Midnight Storm works at Santa Anita Feb. 16
Mor Spirit, second to Dubai-bound Hoppertunity in the San Antonio Stakes on Feb. 4, worked four furlongs in company with his conqueror at 7:45 Thursday morning in a drill that could lead to a start in the Grade I, $ 750,000 Santa Anita Handicap for four-year-olds and up at a mile and a quarter on March 11.
Both horses were clocked in 47 flat.
“They looked good,” Bob Baffert said of the two Grade I winners, Hoppertunity in the Jockey Club Gold Cup last October and the Clark Handicap in 2014, and Mor Spirit in the Los Alamitos Futurity in 2015. “They went together and did it the right way.”
Asked If Mor Spirit might run in the Big ‘Cap, Baffert said, “We don’t know.”
Midnight Storm, on the other hand, is definite right now for Santa Anita’s marquee race that will be run for the 80th time. Midnight Storm worked six furlongs Monday in 1:12.20.
“His work was sensational,” trainer Phil D’Amato said of the Grade I winner on turf and dirt. “That was an ‘A’ work. He went out a mile in 1:38 and change. It was what I wanted to see and he still had plenty in the tank, too, so I’m very happy.”
Exercise rider Jose Dominguez was aboard for the drill.
Meanwhile, Breeders’ Cup Classic and Pegasus World Cup winner Arrogate, the answer to everybody’s question of “Where will he run next?” worked four furlongs Tuesday in 48.60 under Martin Garcia.
“It wasn’t much of a work,” Baffert allowed. “He galloped around here,” but Baffert offered no word on where Arrogate might run next.
Should Baffert win the Santa Anita Handicap, it would mark the sixth time he has done so. Previous winners were General Challenge (2000), Misremembered (2010) and three-time winner Game On Dude (2011, 2013 and 2014). The late Charlie Whittingham won a record nine Big ‘Caps, first in 1957 with Corn Husker and most recently in 1993 with Sir Beaufort.
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