Big John B â€“ Big John B galloped 2m on the training track Wednesday morning, keeping to the usual schedule on the approach of a race, especially as big a one as the $3 million Longines Breedersâ€™ Cup Turf, trainer Phil Dâ€™Amato said.
â€œThis horse, the longer the better for him,â€ Dâ€™Amato said. â€œThe Del Mar (Handicap) win was no surprise. His last race, the John Henry, was a little too short for him. This race, the extra quarter of a mile will be perfect for him. We know weâ€™re going up against the best in the world, But (with Win And Youâ€™re In benefits) itâ€™s a free roll at $3 million and our horse is doing really well, so weâ€™ll give it a shot.â€
Brown Panther â€“ see European report
Chicquita/Magician â€“ see European report
Finnegans Wake â€“ Trainer Peter Miller said the 5yo horse was shipped from San Luis Rey Downs to Santa Anita Wednesday morning after jogging two miles and going to the gate.
Flintshire â€“ see European report
Hardest Core â€“ Andrew Bentley Stablesâ€™ Turf contender Hardest Core arrived safely at Santa Anita early Tuesday evening after an uneventful Fed Ex flight from Newark, N.J., that also contained horses from the Christophe Clement stable.
The Eddie Graham trainee settled in well to Barn 106 in a stall adjacent to Xpressbet Breedersâ€™ Cup Sprint contender Work All Week. The Arlington Million winner was accompanied by exercise rider Jody Petty and assistant/groom Brianne Slater. Graham is due to arrive Wednesday afternoon. Hardest Core got his first taste of Santa Anita around 7 Wednesday morning.
â€œHe just galloped nice and easy today, though he was definitely very strong,â€ said Petty. â€œI just jogged him up to the half-mile pole and galloped the turn.â€
The tall bay is trained on Grahamâ€™s farm in Unionville, Pa., and is not as accustomed to the commotion of the racetrack.
â€œI took him out just before the break so we could avoid all the horses,â€ Petty continued. â€œThat way we could be going out when most of them were coming back. If he sees horses in front of him galloping, he will try to pass them all. He only passed two that he saw and is definitely feeling good.â€
Imagining â€“ Phipps Stableâ€™s Imagining galloped â€œan easy mile and a quarterâ€ for trainer Shug McGaughey Wednesday morning at Santa Anita Park. The 6yo son of Giantâ€™s Causeway arrived from Belmont Park on Tuesday.
â€œWhat Iâ€™m really kind of excited about is running him over this turf course where itâ€™s a little bit quicker and will carry him a little bit farther than Belmont,â€ McGaughey said. â€œHere, he can run on top of the ground instead of going right into it. I think itâ€™s something heâ€™ll really like.â€
Imagining captured his first career Grade I stakes in the Man Oâ€™ War, while finishing second and third, respectively, in two others, the Sword Dancer and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic.
â€œHe kind of made some mistakes in the Joe Hirsch (Turf Classic Invitational). He came out of the turn on the wrong lead and then switched to his wrong lead and he wasnâ€™t beaten that far. In those kind of races, you canâ€™t take a chance on making those mistakes.â€
Main Sequence â€“ Flaxman Holdings Ltd.â€™s Main Sequence galloped 1 1/2m and stood in the starting gate at Santa Anita Park Wednesday morning.
The 5yo gelding who captured three straight Grade I wins under Rajiv Maragh in his first three starts since being brought to the U.S. from Europe, is scheduled for a rider change in Saturdayâ€™s Turf. Hall of Famer John Velazquez has been named to sub for Maragh, who sustained a broken arm after being unseated by Wicked Strong in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park in September.
â€œItâ€™s really disappointing for me, as well as for Rajiv. He has so much confidence in the horse. Heâ€™s done an amazing job with the horse â€“ three Grade Is all by less than a half length,â€ trainer Graham Motion said. â€œItâ€™s very disappointing, because they do seem to have a rapport. But we had to have a back-up, so I guess Johnny Velazquez is a good one to have.â€
Telescope â€“ see European report
Twilight Eclipse â€“ Twilight Eclipse, the world-record holder at the 1 1/2m distance of the Turf, handled the cross country trip from New York without incident and jogged once around the track Wednesday morning under exercise rider Hector Hernandez and was scheduled to school in the paddock on Thursday.
Tom Albertrani, who trains him for West Point Thoroughbreds, said that his horse could not look any better as he kept his eye on the weather forecast.
â€œHeâ€™s been a unlucky in that it has rained in the days before his his last three races, which were all Grade ones, and even though he ran very well and just missed by a neck in two of them, he prefers nice firm ground,â€ Albertrani said. â€œIâ€™m hoping the weather holds and the turf stays the way it is.â€ With the defection of defending Turf champion Magician, Albertrani said that Main Sequence, who beat Twilight Eclipse in all three of his last, is the main competition but the tables might be turned on Saturday.
â€œI like my horseâ€™s chances,â€ he said. â€œHeâ€™s still the world record holder and at any time, heâ€™s still got that big race in him.â€
The son of Purim was timed in 2:22 3/5 winning the 2013 Pan American at Gulfstream Park.
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