Trainer Art Sherman got the ball rolling for the family Saturday when he sent out Ultra Blend to victory in the $100,000 TOC/CTT California Cup Matron at Oak Tree/Hollywood Park.
Sherman and his son, Steve, hope to continue the march like General Sherman through Georgia when they saddle hopefuls in $100,000 stakes for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles here next weekend.
Steve will send out Wealthy Aviator in the Real Quiet Saturday while Art, assisted by another son—Alan—plans to saddle Darling Ciana in the Sharp Cat for fillies Sunday.
Wealthy Aviator, a Florida-bred son of Henny Hughes, broke his maiden at Golden Gate Fields at first asking and was a closing third in his last start in the Barretts Juvenile Stakes at Fairplex Park on September 19.
“I think he will love the distance,” said Steve Sherman of the colt, who worked seven furlongs in 1:28.60 over Cushion Track Sunday. “I hope he gets a good pace scenario to run at.” Joe Talamo has the call.
Darling Ciana, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Lion Heart, shoots for her third straight victory after capturing a seven-furlong allowance race locally October 15. “The longer, the better,” said Alan Sherman of the chestnut. David Flores has the return call.
Other probable starters in the Real Quiet include Boxeur des Rues (Alonso Quinonez), Celestic Night (Martin Pedroza), Clubhouse Ride (Corey Nakatani) and Jakesam (Brice Blanc).
Possibles include Clearance Clarence, Comma To The Top, Hollywood Fierce and one of a trio of Bob Baffert nominees: Awesome Patriot, Prayer for Relief and Canadian import Classic Legacy.
“Boxeur des Rues bolted badly and blew the far turn in the Norfolk Stakes and has been working great since,” said trainer Doug O’Neill, hopeful the English import has settled in for his second United States start.
Trainer Craig Lewis is also looking for a better trip from Clubhouse Ride. “Look at all the trouble he got into in his last start,” said Lewis of a third-place finish in the Jack Goodman Stakes October 23.
Expected to join Darling Ciana in the Sharp Cat are May Day Rose (Martin Garcia), Big Tiz (Rafael Bejarano) and Teddy’s Promise (Joel Rosario). May Day Rose worked four furlongs in 48, and Big Tiz five panels in 59.20 Sunday.
LOOKIN AT LUCKY TOPS QUINTET OF BREEDERS’ CUP WORKERS
Multiple stakes winner Lookin at Lucky worked five furlongs on Cushion Track in 59.60 Sunday for the Breeders’ Cup Classic Saturday at Churchill Downs.
“He went really well,” said trainer Bob Baffert after the drill under regular rider Martin Garcia. “I wanted him to go in about a minute. It was perfect for him. Everything’s a go.”
Garcia also worked Frizette Stakes winner A Z Warrior for Baffert in 49 for four furlongs for the Juvenile Fillies.
Trainer Richard Mandella also worked a pair of Breeders’ Cup candidates: Goodwood Stakes runner-up Crown of Thorns in 59.20 for five furlongs on Cushion Track for the Dirt Mile and Clement Hirsch Stakes winner Champ Pegasus five furlongs on turf in 1:01.60 for the Turf.
“Champ Pegasus went very nice and galloped out in 12,” said Mandella of the drill under Joel Rosario before Argentine co-owner Arturo Vargas.
J P’s Gusto, a multiple stakes winner who finished second in the Norfolk Stakes, worked six furlongs in 1:13 for the Juvenile for trainer David Hofmans.
ZENYATTA WALKS, LEAVES TUESDAY
Trainer John Shirreffs said Zenyatta came out of a six-furlong work here Saturday in good shape as the 6-year-old mare walked shedrow Sunday.
The unbeaten superstar is scheduled to jog on the training track Monday and be flown to Kentucky Tuesday morning, arriving at Louisville shortly before noon eastern time.
“Looks like the big day is finally going to get here,” said Shirreffs of the much-anticipated Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Saturday, when Zenyatta tries to climax an unbeaten 20-race career.
“It’s hard to say it, but she’s just getting better,” said veteran exercise rider Freddie Wilson. “They better be on their bicycles (in the Breeders’ Cup).”
