to beat a nice horse (fellow Juvenile contender Slew’s Tiznow),” Arnold said. “He was on the van to Lexington the next day to point to the obvious spot (the Breeders’ Futurity).”
The prospects for a win looked gloomy when the tactical speedster drew the extreme outside post 12 over a Polytrack that favors off the pace types.
“Getting the lead at Keeneland was not the plan,” Arnold explained. “I hoped Robby (jockey Albarado) could somehow find a way to save some ground. He soared out of there, and nobody wanted the lead into the turn, so he crossed over and took it. We were a length in front in 49 3/5, and I’ll take that anytime.”
With several speedy horses drawn inside of him over a Monmouth main track that can favor front-runners, a similar scenario is not likely to play out on Saturday.
“He (Wicked Style) has a high cruising speed, but he certainly doesn’t need the lead to win,” Arnold said. “That first turn will be key. Hopefully we can rate in the first flight.”
Z Humor – Trainer Bill Mott took the son of Distorted Humor to the paddock and is carefully monitoring the colt’s progress after what he called “a stinker” of a workout Tuesday at Belmont Park.
“(The exercise rider) galloped him and said he feels great,” Mott said. “He looks perfect, he doesn’t have a pimple on him. The only thing we can figure out that may have happened the other day is that he hit himself, he interfered with himself a little bit and hit his hind ankle. Maybe that was enough for him to sort of abort the last part of the work.”
The Zayat Stables runner broke his maiden at Saratoga in his debut, then finished third in both the Sapling and Champagne. Mott is hoping two turns might be the answer to this one’s future success.
“We’ve always thought a lot of him,” said Mott, who admittedly sent the colt to Monmouth after his maiden breaker in contemplation of a return for the Breeders’ Cup less than two months later. “There was no quit in him in the Champagne. If he improves just a little bit it gives him a huge shot in the race.”