California Contenders Tune Up for Breeders' Cup


Hot Rod Charlie | Susie Raisher

Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) tuned up for a tilt at the Nov. 6 GI Breeders' Cup Classic with a six-furlong drill in 1:14.00 (4/6) at Santa Anita Saturday.

“We were happy,” trainer Doug O'Neill said of the work. “He cooled out good. If all goes well and he stays injury-free, we're two works away. He'll have one at Santa Anita and one at Del Mar.”

Third in the GI Kentucky Derby and second in the GI Belmont S., Hot Rod Charlie was disqualified from a first-place finish in the GI Haskell S. before earning his first top-level victory in the GI Pennsylvania Derby last time out Sept. 25.

The sophomore is expected to be part of one of the deepest Classic fields in recent memory.

“I'm a little biased because I'm part of the race, but I think it's coming up as one of the most contentious Classics in a while,” O'Neill said. “It's a wide-open race with tons of contenders.”

GI TVG Pacific Classic winner Tripoli (Kitten's Joy), also working for the Classic, went five furlongs Sunday at Santa Anita in 1:01 flat (7/46) for John Sadler.

Ginobili (Munnings), preparing for the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint, worked five furlongs in :57.20 (1/31) Friday at San Luis Rey for trainer Richard Baltas. The 4-year-old is coming off a win in the Aug. 28 GII Pat O'Brien S.

Baltas also sent out Breeders' Cup Classic contender Idol (Curlin), winner of the GI Santa Anita H. in March, out to work four furlongs in :47.80 (3/45) at Santa Anita Saturday. The 4-year-old is coming off a sixth-place effort in the Oct. 2 GI Awesome Again S.

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