Bob Baffert (Fed Biz, Dirt Mile) â€“ Fed Biz galloped 1 1/2 m Thursday morning.
With the withdrawl due to injury of favored American Pharoah from the Juvenile, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert was asked which of his six remaining entrants would move to the top of his win hopes list. The answer was Fed Biz.
The 5yo son of Giant's Causeway will be the first Baffert representative in the 2014 Cup. The last will be Bayern in the event climaxing Classic on Saturday. Fed Biz and Bayern are both owned by Kaleem Shah.
â€œOf course you'd love to win for any owner,â€ Baffert said. â€œThat's why they're in the business, to play at the top level, win and get a nice trophy. This is it. This is our Super Bowl.â€
Brad Cox (Carve, Dirt Mile) â€“ Carve, owned by Mike Langford of Jonesboro, Ark., has settled nicely into his routine at Santa Anita under the care of assistant trainer and regular exercise rider Brittany Trimble and appears to be thriving in his new surroundings. On Thursday, trainer Brad Cox and Langford were in town to oversee the First Samurai coltâ€™s final preparations ahead of Fridayâ€™s race.
Carve, who has won half of his eight starts this year, will be looking to rebound from a fifth-place effort behind Classic contender Cigar Street in the Homecoming Classic at Churchill Downs Sept. 27.
â€œThe horse is doing too good not to give him a chance here,â€ said Langford. â€œWe probably just rushed him into his last race.â€
Chad Brown (Bobby's Kitten, Turf Sprint) â€“ Ken and Sarah Ramseyâ€™s homebred colt Bobbyâ€™s Kitten galloped 1 1/2m Thursday morning.
This will be the first sprint distance start for the son of top turf sire Kittenâ€™s Joy.
Bobbyâ€™s Kitten faces a couple of negative stats in the seventh running of the Turf Sprint: It has never been won by a 3yo or by a horse lacking experience on Santa Anitaâ€™s 6 1/2f downhill turf course.
David Hofmans (Home Run Kitten, Turf Sprint) â€“ Exercise rider Martin DeRubin and trainer Hofmans form a winning Breedersâ€™ Cup team.
â€œMartin galloped every Breedersâ€™ Cup winner Iâ€™ve had,â€ said Hofmans of three previous longshot scores. â€œHe went to Canada with Alphabet Soup (in the 1996 Classic) and galloped Adoration (2003 Distaff) and Desert Code (2008 Turf Sprint).â€
â€œHome Run Kitten stood in the gate this morning, galloped 1 Â¾ miles and went to the paddock,â€ said Hofmans. â€œHe will gallop tomorrow and do something easy Saturday.â€
Home Run Kitten won the Eddie D Stakes here to remain unbeaten in two starts on the hillside turf course. â€œIf the pace is fast, he will be back; if it is slow, he will be up close,â€ said Hofmans. â€œWith a field of 14, traffic could be a problem.
â€œRace quality is a whole different ballgame,â€ said Hofmans of the 3yo colt. â€œThis is the toughest race of his life, and heâ€™s so young.â€
David Simcock (Caspar Netscher, Turf Sprint) â€“ see European report
Gary Mandella (Silentio, Turf Sprint) â€“ Mandella thought the 6Â½f distance on the hillside turf course ideal for the 5yo horse and explained why he had never tried it before.
â€œHad there been a race over it of any value, I would have tried it,â€ said Mandella Thursday after Silentio galloped 1Â½m with Felipe Guerrero. â€œBut I would have had to pass a more lucrative purse at a mile to do it.
â€œI liked the idea until I drew the two-hole,â€ concluded Mandella with his self-deprecating sense of humor.
Leandro Mora (Goldencents, Dirt Mile) â€“ â€œHe went perfect; Iâ€™m very happy the way things went,â€ said Mora after the defending Dirt Mile champion galloped about 1m under regular exercise rider Jonny Garcia.
â€œIâ€™ll stick to what I said earlier,â€ said Mora of the 4yo colt, who drew the rail in his defense. â€œI think he can win from the one post.â€
Peter Miller (Reneesgotzip, Turf Sprint) â€“ â€œWeâ€™re going to send her,â€ said Miller of the 5yo mare who drew the rail. â€œIf somebody goes with her, so be it.â€
Reneesgotzip finished third in the 2012 race and dead-heated for second last year.
Wesley Ward (No Nay Never and Undrafted, Turf Sprint) â€“ The Wesley Ward-trained Breedersâ€™ Cup Turf Sprint duo of Undrafted and No Nay Never left their Santa Anita Barn 34 and jogged up the Santa Anita hillside turf course and then galloped down to become accustomed to the dirt course they will have to cross during their race on Saturday.
No Nay Never â€“ the morning-line favorite and confirmed frontrunner â€“ broke off in front of closer Undrafted and slightly hopped while first hitting the dirt course. Still, the son of Scat Daddy lost no momentum and proceeded with his job. Wes Welkerâ€™s Undrafted crossed the dirt without issue and finished up well. Owned by Ice Wine Stable, Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, No Nay Never has been raced lightly throughout his career and will only be making his sixth start, but owns a Group I victory in a turf sprint as a juvenile.
â€œI think heâ€™s going to break super sharp this time and the pace will be his,â€ Ward said. â€œI think the downhill might actually help him. When he makes that right turn, they make a tiny uphill run and that should relax him as he heads back down the hill. I think everything will be fine. If they do go too fast up front, I think the race will fall into Undraftedâ€™s hands â€“ so I feel good about my chances with both horses.â€