Final Breeders' Cup Contenders Arrive in California

The final contingent of Breeders' Cup runners, including Mile favorite Wise Dan and Classic contenders Mucho Macho Man, Fort Larned, and Brilliant Speed, arrived at Santa Anita Park Oct. 31 after an eventful weekend of altered travel plans due to Hurricane Sandy.

The flight coming from New York to Louisville and then to California arrived at Ontario Airport at noon PDT, after which the Breeders' Cup horses were loaded onto Brook Ledge and Hubbard horse vans for an approximately one-hour drive to the track.

Among those also unloaded on the Santa Anita backside around 1:15 p.m. PDT were Ladies' Classic runner Grace Hall, Grey Goose Juvenile favorite Shanghai Bobby, Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies contenders Dreaming of Julia and Kauai Katie, FIlly & Mare Sprint runners Belle of the Hall and Turbulent Descent, Dirt Mile runner Jersey Town, and Marathon starter Not Abroad.

Wise Dan settled well into his new stall in Barn 36 after walking the shedrow for several minutes. Trainer Charlie Lopresti said the 5-year-old son of Wiseman's Ferry would either take his first trip over the California oval's main track around 7:30 a.m. local time on the dirt, or would wait until 10 a.m. to go out on the turf under exercise rider Damian Rock.

About the Author

Claire Novak

Winner of the 2011 Eclipse Award for Feature/Commentary and the 2008 Louisville Metro Journalism Award for Sports Writing, Claire Novak has melded her love for human-interest journalism and the equine breed into a successful Turf writing career. Since her first freelance article on racing was published at in 2005, her byline has appeared in the New York Times, ESPN The Magazine, and on, among others. She lives near Lexington and, when not writing about racing, can often be found jumping her Thoroughbred, Bob.

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