ARCADIA, Cali. — Even as a plane full of new arrivals rolled into the Santa Anita Park grounds Monday morning, the ongoing, weather-delayed absence of some contenders continued to be the subject of discussion and concern days out from the start of the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
With Hurricane Sandy throttling the East Coast, travel plans for some of the more notable Breeders' Cup horses and their connections are — no pun intended — up in the air.
Seventeen Breeders' Cup horses — including all of Bill Mott's contingent, Grade I winner Point of Entry and undefeated champion Awesome Feather — got into Santa Anita Park Monday morning but Juvenile favorite Shanghai Bobby, stablemate Dreaming of Julia and multiple graded stakes winner Mucho Macho Man are among the 14 who likely won't get out now until Wednesday.
Breeders' Cup requires all horses to be on the grounds within 72 hours. However, Bob Elliston, chief operation officer for Breeders' Cup, said there are already plans to have security on all the horses within 72 hours regardless where they are.
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"If they're in a barn in New York, our security personnel will be on them," he said. "They will be under constant security at 72 hours."
Groupie Doll works
Fred and Buff Bradley's homebred Grade I winner Groupie Doll had her last serious work in advance of her start in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, breezing three furlongs in :34 2/5 over the Santa Anita main track Monday.
The daughter of Bowman's Band was installed as the even-money morning line choice over a field of 10 entered for Saturday's race.
"It looked really easy and she galloped out really strong," said trainer Buff Bradley, who watched the work on TV is slated to travel to California on Thursday. "As long as she's happy that's a good sign."