Delegation – Gary Barber’s Delegation galloped 1 1/2m on Wednesday morning as part of trainer Mark Casse’s five-horse Breeders’ Cup contingent and then was sent to the starting gate for a lesson.
“He’s still a little wound up and I’d like to see him calm down a little, but he is on his toes,” said Casse, the winner of four Sovereign Awards as Canada’s top conditioner. “We took him to the gate and he was feeling good, although he was a little tough there.”
The 3yo gelded son of 2004 Sprint winner Speightstown has been blessed with plenty of speed and comes to the Dirt Mile fresh from a pair of gate-to-wire scores.
“If the pace if fast enough, he’ll rate a little. But if not, he’ll be right on it. I expect him to run really well,” Casse said.
Emcee – Godolphin Racing’s Emcee galloped 1 1/2m Wednesday morning at Santa Anita, prepping for a start in the Dirt Mile.
The 4yo son of Unbridled’s Song has been a most welcome member of Kiaran McLaughlin’s stable, especially since he wasn't expected to stay in the barn very long after he impressively broke his maiden at first asking at Belmont Park last fall.
“When he broke his maiden we had identified him as a top horse for Godolphin, so we sent him to Florida for 30 days quarantine in Ocala to go to Dubai,” McLaughlin said. “A day or two before he was supposed to fly, he spiked a temperature of 103-and-change and couldn’t fly.
“Since he missed the flight over, they decided, ‘Oh, well, just leave him with Kiaran,’ and they sent him to us at Palm Meadows (Training Center). So it worked out very well.”
Fed Biz – Trainer Bob Baffert is looking for an improved effort for his 3yo colt Fed Biz in the Dirt Mile.
Following a near seven-month layoff, he came back to win the El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar in a photo over Jimmy Creed, who will run in the Sprint. Fed Biz came off that race to finish third, beaten a length, in the Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park.
“He’s sharp now,” Baffert said. “Coming off that layoff, he wound up in a real ‘horse race’ at Del Mar. He had to run real hard and it set him back a bit. Then we had to ship (to Indiana) and that can take something out of them. But he’s back going good now. I’m looking for a solid effort from him Saturday.”
Jersey Town – Charles Fipke’s Jersey Town was aboard a Tex Sutton flight that originated in Newburgh, N.Y., Wednesday morning and arrived at the Ontario, Calif., airport at noon.
Rail Trip – The 7yo gelding was shipped to Santa Anita Wednesday noon after working 4f at Betfair Hollywood Park under jockey Jose Valdivia Jr.
“I got him in 48 and 2/5," said trainer Ron Ellis, satisfied with the drill. "He was just galloping along.”
Shackleford – The Forestry colt made another fine appearance Wednesday and has his trainer Dale Romans thinking he’s sitting on a big effort as he attempts to avenge his loss in the same race last year.
“He couldn’t be training any better,” Romans said. “I’ve never seen him train better.”
While it is likely the Dirt Mile will be the last race of Shackleford’s career, it is not a certainty according to his trainer.
“We’ll have to see what happens this weekend,” Romans said. “We could go in the Cigar Mile or that race at Churchill (Clark Handicap). It would be nice to send him out with a bang for his owners and fans.”
Shackleford has developed quite a following since winning the 2011 Preakness and on Saturday, Oct. 27, nearly 100 fans came by the barn to see him on invitation by his connections.
“We had a lot more people than I expected,” Romans said. “I think the fans have been attracted to him because he’s so tough. He’s shown up at every dance. And, he’s such a good looking horse. All the good horses have funny characteristics that people latch on to. We were happy to have all the people come to see him. The fans are the backbone of this business.”
Tapizar – Ron Winchell’s colt was one of five Breeders’ Cup starters for trainer Steve Asmussen that returned to the track to gallop Wednesday following 4f workouts Monday.
“They’re all doing well,” Asmussen said. “They all just had easy gallops. It’s a matter of keeping them all happy now.”