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Some of the leading contenders for the Nov. 1-2 Breeders' Cup World Championships, including Game On Dude, Paynter, and Beholder worked at Santa Anita Park the morning of Oct. 28.
The workers, respective races, and their times on a fast track were:
All Cash, Juvenile Turf, four furlongs, :49 2/5 Beholder, Distaff (gr. I), four furlongs, :49 1/5 Book Review, Filly & Mare Sprint, four furlongs, :48 3/5 Game On Dude, Classic, five furlongs, :59 Justin Phillip, Xpressbet Sprint, four furlongs, :48 3/5 Paynter, Classic, five furlongs, 1:00 Secret Circle, Sprint, four furlongs, :46 4/5 Tap It Rich, Juvenile, four furlongs, :48 2/5 Unbridled's Note, Turf Sprint, four furlongs, :49 1/5
"It was a terrific work for him and I'm glad we're done with that," trainer Bob Baffert said after Game On Dude's impressive workout of five furlongs in :59.
A son of Awesome Again who has won all five of his starts in 2013 after concluding his 2012 season with a seventh-place finish as the 13-10 favorite in last year's Classic, Game On Dude will be facing many of the same horses that finished in front of him a year ago.
Working in company, Game On Dude spotted Amazing Hearted five lengths down the backside and was on even terms at the eighth pole. With Martin Garcia aboard, "the Dude" then took over to and rolled through the stretch. "It's so quiet out there right now that I wanted to give him a target and get him focused," Baffert said. "He's a totally different horse this year. He's not the same horse that ran here last year. Thank God. He's bigger, he's filled out and he's a happy horse. I've spaced his races out and that's allowed me to keep his weight on." Garcia also rode Paynter as they worked in company with stakes winner Flashback. The workmate started close behind Paynter and stayed there throughout, with Paynter a length in front at the end. "He was a little rusty," Baffert said. "But he's doing great now. I think he'll be right there Saturday."
Another Classic contender for Baffert on the track under intermittent cloudy skies was Paynter, Zayat Stables' miracle horse who is on the comeback trail after recovering from a serious illness that almost cost him his life. Another son of Awesome Again, Paynter was timed in 1:00 for his five-furlong work.
Meanwhile, trainer Richard Mandella said that with rain in the forecast for later in the day Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 29, he called an audible and went ahead and sent Distaff contender Beholder out for a four-furlong work in :49 1/5.
"I debated not working her because she's had some pretty big works, but we have a threat of rain so I decided to let her skip along a little easy half (mile) and I don't have to do anything tomorrow no matter what the weather does," Mandella said of the Henny Hughes filly who has won or placed in 10 of 11 starts.
"She couldn't be better," Mandella said of the 3-year-old filly who will be seeking to end the two-race Distaff reign of multiple champion Royal Delta.