From Santa Anita Publicity
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 24, 2014) -- As the regular rider of Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome, Victor Espinoza has more than a vested interest in the California-bred colt.
But when the 42-year-old jockey says the popular chestnut is ready to rebound in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 1 from two disappointing losses, it might be worth taking heed.
“His last work was great,” said Espinoza, who was aboard at Los Alamitos Saturday when California Chrome blazed six furlongs in 1:12.20. “He’s going in the right direction this time. If he’s like he was before (the Triple Crown run), he’ll be tough in there. Forget about those last two races. We’ll start all over again. He’s been working absolutely amazing.”
California Chrome is scheduled to have his final pre-Classic breeze tomorrow at Los Alamitos before shipping to Santa Anita Sunday for schooling and last-minute preparations.
In other Breeders’ Cup news:
Whitney Stakes winner Moreno, who figures to make his presence felt on the pace in the Classic, worked six furlongs in company Friday morning for trainer Eric Guillot.
With Tyler Baze in the saddle, Moreno was timed in 1:12.60, while workmate Elle Rain dawdled home in 1:16.40. “The company couldn’t keep up with him,” Guillot said. “I got him galloping out (seven furlongs) in 1:26 1/5.”
Under Martin Garcia, Midnight Lucky (Filly & Mare Sprint) went six furlongs for Bob Baffert in a bullet 1:11.80, but after the drill Baffert told Daily Racing Form he was not satisfied with the work and that the 4-year-old filly would be retired.
Defending Dirt Mile winner Goldencents went five furlongs for Leandro Mora in 59.40 under regular rider Rafael Bejarano, while City of Hope Mile winner Big Bane Theory (Mile) worked the same distance for Carla Gaines in 59.60 under Joe Talamo.
Conquest Eclipse (Juvenile Fillies) went four furlongs for Mark Casse in 49.20.
Kathy Ritvo, who made history last year by becoming the first woman trainer to win the Classic when she saddled Mucho Macho Man, is on hand this year with Fast Anna for the Sprint. “He’s a littler superstar,” the trainer said. “He’s done nothing wrong, he’s real smart and he deserves to be here.”
Rich Tapestry, winner of the Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship, is scheduled to have his final major workout Saturday for the $1.5 million Xpressbet Sprint, said trainer Leonard Powell, at whose barn the 6-year-old world traveler resides prior to trainer Michael Chang’s return from his Hong Kong base this weekend.