Racing! Lots of updates on the Breeders’ Cup Classic

Trainer Richard Mandella and Omaha Beach/
(Tom Pennington / Getty Images)

Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as Santa Anita gets ready for a five-day week.

Let’s get caught up on some news.

The Breeders’ Cup Classic is looking to be pretty interesting with just a few weeks to go. All the qualifying races are over and the fields are starting to take shape. The most interesting question is if Omaha Beach will take a run at the big boys, although that’s a tall task to go from a sprint to the 1 ¼ mile Classic.

After winning the Sprint Championship, trainer Richard Mandella said he wasn’t ruling anything out but given how little he’s raced, the Breeders’ Cup Sprint seems more likely.


“Six furlongs to a mile and a quarter a month later against the best in the world, I don’t know that there’s enough time,” Mandella told Jay Privman of the Daily Racing Form. “But I wouldn’t rule it out. My concern is that he had a pretty hard race. It was a big effort after a long time off. I don’t know that I have enough time to fill the tank back up.”

Mandella will always do what’s in the best interest of the horse. Read the story here.

Thank goodness Privman is on the Classic case, as he broke lots of news.

--Elate is still headed to the Classic. Even though she finished second in the Spinster Stakes on Sunday at Keeneland. Blue Prize was the winner of that race. “The mare is going to the Classic,” trainer Bill Mott told Privman.

Elate has won two races this year (Fleur de Lis Handicap, Delaware Handicap), finished second three times (Spinster, Personal Ensign, Azeri Stakes) and third once (Apple Blossom Handicap). Read the story here.

--And while Jay was talking to Mott, he also learned that Tacitus is out of the Classic, and any race the rest of the year. Tacitus was third in the Jockey Gold Cup two weekends ago and second in the Belmont Stakes. He will be coming back as a 4-year-old, according to Privman. Read the story here.

--In other Classic news, Mongolian Groom will supplement into the Classic. He won the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita, a win-and-you’re-in race, but either the horse or his sire had been nominated so he had to pay the supplemental fee of $200,000 to get in. Since Mongolian Groom is a 4-year-old gelding, this will get him in the Breeders’ Cup for as long as he wants.

--And finally, remember last week when we suggested that Joel Rosario would be a good fit for McKinzie. Well, trainer Bob Baffert decided to go that way. Baffert and Rosario have had a relationship through the years, and Rosario was the rider of Game Winner. So, it made a lot of sense.


“I thought I had a chance,” said Ron Anderson, the agent for Rosario. “When you have a horse like this there are so many other channels with other people that Bob [Baffert] had to check with. I thought it was possible but really didn’t know.”

Anderson said he got the word on Wednesday morning.

“Good horse, good trainer, lucky that the horse is at Santa Anita,” Anderson said. “It’s all pretty exciting. We won the Classic last year and we have a good chance this year.”

Rosario won with Accelerate, for John Sadler, last year. Rosario was scheduled to ride Yoshida in this year’s Classic, so that spot is now open.

The current plan is that Rosario will race in Southern California for at least for the start of the Winter/Spring meeting.

Also, nothing final, but Baffert would like to race McKinzie one more year with the new race in Saudi Arabia and the Dubai World Cup on the let’s-talk-about-it list.

Santa Anita preview

Santa Anita has pretty strong field sizes, except in the feature, in the first of five race cards this week. There is a special Columbus/Indigenous People’s Day card on Monday. There are seven races on Thursday, two of them on the turf. It’s the usual weekday start of 1 p.m.

The feature is the sixth race, a $53,000 allowance/optional claimer for fillies and mares going a mile. Mo See Cal is the 2-1 favorite for trainer Peter Miller and jockey Abel Cedillo. Mo See Cal is four-of-15 lifetime and finished last year by winning three in a row. She was second last out in an allowance.

There are co-second-favorites, at 5-2, in Flor de La Mar and Starr of Quality. Flor de La Mar is trained by Baffert and will be ridden by Mike Smith. She won the Beverly J. Lewis at Los Alamitos this summer. As a $500,000 purchase a lot was expected of her early in her career. She finished second in this year’s Santa Anita Oaks and was 11th in the Kentucky Oaks.

Starr of Quality has been two of four this year and is six-of-23 lifetime. Her connections are Bill Spawr and Tiago Pereira. Last out, she won the Dream of Sumer Stakes at Santa Anita on June 22. Post is around 3:45.

Here are the field sizes, in order: 9, 9, 8, 8 (2 also eligible), 10, 5, 9 (1 ae).

Ciaran Thornton’s SA pick of the day

RACE FOUR: No. 4 Party Town (10-1)

Party Town is a trainer Val Brinkerhoff value play at a nice 10-1 morning line. Brinkerhoff often times wins with longshots like this. Jockey Tyler Baze rides. They add blinkers and first time Lasix for Thursday. With a field of first time starters we also see a sharp workout last week so the tactic may be go fast early and hang on and discourage the debut horses.

Sunday’s result: Mr. Tip was scratched.

Ciaran Thornton is the handicapper for, which offers daily full card picks, longshots of the day, best bets of the day.

Final thought

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Now, the star of the show, Thursday’s entries.

Santa Anita Entries for Thursday, October 10.

