Racing! Lots of updates on the Breeders' Cup Classic

October 10, 2019 0 By JohnValbyNation

Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as Santa Anita gets ready for a five-day week.

Let’s get caught up on some news.

The Breeders’ Cup Classic is looking to be pretty interesting with just a few weeks to go. All the qualifying races are over and the fields are starting to take shape. The most interesting question is if Omaha Beach will take a run at the big boys, although that’s a tall task to go from a sprint to the 1 ¼ mile Classic.

After winning the Sprint Championship, trainer Richard Mandella said he wasn’t ruling anything out but given how little he’s raced, the Breeders’ Cup Sprint seems more likely.

“Six furlongs to a mile and a quarter a month later against the best in the world, I don’t know that there’s enough time,” Mandella told Jay Privman of the Daily Racing Form. “But I wouldn’t rule it out. My concern is that he had a pretty hard race. It was a big effort after a long time off. I don’t know that I have enough time to fill the tank back up.”

Mandella will always do what’s in the best interest of the horse. Read the story here.

Thank goodness Privman is on the Classic case, as he broke lots of news.

–Elate is still headed to the Classic. Even though she finished second in the Spinster Stakes on Sunday at Keeneland. Blue Prize was the winner of that race. “The mare is going to the Classic,” trainer Bill Mott told Privman.

Elate has won two races this year (Fleur de Lis Handicap, Delaware Handicap), finished second three times (Spinster, Personal Ensign, Azeri Stakes) and third once (Apple Blossom Handicap). Read the story here.

–And while Jay was talking to Mott, he also learned that Tacitus is out of the Classic, and any race the rest of the year. Tacitus was third in the Jockey Gold Cup two weekends ago and second in the Belmont Stakes. He will be coming back as a 4-year-old, according to Privman. Read the story here.

–In other Classic news, Mongolian Groom will supplement into the Classic. He won the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita, a win-and-you’re-in race, but either the horse or his sire had been nominated so he had to pay the supplemental fee of $200,000 to get in. Since Mongolian Groom is a 4-year-old gelding, this will get him in the Breeders’ Cup for as long as he wants.

–And finally, remember last week when we suggested that Joel Rosario would be a good fit for McKinzie. Well, trainer Bob Baffert decided to go that way. Baffert and Rosario have had a relationship through the years, and Rosario was the rider of Game Winner. So, it made a lot of sense.

“I thought I had a chance,” said Ron Anderson, the agent for Rosario. “When you have a horse like this there are so many other channels with other people that Bob [Baffert] had to check with. I thought it was possible but really didn’t know.”

Anderson said he got the word on Wednesday morning.

“Good horse, good trainer, lucky that the horse is at Santa Anita,” Anderson said. “It’s all pretty exciting. We won the Classic last year and we have a good chance this year.”

Rosario won with Accelerate, for John Sadler, last year. Rosario was scheduled to ride Yoshida in this year’s Classic, so that spot is now open.

The current plan is that Rosario will race in Southern California for at least for the start of the Winter/Spring meeting.

Also, nothing final, but Baffert would like to race McKinzie one more year with the new race in Saudi Arabia and the Dubai World Cup on the let’s-talk-about-it list.

Santa Anita preview

Santa Anita has pretty strong field sizes, except in the feature, in the first of five race cards this week. There is a special Columbus/Indigenous People’s Day card on Monday. There are seven races on Thursday, two of them on the turf. It’s the usual weekday start of 1 p.m.

The feature is the sixth race, a $53,000 allowance/optional claimer for fillies and mares going a mile. Mo See Cal is the 2-1 favorite for trainer Peter Miller and jockey Abel Cedillo. Mo See Cal is four-of-15 lifetime and finished last year by winning three in a row. She was second last out in an allowance.

There are co-second-favorites, at 5-2, in Flor de La Mar and Starr of Quality. Flor de La Mar is trained by Baffert and will be ridden by Mike Smith. She won the Beverly J. Lewis at Los Alamitos this summer. As a $500,000 purchase a lot was expected of her early in her career. She finished second in this year’s Santa Anita Oaks and was 11th in the Kentucky Oaks.

Starr of Quality has been two of four this year and is six-of-23 lifetime. Her connections are Bill Spawr and Tiago Pereira. Last out, she won the Dream of Sumer Stakes at Santa Anita on June 22. Post is around 3:45.

Here are the field sizes, in order: 9, 9, 8, 8 (2 also eligible), 10, 5, 9 (1 ae).

Ciaran Thornton’s SA pick of the day

RACE FOUR: No. 4 Party Town (10-1)

Party Town is a trainer Val Brinkerhoff value play at a nice 10-1 morning line. Brinkerhoff often times wins with longshots like this. Jockey Tyler Baze rides. They add blinkers and first time Lasix for Thursday. With a field of first time starters we also see a sharp workout last week so the tactic may be go fast early and hang on and discourage the debut horses.

Sunday’s result: Mr. Tip was scratched.

Ciaran Thornton is the handicapper for, which offers daily full card picks, longshots of the day, best bets of the day.

Final thought

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Now, the star of the show, Thursday’s entries.

Santa Anita Entries for Thursday, October 10.

Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 8th day of a 23-day meet.


