Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Oct. 24-25
$2 million Emirates Airline
Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (Grade I)
Fillies & Mares, Three-Year-Olds & Up
1 1/4 Miles (Turf)
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Dynaforce (Tr: Bill Mott) –Dynaforce galloped on the main track Wednesday morning and will be going for her second consecutive stakes victory this season when starting in the Emirate Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
“You have to be thrilled with the way she ran,’’ trainer Bill Mott said of Dynaforce’s going-away victory in the Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park on Sept. 27. “It was a big, big effort; huge on her part. She’s run four times over here and she’s run three huge efforts. If she repeats any one of those we’re in with a fighting chance.”
Dynaforce was second in the Diana and in the New York Handicap, her only sub-par performance coming in the Glens Falls at Saratoga at 1 3/8 m. The daughter of Dynaformer is 4-for-11 lifetime, with three seconds.
“I think we saw what she’s really like in the Flower Bowl,’’ said Mott, who will have the services of Alan Garcia for the second time. She is listed at 6-1 in the morning line behind early favorite Wait a While.
Folk Opera (Tr: Saeed bin Suroor) – Folk Opera, winner of the E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine last out, got a good look at Santa Anita for the first time Wednesday morning as she had an easy jog around the main track.
The 4yo daughter of Singspiel, who arrived Monday afternoon and spent Tuesday in quarantine, was very lively during her exercise, but trainer Saeed bin Suroor said it was to be expected.
“This was the first day we took her out,” bin Suroor said, “and she showed a little fresh. She had an easy canter today, and tomorrow she’ll go a mile.”
Folk Opera won the Prix Jean Romanet in August, going all the way on the lead, and then ran eighth behind Zarkava in the Prix Vermeille when she stayed off the pace. In the Taylor last out, she went wire-to-wire under Frankie Dettori, who rides again Friday.
“We sent her to the Breeders’ Cup because she handles travel very well,” bin Suroor said. “She went from Canada back to England, and then from England to here, and she handled it well.
“She’s in good condition, and she’s a tough filly,” the trainer said. “I’d like to see her sit close to the pace and see how fast they go. She likes to run that way.”
Folk Opera drew Post nine in the field of 10 fillies and mares.
Forever Together (Tr: Jonathan Sheppard; ex. rider: Barry Wiseman) – After turning in a bullet workout at Keeneland Tuesday, Forever Together walked the shedrow before boarding a plane bound for Southern California Wednesday morning.
“She came out of her workout fine,” said Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard before boarding his own flight.
The 4yo filly worked 4f in 47, the fastest clocking of 29 workouts at the distance Tuesday.
Forever Together, who captured the First Lady at Keeneland in her most recent start, will be ridden in the Filly & Mare Turf by Julien Leparoux.
Halfway To Heaven (Tr: Aidan O'Brien) – The consistent 3yo filly Halfway To Heaven, who has a record of 4-2-2 in eight lifetime starts, trotted around the main track at Santa Anita Wednesday after clearing quarantine.
Jockey John Murtagh will ride the 3yo daughter of Pivotal on Friday.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien said the riders deserve a lot of the credit for the filly’s three Group 1 victories this season: the Sun Chariot Stakes, the Nassau Stakes and the Irish 1000 Guineas.
“She’s a very tough, hardy filly, but has gotten three brilliant rides,” O’Brien said. “That’s the thing. Each time she won you’d say the jockey was great on her, but she’s very tough, very consistent and has class. But she had three great rides.”
Mauralakana/Vacare (Tr: Christophe Clement) – Trainer Christophe Clement, who arrived from his New York base Tuesday, got a first hand look at his three Breeders Cup entrants this morning (also In Summation - Sprint) as they each galloped 1 1/4m and he pronounced all in fine form.
The French-bred Mauralakana also competed in the 2006 Filly & Mare Turf at Churchill Downs when she was conditioned by trainer Patrick Biancone, but fared no better than seventh after a troubled trip. This year may be a different story.
“She was a very good filly in France as a two-year-old,” Clement said. “She had a nice career with Mr. Biancone last year and I’m just lucky they sent her to us.
“She’s just a very nice filly. She was a 3-year-old when she ran in the Breeders’ Cup last time, and now she’s a 5-year-old mare. She’s a bit stronger now and she’s more settled.”
Vacare may be 10-1 in the morning line, but when she last raced against 3-1 favorite Wait a While here on Sept. 27 in the Yellow Ribbon, Vacare only missed by ¾ of a length when finishing second.
“When she ran against Wait a While she ran very well,” Clement said. “It’s a bit ambitious (to run her back against the favorite in the race), but you have to be ambitious; it’s the Breeders’ Cup.”
Pure Clan (Tr: Bob Holthus ex. rider: Steve Schmelzel) – Assistant trainer and exercise rider Steve Schmelzel reported that the American Oaks winner was “very happy” as he cooled her out following a 1 1/2m gallop on Wednesday.
Schmelzel has been Pure Clan’s main exercise rider since she first came to the barn as a 2yo, and is her traveling companion on trips from their Kentucky base. He says that he’s seen her really mature over the last year and now “she’s all business.”
Trainer Bob Holthus is due to arrive later Wednesday and will oversee the filly’s scheduled Thursday move, which is to include a two-minute lick over the turf course.
Sealy Hill (Tr: Mark Casse) – Norman Casse has been supervising the training of Sealy Hill, the 2007 Canadian Horse of the Year and Canadian Filly Triple Crown winner, until his father Mark Casse arrives tonight.
Norman recognizes that it is rare to be around a horse of her caliber and accomplishment.
“It is a true honor,” said the younger Casse, who is still in his twenties. “Obviously, one of the reasons I started in, and stayed in this business was to be around a really good horse like her.”
Sealy Hill isn’t the first Canadian Horse of the Year that Casse has found himself working in close proximity to.
“It’s funny. Last year at the Breeders’ Cup, I ended up helping hold Arravale, who was our reigning Horse of the Year, when I gave (trainer) Mac Benson’s wife a hand. I was thinking that I should really appreciate the moment, because I’d never be around a Horse of the Year again. I even joked about it. Now it’s me who’s around the Horse of the Year.
“That’s pretty neat and it’s something I’ll always remember for the rest of my life. She’s a very special horse and it’s an honor and a joy to have her.”
Visit (Tr: Sir Michael Stoute) – Visit, a 3yo daughter of Oasis Dream who arrived early Monday morning from England, had an easy canter on the turf course this morning.
Trainer Michael Stoute was expected to arrive at Santa Anita later this week to supervise the filly’s final preparations.
Visit, who won the 7f Oak Tree Stakes at Goodwood this year, has never raced beyond one mile. She drew post four for the 1 1/4m Filly & Mare Turf.
After her Breeders’ Cup race, Visit will remain in the U.S. to race with Bobby Frankel as her trainer.
Wait a While (Tr: Todd Pletcher) – Wait a While, Eclipse champion 3yo filly of 2006 and in search of another title at age 5, galloped 1 1/4m at Santa Anita in preparation for an attempt to win her fourth race on the track’s turf course. The roan daughter of Maria’s Mon, unbeaten in three local starts, could not be coming up to the race in better form, trainer Todd Pletcher said of the 3-1 morning line favorite.
“She is a very happy animal at the moment.”