Ceiling Kitty – see European report
Hightail – A routine 1 1/2m gallop was on the schedule for Hightail again Thursday as the son of Mineshaft out of the Storm Cat mare Stormy Renee prepares for what Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas hopes will be his trainee’s first career victory.
He’s the only maiden in the race, but also one of three prospective starters in the field of seven to have run in graded or group stakes races. The other two, both fillies, are Ceiling Kitty and Sweet Shirley Mae.
South Floyd – Co-owned by University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino and named after the street of the practice basketball arena, South Floyd galloped 1 1/8m under exercise rider Humberto Gomez at Santa Anita Thursday.
Super Ninety Nine – The chestnut son of Pulpit was out at 7:45 Thursday morning for a gallop with several of his barnmates from the Bob Baffert string, including the Classic favorite Game On Dude.
Baffert has Super Ninety Nine in the Juvenile Sprint on the Breeders’ Cup Friday card, a race the trainer captured in its inaugural running last year at Churchill Downs with Secret Circle.
“He’s a fast horse,” Baffert said in appraising the Kentucky-bred Super Ninety Nine. “His win (Oct. 7 at Santa Anita in a straight maiden race going 7f) was very impressive and the horse he beat that day came back with an ultra-impressive performance.”
That horse was a 2yo colt named Shakin It Up, who returned at Santa Anita on Oct. 27 to win by open lengths in a 6f race in 1:09 2/5. Baffert knows him well, because he trains him, too. He’s a son of the trainer’s two-time Sprint champion Midnight Lute, who was partially owned by Baffert’s longtime client Mike Pegram, a part-owner of Shakin It Up.
Sweet Shirley Mae – Ice Wine Stable’s Sweet Shirley Mae galloped 1 1/2m under exercise rider Lindsey Molina.
Molina said that Sweet Shirley Mae and stablemate Almost an Angel (Juvenile Fillies) are scheduled for a paddock schooling session during Thursday afternoon’s eight-race program at Santa Anita.
Trainer Wesley Ward is not on the scene as he is in Florida for the weekend when his son competes in the state high school cross country championships.