Zenyatta, attracting a wide array of visitors daily, has become a treasure here. She had a path to her barn named Zenyatta Way. The stable kitchen draped a large sign with the words “Stable Café Loves Zenyatta” over the cafeteria line railing. It even named an omelette on its menu for her.
Zenyatta, the subject of a segment on “60 Minutes” tonight, will be joined on the Tex Sutton charter from Ontario Airport by 10 other Breeders’ Cup candidates: Lookin at Lucky, A.P. Warrior, Gabby’s Golden Gal, Champ Pegasus, Crown of Thorns, Awesome Gem, Tropic Storm, Jaycito, J P’s Gusto and Unzip Me.
SMITH CLOSING IN ON BREEDERS’ CUP LEAD
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who leads the nation in Grade I wins with 12, ranks second in Breeders’ Cup wins with 13, two behind retired Jerry Bailey.
Smith hopes to improve upon those figures this weekend when he rides Zenyatta in the featured $5-million Classic as well as five other mounts: Proviso in the Mile, Jaycito in the Juvenile, Izshelegal in the Juvenile Fillies, Mine That Bird in the Dirt Mile and Tidal Pool in the Filly & Mare Sprint.
Smith is one of seven jockeys from the Hollywood Park colony who will be riding in the two-day extravaganza Friday and Saturday at Churchill Downs. The others are Rafael Bejarano, Joel Rosario, Martin Garcia, Victor Espinoza, David Flores and Patrick Valenzuela.
Bejarano will be riding Crown of Thorns in the Dirt Mile, Unzip Me in the Turf Sprint, Indian Gracey in the Juvenile Fillies, Wyomia in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, Rinterval in the Filly & Mare Sprint, Milwaukee Appeal in the Ladies Classic, Murjan in the Juvenile, Wise Dan in the Sprint and Alcomo in the Marathon.
Rosario is booked on Blind Luck in the Ladies Classic, Switch in the Filly & Mare Sprint, Sidney’s Candy in the Mile, Dakota Phone in the Dirt Mile, Harmonious in the Filly & Mare Turf, Champ Pegasus in the Turf, Banned in the Juvenile Turf, Jordy Y in the Juvenile Fillies, Pleasant Prince in the Classic and Hamazing Destiny in the Sprint.
Garcia will ride Lookin at Lucky in the Classic, A Z Warrior in the Juvenile Fillies, Gabby’s Golden Gal in the Filly & Mare Sprint, Kinsale King in the Sprint and Romp in the Marathon.
Espinoza has calls on The Usual Q.T. in the Mile, Evening Jewel in the Filly & Mare Sprint, California Flag in the Turf Sprint and Riveting Reason in the Juvenile.
Flores will ride Awesome Gem in the Marathon and Tropic Storm in the Dirt Mile, while Valenzuela will be aboard J P’s Gusto in the Juvenile and Quick Enough in the Turf Sprint.
DRYSDALE DUO, TEMPLE CITY WORK FOR TURF CUP
Bourbon Bay and Marlang, a pair of graded stakes winners from the Neil Drysdale stable, worked over the Hollywood Park turf course Sunday for the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup on November 13.
Bourbon Bay worked six furlongs in 1:15.40, and Marlang covered seven furlongs in 1:27. Both were handled by exercise rider Umberto Gomez.
Temple City worked five furlongs in 1:01. “He’s not going to the Breeders’ Cup,” said trainer Carla Gaines of the horse who was a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Marathon.
“He’s doing well, and we were vacillating, but we decided to stay here and point for the Turf Cup,” said Gaines. The Grade I is at 1 ½ miles on turf.
FINISH LINES: Photo finishes are expected in both the jockey and trainer races for the Oak Tree/Hollywood Park meet which concludes today. Defending jockey champion Rafael Bejarano held a 34-33 edge over Joel Rosario entering the final card. Bejarano has seven mounts, Rosario six. Defending training champion Bob Baffert, John Sadler and Doug O’Neill were tied with 10 wins each. O’Neill had nine entrants, Baffert and Sadler two each.
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