CAPT. CANDYMAN CAN TO HAVE FINAL BREEDERS’ CUP WORK SUNDAY – Trainer Ian Wilkes said that Joseph Rauch and David Zell’s Capt. Candyman Can is scheduled for his final work before the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (Grade I) on Sunday and then ship to Santa Anita the next day.
Capt. Candyman Can, who won the first of his four graded-stakes victories in last fall’s Iroquois (GIII) here, has been training at the Skylight Training Center in Goshen over the Pro-Ride synthetic track, similar to what he will run on at Santa Anita.
“He has had two works since the Phoenix (GIII) and is doing well,” Wilkes said of the 3-year-old gelding who ran second to Fatal Bullet in the Phoenix on Oct. 9 at Keeneland. “He will probably work Sunday and then ship Monday.”
Wilkes’ other top 3-year-old in the barn, Warrior’s Reward, has been galloping at Churchill Downs after running fifth as the favorite in the Perryville (GIII) at Keeneland on Oct. 17. After the race, jockey Calvin Borel got off Warrior’s Reward in the first turn and the colt was unsaddled there.
“We are just keeping an eye on him; hopefully all it was just a bad step (in the race),” Wilkes said of Warrior’s Reward, who is owned by A. Stevens Miles Jr. “He is galloping now and I’m not sure (when he’ll run next).”
ROMANS EYES POCAHONTAS REPEAT WITH SASSY IMAGE – Trainer Dale Romans unleashed a true “Star of Tomorrow” in the 2008 Pocahontas when Sara Louise romped to victory by 3 ¾ lengths over Rachel Alexandra.
On Sunday, he hopes history repeats itself when he saddles Jerry Romans’ Sassy Image in the 41st running of the Grade III event for 2-year-old fillies.
“This time last year, Sara Louise was starting to move forward and I hope Sassy Image does the same,” Romans said.
Sassy Image has some big hoofprints to follow in. Sara Louise ran second behind Rachel Alexandra in last year’s Golden Rod (GII) and this year has won the Grade III Victory Ride at Saratoga and was second behind champion Indian Blessing in the Grade II Gallant Bloom at Belmont. Next Friday she will be competing in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (GI) at Santa Anita for Godolphin Racing and trainer Saeed bin Suroor.
Sara Louise came into last year’s Pocahontas off a maiden score. Sassy Image, a maiden winner here in June, finished eighth in her most recent start in the Darley Alcibiades (GI) at Keeneland on Oct. 9 after enduring a wide trip.
“She likes this track and she has been training well,” Romans said of Sassy Image, who worked a bullet half-mile of :47.80 in her first work back after the Alcibiades.
Romans will have one Breeders’ Cup starter in Frank Jones Jr.’s Tapitsfly, who is already at Santa Anita. A maiden winner at Saratoga, Tapitsfly won the P.G. Johnson on grass at Saratoga and is pre-entered in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Robby Albarado has the mount.
Romans also reported that Mark Stanley’s Swift Temper remains on track for a run in the Nov. 26 Falls City Handicap (GII). Tenth as the favorite in the Juddmonte Spinster (GI) over Keeneland’s Polytrack surface, Swift Temper worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 on Sunday.
WIGGINS HOPING TO FINISH WITH A FLOURISH – Hal Wiggins hit the apex of his training career this spring when he saddled Rachel Alexandra to her resounding victory in the Kentucky Oaks (GI).
He hopes the final month on the backside gets off to a rousing start on Sunday when he sends out Brassy Boy in the 28th running of the Iroquois (GIII) for longtime client Millsap Stables.
Wiggins, who has 20 horses stabled here, is retiring at the end of the meet on Nov. 28, two days before his 67th birthday.
“It is starting to sink in a little bit,” Wiggins said. “It will probably hit me on the 28th when I get ready to turn another year older. I’m going to go to Houston. My wife, Renee, is already there.
“I am still going to go to sales and still be involved in it because I love the game so much. I don’t want to quit cold turkey.”
Brassy Boy won his first two starts during the spring meet and then ran third in the Bashford Manor (GIII).
“I gave him a month off after the Bashford Manor,” Wiggins said. “He came back at Louisiana Downs (on Oct. 3 in the Razorback Futurity) and ran OK. He was just second best that day.”
The horse that beat Brassy Boy that day, Comedero, also is considered a likely Iroquois starter.
“I hope Brassy Boy likes a mile better than the other colt,” Wiggins said.
BARN TALK – Lewis Lakin’s Pure Clan came out of her five-furlong breeze of Tuesday in good order according to Betsy Couch, assistant to trainer Bob Holthus. “She ate up everything last night and is in good form this morning,” Couch said. Winner of the Flower Bowl (GI) in her most recent start on Oct. 3, Pure Clan worked five-eighths in 1:01.40 on Tuesday, her second five-furlong work since the Flower Bowl in preparation for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (GI) to be run Friday, Nov. 6 at Santa Anita. Pure Clan is scheduled to have a light breeze Sunday morning and ship to California on Monday.
Trainer Ken McPeek said that Anthony Bonomo Jr.’s Connie and Michael would ship to California on Saturday for a start in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) on Nov. 6. Connie and Michael broke her maiden at first asking on Oct. 17 at Keeneland going seven furlongs by 7 ¾ lengths from the No. 12 post position. McPeek hoped to have another Keeneland maiden winner on the plane in Fist of Rage, but that colt was sixth on the preference list for the over-subscribed Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) to be run Nov. 7.
West Point Thoroughbreds’ Macho Again, winner of this year’s Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) here and runner-up to Rachel Alexandra in the Woodward (GI), is on track for a start in the Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GII) on Nov. 27 according to trainer Dallas Stewart. A cough last week knocked Macho Again out of a possible start in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI).
G. Watts Humphrey Jr. and the Louise Ireland Humphrey Revocable Trust-2008’s One Caroline is scheduled to return to the races in the 24th running of the Chilukki (GII) on Nov. 7. Trained by Rusty Arnold, One Caroline is scheduled to work at Keeneland on Sunday and then ship to Churchill Downs midweek for her first start since running second to Miss Isella in the Louisville Distaff (GII) on May 1. One Caroline will be ridden in the Chilukki by Leandro Goncalves.
WORK TAB – Centaur Farms’ Yes It’s Valid, considered a possible starter for Sunday’s Pocahontas, worked a half-mile Wednesday morning over a “muddy” track in :50.20 for trainer Merrill Scherer.