Peter Fornatale at Santa Anita

In Thursday’s update from Arcadia, Peter examines how the Juvenile Fillies will play out and outlines why Ballydoyle hold the aces in the Turf.

  • Thursday 31 October
  • Blog
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In the hopes of seeing some runners I hadn’t yet seen, I got to the Breakfast Marquee well before dawn today. In the darkness I saw BRITISH IDIOM out on the track, and she made a fine impression. The more I think about the Juvenile Fillies race, the more I like her chances. I feel like her speedy rivals Donna Veloce and Wicked Whisper could compromise each other’s chances and she can make a winning run from just off the pace.

I went over to the Brad Cox barn shortly thereafter and chatted for a bit with Liz Crow, the bloodstock agent who picked her out. Crow, who also picked out Monomoy Girl, the winner of last year’s Distaff seemed quietly confident about her chances, as did Cox himself.

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

While in the shedrow, I visited COVFEFE in her stall. She was calm as could be, taking everything in. As I’ve written elsewhere, the only real question I have about her is the draw. The inside has been bad for a lot of this meet. We’ll learn a lot more when racing resumes today. In any case, Covfefe didn’t seem to mind the one post.

From there, we journeyed out to the starting gate in the seven-eighths chute where purly by accident, I got to see an amazing sight: the flotilla of Aidan O’Brien horses heading straight for me jogging around the bend the wrong way. The team was led by MOUNT EVEREST, with ANTHONY VAN DYCK in behind along with what looked like a dozen others.

They came by so fast it was hard to form too many specific impressions, but Everest and Van Dyck looked particularly well: big, strong, ready vibes. Perhaps their placement within the flotilla offers a clue as to their running styles for Saturday? Will Mount Everest play Highland Reel to Anthony Van Dyck’s Found? We shall see, but I think it’s very likely the Turf will go to Ballydoyle.

I spent a good 15 minutes visiting Juan Carlos Guerrero, trainer of SPUN TO RUN. I am on record as loving Omaha Beach’s chances in the Dirt Mile, but Spun to Run is a cool story. Purchased out of a sale by Guerrero for $66,000, Spun to Run has been a great buy. He just won a listed stake at his home track Parx in a very fast time figure: 110 on the Beyer scale. He looked well, and is doing better than ever according to Guerrero, who felt very at home in David Hoffman’s barn on the Santa Anita backside.

“He loves it here,” he said of his charge. “I think he wants to stay.”

Another horse who continues to impress visually is VINO ROSSO for the Classic. My main bet in the race is the each-way on Seeking the Soul I’ve already had. But those looking for a more likely winner should consider Rosso and his old rival Code of Honor. Both have looked great and are sure to appreciate the distance.

I’ll be back one more time tomorrow with the latest on how the track is playing and my best bets of the meeting.

Peter Fornatale at Santa Anita
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