Delegation – The 3yo son of 2004 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Speightstown went to the track on Tuesday morning for a routine gallop in advance of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
Delegation, winner of the Durham Cup on Woodbine’s Polytrack last out, gave his trainer Mark Casse good reason to smile when he went through his final 5f breeze in 1:02 1/5 on the Churchill Downs main track this past Friday under exercise rider Jason Hoyte. The work was moved up one day due to potential trouble from Hurricane Sandy and was shipped to Santa Anita on Sunday.
“Delegation worked really well,” Casse said. “He broke off and there were two horses in front of him going a half-mile and he about ran over the top of them. He went around them and then came up on another horse and Jason had him out in the middle of the track. He probably could have gone in 59 flat.”
There is no question that Delegation, a winner in four of his six lifetime starts with a second and a third in his other two efforts, is on the muscle since arriving in Southern California.
“He’s a little keyed-up right now,” said Casse, a four-time Sovereign Award-winning trainer. “I want him to relax a little bit.”
Delegation, who will break from post 2, is one of the three Casse charges to be ridden by Patrick Husbands in this year’s Breeders’ Cup races. The Kentucky-bred was purchased for $150,000 as a 2yo by Gary Barber, who also owns the undefeated Spring Venture, a Juvenile Fillies Turf hopeful from the Casse barn.
Delegation will gallop for the remainder of the week and school in the paddock, although that schedule has yet to be finalized.
Emcee – Godolphin Racing’s Emcee galloped 1m before schooling in the starting gate Tuesday morning at Santa Anita in preparation for a start in Saturday’s Dirt Mile.
Emcee, who won the 7f Forego at Belmont Park in his most recent start, had been pre-entered in the Sprint as well as the Dirt Mile. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin opted for the Dirt Mile despite the fact that the 4yo son of Unbridled’s Song never had run beyond seven furlongs.
“It was not an easy decision, but we thought the race shape would be a lot better going a mile than 14 horses going six furlongs,” said McLaughlin, who was concerned about possible crowding in a full field in the Sprint. “We decided to go in the Dirt Mile, where he’s going to be forwardly placed. We always thought he wants a mile. The two turns will be a question, but we feel like he’s the horse to beat in there.”
Fed Biz – The Giant’s Causeway 3yo jogged Tuesday morning at Santa Anita with trainer Bob Baffert looking on.
The conditioner thought his colt, who drew post 5 in the nine-horse Dirt Mile, was eligible to improve off his third-place finish in the Oct. 6 Indiana Derby last out.
“His comeback race (Del Mar’s El Cajon Stakes Aug. 31 following almost six months of down time) was really tough on him. He ran so hard that day (winning in a photo over Sprint starter Jimmy Creed) that he was knocked out. But he’s come back to himself now. He’s doing much better.”
Jersey Town – Charles Fipke’s Jersey Town is scheduled to board a Tex Sutton flight from Newburgh, N.Y., Wednesday morning.
The Belmont Park-based 6yo captured the Kelso Handicap for trainer Barclay Tagg in his most recent start.
John Scott – Bred and owned by Harris Farms, John Scott never has been worse than fourth in nine lifetime starts, including five victories. He figures to be one of the longshots in the Dirt Mile, which includes major stars such as 2011 Dirt Mile runner-up Shackleford, millionaire Rail Trip, and 3yo star Fed Biz.
“I know he’s coming back a little quickly, but he’s doing well and I think he fits in this race,” trainer Carla Gaines said.
Rail Trip – Trainer Ron Ellis postponed a 4f work for the 7yo gelding to Wednesday at Betfair Hollywood Park after heavy fog covered the track early Tuesday morning.
“He was going to work this morning, but I can't see," said Ellis, who had the multiple stakes-winning millionaire jog and gallop 1 1/4m under exercise rider Baltazar Contreras after the fog lifted.
“The rail isn't going to matter,” Ellis said of drawing the number one post. “It's a pretty solid group, just a different distance for him. I always thought he would be a good miler.”
In his only previous try at the 1m distance of the Dirt Mile, Rail Trip won the Santana Mile Handicap here in 2009.
Shackleford – The 2011 Preakness and 2012 Met Mile winner went to the track following the 8:30 a.m. renovation break along with stablemate Dullahan. Both horses stood in the gate and then galloped 1 1/2m. The Forestry colt will be looking to better his second-place finish in last year’s Dirt Mile.
“He’s doing good out here,” trainer Dale Romans said.
Tammy Fox, who was aboard Dullahan for their exercise, but also keeping a close eye Shackleford, was in total agreement as the pair headed back to the barn.
“They’re really doing great,” Fox said.
Tapizar – Winchell Thoroughbred’s Dirt Mile contender was one of five horses that walked the shedrow of trainer Steve Asmussen’s barn Tuesday morning following 4f works Monday.
“They’re all in fabulous shape after yesterday,” Asmussen said. “I love how they’re all doing. They’ve all come back good. Now, they better all run as well as they’ve been training.”