Breeders’ Cup Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile Update

October 29, 2019

Breeders Cup Press

photo credit: Scott Serio- Eclipse Sportswire / Breeders’ Cup Photos ©

Giant Expectations – Giant Expectations’ trainer Peter Eurton will be hoping the third time is the charm, when he saddles the 6 yo for Saturday’s Dirt Mile.  However, the stakes-winning horse will have to overcome the rail post position. 

“The key for us will be the break, because our horse may end up standing in the gate for a bit before the start,” Eurton said. “We’ve got a little speed, so I know that we won’t be taking back.”  Giant Expectations has finished sixth and fifth, respectively, in the 2017 and 2018 editions of this race.

Blue Chipper – Blue Chipper, the first South Korean challenger in the Breeders’ Cup, breezed 3f in :34 4/5 this morning out on the main track and his connections very pleased with what they saw in the preparation for the $1 million Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile.

OCT 27: Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile entrant Blue Chipper, trained by Kim Young Kwan, gallops at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California on Oct 27, 2019. Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders’ Cup

Ryu Seungho Ho representing the trainer Kim Young Kwan said:

“We are very happy with the way he worked and handled the track this morning. The plan is to go out on the main track tomorrow but just for a canter.”

Coal Front – Robert LaPenta and Head of Plains’ Coal Front galloped 1 1/4m Tuesday morning at Santa Anita, preparing for a start in Saturday’s Dirt Mile.

“He’s coming off a good, competitive race at Parx going a two-turn mile, giving us confidence to bring him here for the two-turn race,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “He showed us in Dubai, on his day, that he’s a world-class miler. He’s in good form and he’ll need to be at his best in a race like this.”

Coal Front, a multiple graded-stakes winner at 3, has come back strong this year while returning from a 13-month layoff. The 5yo son of Stay Thirsty, won the 7f. Mr. Prospector (G3) at Gulfstream Park and the 1 1/8m Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park before capturing the Godolphin Mile at Meydan on Dubai World Cup Day.

“He’s been a very consistent horse. He’s been able to win at multiple distances. We’re excited about bringing him in,” Pletcher said. 

Coal Front will be ridden by Javier Castellano, who hasn’t been aboard him since guiding him to a 6 ½-length debut victory at Keeneland in April 2017.

Improbable – Jimmy Barnes, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, said that Improbable jogged a mile Tuesday morning at Santa Anita Park.The chestnut City Zip colt had his final Dirt Mile work Sunday – a bullet 5f in 59 1/5.

He drew post two and is the 3-1 second choice in the field of 10. Veteran Rafael Bejarano has picked up the mount on Improbable, the beaten favorite in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.

Mr. Money – Allied Racing Stable and Spendthrift Farm’s Mr. Money left Louisville early Tuesday morning for Santa Anita and a run in the Dirt Mile. Trained by Bret Calhoun, Mr. Money will break from post position four under regular rider Gabriel Saez and is listed at 6-1 on the morning line.

“The post is fine,” Calhoun said. “We all just need some racing luck now.”

Omaha Beach – Trainer Richard Mandella called an audible Tuesday morning and sent Dirt Mile favorite Omaha Beach to the track at 9 o’clock for a 3f blowout in 36 1/5.

OCT 27: Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile entrant Omaha Beach, trained by Richard E. Mandella, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California on Oct 27, 2019. Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders’ Cup

“We had set it up to work three-eighths tomorrow three days out, tomorrow. Just something easy in :37 and change. Then I got to thinking about the works I gave him before the Santa Anita Sprint and thought that if he remembered those works, he wasn’t going to go in :37. I thought it might be better to be four days out if he did take the bit and go faster. He was perfect this morning. He went 36 1/5 like a baby. He continues to prove what a class act he is.”

Retired jockey Nestor Capitaine, who now trains a few horses of his own in addition to working for Mandella, was aboard for the work.

“He does a lot of special work for me,” Mandella said. “He trains himself, but helps me in morning. He’s always getting on special horses. He’s a terrific rider.”

Check out more Breeders’ Cup updates here.

@PastTheWire wow. I am thankful you took the time to provide such detail about an all time great horse and the tragedy of that final race.

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