1 Mile. Purse: $18,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Lucky Brite Eye Tiago Pereira 122 Martine Bellocq 3-1 20,000
2 Flying Flirt Frank Johnson 122 Oscar Heredia 30-1 20,000
3 Alicia’s Pride Heriberto Figueroa 122 Dan Ward 6-1 20,000
4 Vidalia Diego Sanchez 122 Bruce Headley 6-1 20,000
5 Probable Jorge Velez 117 Matthew Chew 12-1 20,000
6 Northern Encounter J.C. Diaz, Jr. 115 Charles S. Treece 30-1 20,000
7 My S V R Aaron Gryder 122 Andrew Lerner 6-1 20,000
8 Reds Sacred Appeal Evin Roman 122 Lisa Bernard 4-1 20,000
9 Ancona Geovanni Franco 122 Carla Gaines 5-2 20,000


5½ Furlongs. Purse: $21,000. Claiming. 3 year olds. Claiming Price $16,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 I Belong to Becky Joseph Talamo 122 Mark Glatt 5-2 16,000
2 Verynsky Abel Cedillo 124 Robert B. Hess, Jr. 7-2 16,000
3 Don’tteasethetiger Edwin Maldonado 122 Genaro Vallejo 5-1 16,000
4 Just Hit Play Eswan Flores 122 Steven Miyadi 8-1 16,000
5 Concord Jet Tiago Pereira 122 Brian J. Koriner 8-1 16,000
6 Golden Image Geovanni Franco 122 Daniel Dunham 12-1 16,000
7 Prayer Warrior Tyler Baze 122 Jeffrey Metz 12-1 16,000
8 Fifteen to Vegas Jorge Velez 117 Matthew Chew 15-1 16,000
9 Thin Line Martin Garcia 122 Doug F. O’Neill 4-1 16,000


1 Mile. Purse: $21,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 2 year olds. Claiming Price $30,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Billy K Jorge Velez 117 Ryan Hanson 3-1 30,000
2 Text Dont Call Abel Cedillo 122 Doug F. O’Neill 5-2 30,000
3 Fran’s Empire Evin Roman 122 Vann Belvoir 10-1 30,000
4 Sharp Turn Brayan Pena 122 Mike Harrington 8-1 30,000
5 Circleofcolor Geovanni Franco 122 John C. Ivory 12-1 30,000
6 Way too Cute Heriberto Figueroa 122 Jeff Bonde 12-1 30,000
7 Vannavanna Bo Bana Mario Gutierrez 122 Steve Knapp 5-1 30,000
8 Totally Normal J.C. Diaz, Jr. 115 Jeffrey Metz 3-1 30,000


5 Furlongs Turf. Purse: $50,000. Maiden Special Weight. 2 year olds.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Honeywhiskeynwine Diego Sanchez 119 J. Keith Desormeaux 20-1
2 Lighthouse Flavien Prat 119 Simon Callaghan 9-5
3 Kadesh Ruben Fuentes 122 Ryan Hanson 6-1
4 Party Town Tyler Baze 122 Val Brinkerhoff 10-1
5 Too Late Mario Gutierrez 122 Doug F. O’Neill 5-1
6 Connection Jorge Velez 117 John W. Sadler 7-2
7 Witch’s Vow Tiago Pereira 122 Hector O. Palma 6-1
8 Vodka Twist Drayden Van Dyke 122 Neil D. Drysdale 6-1
Also Eligible
9 Drasario Rafael Bejarano 122 Richard Baltas 4-1
10 Much More Halo Evin Roman 122 Bob Baffert 5-1


6 Furlongs. Purse: $31,000. Starter Optional Claiming. 2 year olds. Claiming Price $40,000.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Side Street Dave Geovanni Franco 122 Gary Sherlock 20-1
2 Vastly Deep Eswan Flores 122 Steven Miyadi 10-1
3 Delp Diego Sanchez 122 J. Keith Desormeaux 10-1
4 Riding With Dino Abel Cedillo 122 Robert B. Hess, Jr. 3-1
5 Mainframe Judy Ruben Fuentes 122 Peter Miller 8-1
6 Carpe Noctem Edwin Maldonado 122 J. Keith Desormeaux 12-1
7 Clear to Close J.C. Diaz, Jr. 115 Jonathan Wong 15-1 40,000
8 Drippin Sauce Jorge Velez 117 Jonathan Wong 3-1 40,000
9 Howbeit Martin Garcia 122 Doug F. O’Neill 5-2
10 Seesawsam Heriberto Figueroa 122 Peter Miller 20-1


1 Mile. Purse: $53,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $62,500.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Starr of Quality Tiago Pereira 125 William Spawr 5-2
2 Zusha Drayden Van Dyke 123 Gary Mandella 4-1
3 Flor de La Mar Mike Smith 120 Bob Baffert 5-2
4 Querida Dubai Rafael Bejarano 125 Brian J. Koriner 5-1
5 Mo See Cal Abel Cedillo 125 Peter Miller 2-1


1 Mile Turf. Purse: $50,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. State bred.

PP Horse Jockey Wt Trainer M-L Claim $
1 Y Not Sizzle Drayden Van Dyke 122 Jeff Mullins 7-2
2 Our Romance Geovanni Franco 122 Philip D’Amato 9-2
3 Too Hot for Curlin Flavien Prat 122 Philip D’Amato 7-2
4 Miss Indefatigable J.C. Diaz, Jr. 115 Peter Miller 6-1
5 Wicked Liar Joseph Talamo 122 James M. Cassidy 10-1
6 Slew South Jorge Velez 117 Neil French 20-1
7 Angel’s Advocate Tyler Baze 125 Dan Blacker 12-1
8 Doc Yco Cheeks Rafael Bejarano 122 Peter Eurton 3-1
9 Twirling Diamond Mario Gutierrez 122 Dallas E. Keen 12-1
Also Eligible
10 Goddess Aphrodite Abel Cedillo 122 Peter Miller 20-1

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