Bob Ehalt and Tom Pedulla became fast friends when they met on their first day at Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx, N.Y., in 1970. Bob soon introduced Tom to the joys of Thoroughbred racing.
They have endured some rough moments at the track, with Tom taking exception when Bob repeatedly smacks him on the back with a program as one of their horses launches an all-out drive. Much to Tom’s chagrin and the amusement of onlookers, Bob has been known to call for security as he proceeds to cash a $27 triple.
They have owned a number of horses together and were part of the group that owned 1998 Whitney Handicap runner-up Tale of the Cat. They are often seen carrying on as if they never left their teenage years.
Here is their take on Saturday’s $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park:
PEDULLA: Bob, I go back to the days of 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown with Rick Dutrow and feel that I know him fairly well. I spent some time with him recently and he could not be more excited about White Abarrio or, as he calls him, “The White Horse.” Dutrow is extremely confident that White Abarrio will run back to his eye-popping 6 ¼-length rout in the Whitney Stakes and that gets the job done here. He gave White Abarrio plenty of time to acclimate to Santa Anita and his final work was a sight to behold, five furlongs in 59.80 seconds. As Dutrow might say, “It’s White Abarrio, babe.”
EHALT: Listen, Babe. I know you and Ricky D. go way back, but, babe, this is no time for getting sentimental. We need to make some big money out here in Cali if we want to get some gas for our cars. So, it’s Ushba Tesoro for me. I’ve been chasing Japanese horses for the last few years and this one looks like the real deal. I know no horse has won the Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline and the Breeders’ Cup Classic in the same year but I think it’s finally time to re-write that part of racing history, babe.
PEDULLA: We both agree that no one is better than Bob Baffert at getting a horse ready for a big race. He undoubtedly has FanDuel Racing Pacific Classic Stakes winner Arabian Knight primed for a huge effort. But post 12 means this expensive 3-year-old will have to be used early and there is enough speed in the field that I do not see him getting loose on the lead. Second best.
EHALT: I think a front-runner will hang on for second but to me it’s Saudi Crown. I like his post and he seems to be peaking at the right time. He’ll complete the exacta.
PEDULLA: Zandon is as consistent as they come. He runs his race every time for trainer Chad Brown. It also must be noted that his best is rarely good enough to win with three victories in 13 starts. I love him to hit the board, nothing more.
EHALT: Saudi Crown and Arabian Knight should stage a lively duel on the front end and I can see Saudi Crown benefitting from a better post and having a little more late life than Arabian Knight. Nevertheless, I can see Baffert’s runner grabbing third and completing the trifecta.
PEDULLA: Ushba Tesoro knows how to win with a six-race streak that includes the Dubai World Cup. From what I hear, he was a handful when it came to gate schooling. As we both know, a race like this can be lost before it even begins if he behaves badly enough. It is only a matter of time before a Japan-based horse wins the Classic. But not this time.
EHALT: For fourth it’s Chad. Now logically, the Chad Brown-trained Zandon makes the most sense to finish in the exotics. But sometimes you have to toss logic out the window and the Chad Summers-trained Clapton should be a huge price and the stone cold closer might sneak into the picture late after a heated early pace battle. If I can cash on him, it will not change the world but I will feel wonderful tonight, babe.