Santa Anita, Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, California. 8th day of a 23-day meet.


1 Mile. Purse: $18,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Lucky Brite EyeTiago Pereira122Martine Bellocq3-120,000
2Flying FlirtFrank Johnson122Oscar Heredia30-120,000
3Alicia's PrideHeriberto Figueroa122Dan Ward6-120,000
4VidaliaDiego Sanchez122Bruce Headley6-120,000
5ProbableJorge Velez117Matthew Chew12-120,000
6Northern EncounterJ.C. Diaz, Jr.115Charles S. Treece30-120,000
7My S V RAaron Gryder122Andrew Lerner6-120,000
8Reds Sacred AppealEvin Roman122Lisa Bernard4-120,000
9AnconaGeovanni Franco122Carla Gaines5-220,000


5½ Furlongs. Purse: $21,000. Claiming. 3 year olds. Claiming Price $16,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1I Belong to BeckyJoseph Talamo122Mark Glatt5-216,000
2VerynskyAbel Cedillo124Robert B. Hess, Jr.7-216,000
3Don'tteasethetigerEdwin Maldonado122Genaro Vallejo5-116,000
4Just Hit PlayEswan Flores122Steven Miyadi8-116,000
5Concord JetTiago Pereira122Brian J. Koriner8-116,000
6Golden ImageGeovanni Franco122Daniel Dunham12-116,000
7Prayer WarriorTyler Baze122Jeffrey Metz12-116,000
8Fifteen to VegasJorge Velez117Matthew Chew15-116,000
9Thin LineMartin Garcia122Doug F. O'Neill4-116,000


1 Mile. Purse: $21,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 2 year olds. Claiming Price $30,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Billy KJorge Velez117Ryan Hanson3-130,000
2Text Dont CallAbel Cedillo122Doug F. O'Neill5-230,000
3Fran's EmpireEvin Roman122Vann Belvoir10-130,000
4Sharp TurnBrayan Pena122Mike Harrington8-130,000
5CircleofcolorGeovanni Franco122John C. Ivory12-130,000
6Way too CuteHeriberto Figueroa122Jeff Bonde12-130,000
7Vannavanna Bo BanaMario Gutierrez122Steve Knapp5-130,000
8Totally NormalJ.C. Diaz, Jr.115Jeffrey Metz3-130,000


5 Furlongs Turf. Purse: $50,000. Maiden Special Weight. 2 year olds.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1HoneywhiskeynwineDiego Sanchez119J. Keith Desormeaux20-1
2LighthouseFlavien Prat119Simon Callaghan9-5
3KadeshRuben Fuentes122Ryan Hanson6-1
4Party TownTyler Baze122Val Brinkerhoff10-1
5Too LateMario Gutierrez122Doug F. O'Neill5-1
6ConnectionJorge Velez117John W. Sadler7-2
7Witch's VowTiago Pereira122Hector O. Palma6-1
8Vodka TwistDrayden Van Dyke122Neil D. Drysdale6-1
Also Eligible
9Drasario Rafael Bejarano122Richard Baltas4-1
10Much More HaloEvin Roman122Bob Baffert5-1


6 Furlongs. Purse: $31,000. Starter Optional Claiming. 2 year olds. Claiming Price $40,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Side Street DaveGeovanni Franco122Gary Sherlock20-1
2Vastly DeepEswan Flores122Steven Miyadi10-1
3DelpDiego Sanchez122J. Keith Desormeaux10-1
4Riding With DinoAbel Cedillo122Robert B. Hess, Jr.3-1
5Mainframe JudyRuben Fuentes122Peter Miller8-1
6Carpe NoctemEdwin Maldonado122J. Keith Desormeaux12-1
7Clear to CloseJ.C. Diaz, Jr.115Jonathan Wong15-140,000
8Drippin SauceJorge Velez117Jonathan Wong3-140,000
9HowbeitMartin Garcia122Doug F. O'Neill5-2
10SeesawsamHeriberto Figueroa122Peter Miller20-1


1 Mile. Purse: $53,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $62,500.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Starr of QualityTiago Pereira125William Spawr5-2
2ZushaDrayden Van Dyke123Gary Mandella4-1
3Flor de La MarMike Smith120Bob Baffert5-2
4Querida Dubai Rafael Bejarano125Brian J. Koriner5-1
5Mo See CalAbel Cedillo125Peter Miller2-1


1 Mile Turf. Purse: $50,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. State bred.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Y Not SizzleDrayden Van Dyke122Jeff Mullins7-2
2Our RomanceGeovanni Franco122Philip D'Amato9-2
3Too Hot for CurlinFlavien Prat122Philip D'Amato7-2
4Miss IndefatigableJ.C. Diaz, Jr.115Peter Miller6-1
5Wicked LiarJoseph Talamo122James M. Cassidy10-1
6Slew SouthJorge Velez117Neil French20-1
7Angel's AdvocateTyler Baze125Dan Blacker12-1
8Doc Yco CheeksRafael Bejarano122Peter Eurton3-1
9Twirling DiamondMario Gutierrez122Dallas E. Keen12-1
Also Eligible
10Goddess AphroditeAbel Cedillo122Peter Miller20-1