After working 10 years as an assistant to Mike Mitchell, Phil D’Amato took over the stable in 2014 when Mitchell was stricken with cancer. D’Amato’s stable has grown in stature and success as he has won three meet titles in Southern California this year – two at Santa Anita and one at Del Mar.
D’Amato is 0 for 4 in the Breeders’ Cup and D’Amato had entered six horses in this year’s Breeders’ Cup, but on Wednesday Metaboss (Turf) was injured while galloping on the turf course and was retired.
BOWIES HERO was purchased privately after he won debut at Lone Star Park in Texas and in his first start for D’Amato, this Artie Schiller colt won the Del Mar Juvenile Turf. Sent off the favorite in the Zuma Beach at Santa Anita on October 10th, Bowies Hero finished eighth, beaten eight and a half lengths by Big Score.
D’Amato said Bowies Hero missed time due to a foot injury and then had trouble in that race.
“He got wiped out by the winner by the three-eighths pole and nailed again at the quarter pole,” D’Amato said. “He couldn’t overcome all that.”
Originally pointed to the Mile on turf, VYJACK was re-routed to the Dirt Mile instead. As young horse, when based in New York, he was a multiple stakes winner on dirt.
“It worked out, the Dirt Mile is a smaller field, we’ll have our chance to run down Dortmund if we’re good enough,” D’Amato said.
In his only dirt start for D’Amato, finished second to Masochistic in the Grade 2 Pat O’Brien at Del Mar, which had just a three-horse field. Masochistic is among the favorites for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
“This should have much of a race shape on Friday,” D’Amato said.
After making four consecutive starts in the Mile, eight-year-old gelding OBVIOUSLY will try Turf Sprint going six and a half furlongs down-the-hill. He has actually run down-the-hill three times in his career, but not since 2013.
“We thought this might be one of his last Breeders’ Cups so we thought we’d try to give him his best chance to win,” D’Amato said. “Usually, the turf sprints are a little easier than the Mile. He’s training super, came out of his last race in good shape. He always shows up.”
In his last start, Obviously finished third, one length behind Vyjack in the City of Hope Stakes going a mile on turf.
FILLY AND MARE SPRINT
GLORYZAPPER has won her last two starts on dirt including a half-length victory in the L.A. Woman Stakes here at Santa Anita on October 9th.
“She’s a filly with some tactical speed,” D’Amato said. “I think seven-eighths will be perfect for her. She is going to have to run the race of her life to compete with those but she’s coming into the race the right way.”
MIDNIGHT STORM has won his last three starts including the Shoemaker Mile here in June, and the Grade 2 Eddie Read and Grade 2 Del Mar Mile, both at Del Mar.
He has been off since August 24th but that was by design.
“He’s run three big races in a row, this was the plan from the get go,” D’Amato said.
Though Midnight Storm has been on the lead at all points of call in his last three races, D’Amato sees What a View as going to the front in this race. D’Amato was not thrilled with post 13 of 14.
“He drew out there a little further than I’d like,” D’Amato said. “He always gets out of the gate really well. We might be sitting second or third depending how fast they go.”