Of the 155 recorded works on Santa Anita's worktab Saturday, a goodly number were by Breeders' Cup candidates getting in their final major licks before next Friday and Saturday, when the 30th Breeders' Cup World Championships unfold at the Arcadia, California, track.
Classic contenders Moreno, Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge all turned five furlongs on Santa Anita's fast dirt ahead of that 1 1/4-mile contest.
The massive five-year-old Mucho Macho Man, who just missed by a half-length when second in last year's running of the Classic, was caught in 1:00 3/5. The bay will enter the race off a 4 1/4-length romp in the nine-furlong Awesome Again on September 28.
Will Take Charge captured the Travers and Pennsylvania Derby by a nose and 2 1/4 lengths, respectively, over Moreno in the duo's past two races. The D. Wayne Lukas-trained chestnut sped five furlongs in :59 2/5 while Moreno turned the same time in a bullet :59 1/5.
Fog obscured Will Take Charge's work, but private clocker Bruno DeJulio was able to time the drill. He reported splits of :12, :24 and :35, with a six-furlong gallop out in 1:13 3/5.
Grade 2 queen Authenticity, runner-up in the Personal Ensign Handicap and Zenyatta in her past pair, blitzed a co-bullet half-mile in :46 1/5. The lightly raced six-year-old mare will face a small field when she lines up in the Distaff on Friday.
Silver Max, who broke reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan's nine-race win streak when taking the off-the-turf Shadwell Turf Mile last out, zipped a half-mile in :47 2/5. The Badge of Silver four-year-old has captured his last three, including the Bernard Baruch at Saratoga, and will attempt to deny Wise Dan yet again in the Mile on Saturday.
Defending Turf champion Little Mike, a nose winner of the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational most recently, turned five panels in a swift :59 4/5. He'll likely be joined in the Turf starting gate by Grade 2 winner Skyring, who geared up for the race by recording five-eighths in 1:00 1/5. That English Channel four-year-old has finished sixth in his last three against graded rivals.
Champion female sprinter Groupie Doll sped four furlongs in :47 2/5 ahead of her title defense run in the Filly & Mare Sprint. The Buff Bradley-trained five-year-old is exiting a third-place effort as the defending champion of the Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland.
Three Sprint hopefuls, including champion male sprinter and defending champion Trinniberg, took the the Santa Anita dirt on Saturday.
Trinniberg, who will bring a 4-0-1-0 seasonal mark into next Saturday's race, ticked off a half in :46 4/5 while Majestic Stride, who needs one defection from the pre-entries to make the field, posted four panels in :47 3/5. Grade 1-placed multiple stakes winner Wine Police took 1:01 to get five panels.
Unbeaten Iroquois hero Cleburne prepared for the Juvenile by going five furlongs in 1:00. Breeders' Futurity victor We Miss Artie readied for either the Juvenile or Juvenile Turf with a four-furlong move in :46 3/5. Dual Grade 1 runner-up Dance With Fate, who has first preference in the Juvenile and second in the Juvenile Turf, clocked five-eighths in 1:01 3/5.
Frizette fifth-placer Ria Antonia, first on the preference list for the Juvenile Fillies and second for the Juvenile Fillies Turf, blazed four furlongs in :46 3/5.
Dual stakes star Tour Guide, who is last of four on the standby list for the Turf Sprint, worked in company with fellow Lukas trainee Skyring to get five-eighths in 1:00 1/5. Marathon hopeful Suns Out Guns Out toured the same distance in 1:03 1/5.
Nine Breeders' Cup candidates took to Santa Anita's firm turf on Saturday, led by multiple Grade 1 diva Lady of Shamrock. Fifth in the Rodeo Drive most recently, the Scat Daddy four-year-old worked seven-eighths in 1:27 2/5 and will try to improve on her fifth-placing in last year's Filly & Mare Turf when lining up next Saturday.
Grade 1 hero Obviously, fourth in the City of Hope Mile most recently, turned three-quarters on the turf in 1:12. The Mike Mitchell charge has first preference to run in the Mile and second for the Turf Sprint.
Mile hopeful No Jet Lag, who defeated Obviously by 2 1/4 lengths as victor of the City of Hope Mile three weeks ago, was caught in :58 4/5 for five furlongs on the green. The gelded son of Johar is two-for-two in the United States since joining Simon Callaghan's barn over the summer.
Bright Thought was last seen taking the March 16 San Luis Rey in record time at Santa Anita and makes his return to competition the Mile. The Hat Trick four-year-old is currently riding a four-race win streak, including three under the tutelage of trainer Jorge Gutierrez at Santa Anita, and was caught in 1:27 4/5 for seven grassy furlongs on Saturday.
Del Mar Handicap victor Vagabond Shoes, runner-up in the John Henry Turf Championship last out, recorded a mile-move on the green in 1:40 for next Saturday's Turf.
With Anticipation winner Bashart, runner-up in the Bourbon last out, posted four grassy furlongs in :47 3/5 for the Juvenile Turf. Dual stakes-placed Nesso geared up for the Juvenile Fillies Turf by negotiating five furlongs on the sod in 1:03 2/5.
Stakes scorer Spring to the Sky, headed to the Turf Sprint off a third in the Woodford, sizzled a half on the turf in :45 1/5 while dual Grade 3 conqueror Chips All In got the same distance on the green for the same race in :48 2/5.