Capo Bastone/Monument – The John Sadler trainees both galloped 1 1/2m at around 5:45 to Sadler's satisfaction.
Aron Wellman, head of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners group that owns Capo Bastone -- and has other Breeders' Cup entrants Tara From the Cape (Juvenile Fillies Turf) and In Lingerie (Filly & Mare Turf) -- was on hand with a group of partners to watch the proceedings.
"Capo Bastone is a horse that we bought as a 2 year old in training at a sale in Florida, and right from the get-go we thought that he was a Breeders' Cup potential horse," Wellman said. "John and his staff have done an incredible job of patiently developing him. He's an incredible talent, we think a very smart horse and he has been able to execute the plan that John and I have had for him since Day One.
"He's here, he has a live shot. He's had three races, none of which provided him with any kind of trip at all. Because of that we think he might have somewhat of an advantage for overcoming that adversity. Everybody in our camp believes that he really belongs in the race and we're hoping this is the time he gets a good trip and shows what he can do.
"It's an incredible race, we have respect for everybody in there. But we feel like we're going in with a loaded gun."
Dynamic Sky – He may be only a 2yo and have just three starts, but $2 million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile hopeful Dynamic Sky is catching on pretty quickly to his new surroundings.
“He schooled good enough yesterday that we’re not going to school him today,” said trainer Mark Casse after he supervised the son of Sky Mesa’s morning gallop.
Owned by John Oxley along with stablemate and Juvenile Fillies contender Spring in the Air, Dynamic Sky has raced in a grade I race (Breeders’ Futurity) at the
1 1/16m distance of the Juvenile. Nonetheless, his three starts have been on the Polytrack at Woodbine and Keeneland.
“I’m not concerned about him handling the main track,” said Casse, who is hoping to notch his first Breeders’ Cup win after 10 tries and will saddle a contingent of five. “We plotted this all out ahead of time. All five of my horses were at Churchill Downs training on dirt for a month before they came here.”
Fortify – Godolphin Racing’s Fortify galloped 1 1/2m Thursday morning at Santa Anita for a rematch with morning-line favorite Shanghai Bobby in Saturday’s Juvenile.
“He’s a big, powerful horse. He looks like a 4-year-old. He’s just a little bit slower than Shanghai Bobby,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. “We just have to hope things for some reason go in our favor, whether it’s the mile and a sixteenth or no Lasix for them. We’ve never been on Lasix.”
Win or lose in the Juvenile, McLaughlin thinks Fortify has a bright future.
“We think he’s a beautiful mover with a great stride. Hopefully, he’ll get better with age,” McLaughlin said.
He's Had Enough – The Tapit colt galloped 1 1/2m on the Santa Anita main track Thursday under exercise rider Jonny Garcia.
Dennis O'Neill, brother and assistant to trainer Doug O'Neill, picked out both He's Had Enough and I'll Have Another, winner of the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, for owner Paul Reddam.
"Physically, he's got as much ability as I'll Have Another," said Dennis O'Neill of He's Had Enough, victorious in one of three races. "Mentally, he has not. He's always gawking around in the morning. He's Baby Huey out there. I just hope he figures it out."
Power Broker/ Title Contender – Title Contender, the rail horse in Saturday’s Juvenile, was out for a gallop Thursday morning as part of the large Bob Baffert Breeders’ Cup contingent.
His trainer – who won the Juvenile in 2008 with Midshipman at Santa Anita – was asked if he thought the 1 1/16m distance was going to be taxing for Title Contender, who has only two starts, one of them a sprint.
“No, I don’t think so,” Baffert said. “He’ll handle the distance. In fact, I think he’s going to want more distance (to do his best). He and the other horse (Power Broker) both want more distance. And they’re both hard to separate. They both have good ability.”
Power Broker, a son of Pulpit (as is Title Contender), also galloped Thursday.
Shanghai Bobby – Trainer Todd Pletcher’s morning-line favorite for the Juvenile got his first glimpse of picturesque Santa Anita Thursday morning after arriving on the Tex Sutton flight Wednesday.
“It’s good to be here,” Pletcher said after ‘Bobby’ galloped over the main track and later was schooled in the paddock. “The horse has been perfect so far. He seems to be handling everything we throw at him. He steps up in class and steps up in distance, so we’ll try one more time.”
The son of Harlan’s Holiday already has bankrolled $607,000 for Starlight Racing by winning his first four starts, three of them in stakes company. On Saturday, Starlight will have to share whatever earnings the colt makes with Coolmore Stud, which this week purchased a 50 percent partnership for an undisclosed sum in the colt.
“It went pretty quickly,” said Starlight Racing’s principal owner Jack Wolf. “I had two parties approach us at the same time. We talked back and forth and came up with a deal that I think is good for them and good for us. I think you have to put a value on this horse as a stallion prospect and as a racing prospect. I’m tickled to death that we’ve got the stallion side pretty much taken care of.”
Saturday’s race should go a long way in adding to the racing side. Shanghai Bobby’s last two races have been won by increasing margins, but this will be his first two-turn assignment. He also will race without Lasix for the first time under the new Breeders’ Cup ban for all 2yo performers this weekend.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a problem,” Pletcher said. "It's unchartered water, but he's never shown any signs of bleeding. If they haven't bled prior to the race, I think the chances of them bleeding in the race are diminished. We'll have to wait and see and have them scoped after the race."