I woke up this morning and got to Santa Anita just as the sun was coming up. Unlike yesterday, the track was bathed in fog, which completely obscured the San Gabriel Mountains. The mist lent the morning an ethereal atmosphere completely perfect for Halloween, and it was truly beautiful to see these top-quality horses emerging from the fog as they took their exercise.
I saw so many of the Breeders’ Cup contenders this morning, and I know from my last blog that a lot of you were hoping to see a shot of Awesome Feather. Done and done, my friends! Of course, I’m putting her at the end so that you have to read the entire blog. I’m crafty that way.
Once again, because there are so many fantastic horses here for the Breeders’ Cup, I’ll organize you the horses by which races they’ll be in.
Pool Play was looking sharp this morning. He’s a muscular, nearly black horse who seemed settled and focused as he galloped around the track.
Richard’s Kid is an underappreciated horse who has a solid chance to take a piece of the Classic. He definitely likes Santa Anita, and didn’t seem phased by the heavy traffic on track during training hours.
The Classic contender that really stood out for me this morning was Handsome Mike. This guy was breezing (which is a horse training at nearly racing speed), and he looked like he wanted to run forever. Several photographers around me actualy said out loud, “Who is that?” when he went past. He was seriously impressive.
The only Dirt Mile competitor I saw this morning was Second City. He was very workmanlike as he took a lap.
Filly and Mare Sprint contender Strike the Moon was really pulling on her rider as she galloped by. She may be one to keep an eye on – she definitely has the desire to go fast!
It was great to see Filly and Mare Turf contender In Lingerie this morning. I’ve been a fan of hers since I saw her win the Gardenia Stakes at Ellis Park back in May. She’s one of those horses that gives it her all every time she races, and she definitely trained like she’s ready to go on Friday.
Ridasiyna will also be in the Filly and Mare turf. Fun fact: Ridasiyna is owned by His Royal Highness the Aga Khan. How cool is that?
Stormy Lucy is also ready to go postward in the Filly and Mare Turf. She’s a very pretty filly and seemed eager to go this morning.
But my absolute favorite Filly and Mare Turf horse is Zagora. I love her. I am biased. I think she’s just marvelous. She also looked so happy as she was training with some horses, you can just tell that it’s a joy for them to run. She’s one of them.
Juvenile entrant Title Contender looked every part his name today. He was another horse that was raring to go – his rider had a hard time holding him back.
Juvenile Fillies time! Executiveprivilege is a lovely girl – even though she’s only two, she acted like an old veteran out there during the busy morning. I’m keeping an eye on her.
I was really happy to see my old friend Nancy O this morning. You may remember her as the little slip of a filly who I wrote about in my Woodbine Diaries last month. She is seriously just so cute (and tiny!) but she’s all business when she’s on the track. I’m rooting for her in the Juvenile Fillies.
Juvenile Sprint contender Hazardous was looking good this morning. He was on his toes and showed a big stride as he galloped around.
Merit Man will be facing Hazardous in the Juvenile Sprint. I know I’ve said it before, but I’m so impressed by how at ease these young horses are during the hectic hours of morning training.
Have you heard of Juvenile Turf runner Know More? You should. He is handsome. I have a new horse crush.
Summit County will also be in the Juvenile Turf. Look at what a dude he is – there were probably a few hundred people at Clocker’s Corning this morning and just as many horses on track, and this guy is just moseying along like an old child’s pony. That’s pretty cool.
Remember how I said I had a new horse crush with Know More? Well, sorry buddy, but I also have a thing for Marathon runner Balladry. Beautiful big gray with a huge stride and a fabulous head? I’ll take him!
Remember Spring in the Air from yesterday? Well, she was out again this morning doing her best Zenyatta impression again. I swear, these race horses are so athletic. Here’s a young filly that’s only been trained to race, and she’s doing upper-level dressage moves naturally. (Dressage is the Professional Horse Prancing of Colbert Report fame for those of you who are unfamiliar with non-racing horse sports.)
I saw tons of Breeders’ Cup Sprint entrants this morning, which was fantastic. So here we go in no particular order:
Capital Account is one of Bob Baffert’s trainees, which means that he looks good and will be in tip-top shape of Saturday. He looked very athletic and focused in his gallop this morning.
Jimmy Creed comes with a heck of a back story – when he was a year old, he was purchased for $900,000 by California business mogul B. Wayne Hughes. He’s already making good on the investment, though – he’s run second in a big stakes, the El Cajon at Del Mar and third in the Santa Anita Spring Championship Stakes here on October 3.
Posiedon’s Warrior looks great – he’s a totally underappreciated horse, and a little bird at the Derby restaurant told me not to leave him out of my bets on Saturday. I’ve been sworn to secrecy, though, so I’m not telling anyone if you’re not.
Smiling Tiger looked very ready to go this morning, too. I love this photo of him – it looks like he’s being all snobby with his nose turned up.
Oh, hi, The Lumber Guy! You’re looking mighty fine this morning. Fun fact about The Lumber Guy: his owner, Barry Schwartz, is the co-counder of Calvin Klein. The more you know!
How handsome is Fast Bullet? He was all business as he got his morning exercise.
Turf contender Point of Entry is a horse I really like. If you want to learn more about his Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGauhey, be sure to check out this week’s Notebook. We have a Q&A with him in there, and he’s a fascinating guy who clearly loves his horses.
Here’s Turf Sprint runner Corporate Jungle. He’s trained by Chad Brown, who has a knack for turning out winners. If he stays at 6-1, he’s probably worth a bet.
How good-looking is Turf Sprint entrant Global Power? He looks like he knows that he’s the business.
OK, you stuck with me this far, so now it’s time for the photos of the Ladies’ Classic heroes! Honestly, this is one of the races that I’m most excited for on either Breeders’ Cup days. There are just so many talented female horses this year.
First up is Questing, who looks fantastic. She’s another horse who just always looks happy on the track.
And, by popular demand, here’s Awesome Feather. I like you guys so much that I’m putting in two photos.
Look, she’s so talented she can literally train with her eyes closed!
As training hours ended, the fog was lifting, and it was so insanely beautiful here.
Of course, since this is the awesome Breeders’ Cup on Halloween at Santa Anita, training wasn’t the only thing happening at Clocker’s Corner this morning. May I present to you Wyatt, the amazing pony owned by trainer Donna Keen. You will notice that he does not need a bridle, which is an incredible display of trust between horse and rider (especially if you consider how many horses are moving around him at all times!)
Seriously, how amazing is this?
He even came up and asked me for a treat. I immediately surrended all of the peppermints on my person, because not only is this guy talented, but he’s adorable.
And handsome, too!
There were a bunch of kids from the Boys and Girls Club here this morning, too. They were super-adorable in their costumes and were being entertained with card tricks.
How cute is this little girl? She was an awesome assistant.
Well, that’s it for me today. Thanks for stopping by again, and let me know if there are any horses you want photos of in the comments. I’ll do my best to snap a photo of them!