Peter Fornatale at Santa Anita

In Tuesday’s update from the track, Peter reflects on two significant scratchings and reports on how Chad Brown's battalion worked this morning.

  • Tuesday 29 October
  • Blog
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The biggest news from Santa Anita this morning is the scratch of Maxfield from the Juvenile. He was off in his right front this morning and will not be taking his place in the lineup on Friday. It’s disappointing for sure, but unquestionably it’s a decision with the best interest of the horse in mind, and hopefully he’ll be back in action soon.

I’m leaning towardsDENNIS’ MOMENT in the Juvenile, even though the rail draw could be tricky. The inside hasn’t been playing great at Santa Anita this meet, and he’ll have to be used early to get away from there. But if he breaks with alacrity - and there’s no reason he shouldn’t - I think he can get the position he needs going into the first turn to produce a winning effort.

Another scratch that might prove significant is that of Landeskog in the Sprint. I didn’t love his chances to win the race but thought his presence was significant in terms of the early pace in that he had the potential to keep Shancelot company early. SHANCELOT’s chances of a wire-to-wire win have increased significantly with the news of Landeskog’s defection.

Watch the 2019 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita live on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 535) on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd November.

In terms of workouts this morning, OMAHA BEACH looked good in a blowout work, with retired Hall of Fame jockey Alex Solis in the irons. He looked strong, fit, and happy. I think he’s ready to fire his best shot in the Dirt Mile and I expect he’ll oblige as a short-priced favorite.

Speaking of short-priced favorites, I got to see SISTERCHARLIE and several other members of the Chad Brown team in the flesh today. Sistercharlie impressed me the most in terms of her physicality. She simply looks well in her flesh and in conversation about her Chad Brown sounds quietly and understandably confident. She is seeking her seventh Grade 1 in a row.

BRICKS AND MORTAR was out as well, galloping past on the dirt track. He’ll likely go off favourite against Anthony Van Dyck and the rest of the foreign contingent in the Turf. Brown must have struggled with the decision of which race to run him in, but ultimately decided that the extra ground would be within his scope. A win in this race would give him a big chance to be voted USA Horse of the Year.

But that honour could also go to one of the Classic horses, one of whom was out on the track very early today. Before light this morning, CODE OF HONOR was out for his first gallop over the track. He looked fantastic, with a metronomic stride in his journey around the track. He continues to grow into his big frame and to me looks ideally suited to this 10-furlong test.

He’ll have to tackle VINO ROSSO once again, and there’s nothing wrong with the way this Todd Pletcher trainee looks either. I do believe that Code would have passed Vino last time without the contact, but Vino is a contender in his own right. Not only did he technically finish ahead of Code last time but he has a course and distance win.

Peter Fornatale at Santa Anita
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