Posted: Friday November 2, 2012 10:12 PM

Old, odd Calidoscopio makes mark at Breeders' Cup

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ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) - It was a day for the aged - and the odd - at the Breeders' Cup.

After a record 19th victory Friday from 77-year-old trainer D. Wayne Lukas, 17-1 shot Calidoscopio became the oldest horse ever to win a Breeders' Cup race at age 9, beating Grassy by 4 1/4 lengths to take the $500,000 Marathon, longest of the Breeders' Cup races.

But an unusual age is only the beginning of the eccentricities of a horse whose name is Spanish for kaleidoscope and resembles a crazy uncle more than a kindly grandpa.

Calidoscopio was unmistakable in the two weeks he trained at Santa Anita after shipping in from Argentina.

He was galloped bareback in his daily workouts, and wore a white "bonnet'' of sorts wrapped around his head.

The lack of saddle is an old tradition in Argentina and the horse is "too old to change his routine,'' according to trainer Guillermo Frankel.

And the bonnet? To prevent "head colds,'' said Frankel, a 54-year-old former veterinarian from Buenos Aires.

The quirks extend to race day too. Calidoscopio wears a blindfold that covers his whole face all the way down to his chest to help ease him into the starting gate.

And after Friday's big victory his connections, including a group of seven owners led by Juan Carlos Echeverz, celebrated with soccer-style singing, chanting and flag-waving, bringing a shock to the usually staid winner's circle at Santa Anita.

John Fulton, a South American representative of the Breeders' Cup who served as translator in the post-race news conference, said Frankel is known in his home country for using his veterinary skills to bring horses along slowly.

"If he needs time, he gives it, and he has allowed this horse to stay strong and mature and get better.''

Asked if Calidoscopio would race at 10, Fulton said "I guess we should ask the horse. At least five more years!''


DELZANGLES CIRCLES GLOBE: Hundreds of horses have run thousands of furlongs in preparation for the Breeders' Cup. But nobody this week is moving more than French trainer Mikel Delzangles, whose heavy travel schedule paid off with a chance to saddle Flotilla in her victory in Friday's $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf.

After training his defending champion Dunaden in preparation for next week's Melbourne Cup, Delzangeles flew from Australia to Southern California on Wednesday to supervise the final few workouts then saddle two Breeders' Cup starters on Friday.

Flotilla, a 2-year-old bred in France, used an outside rally under jockey Christophe Lemaire to beat Ireland-bred Watsdachances by 1 1/4 lengths in the mile-long Juvenile Fillies Turf.

The trainer's other filly, Ridasiyna, was fourth behind winner and fellow French-bred Zagora in the $2 million Filly and Mare Turf.

Delzangles was slated to immediately get back on a plane and fly back to Australia to saddle Dunaden in the Melbourne Cup.

That's nearly 16,000 air miles in just a few days, but the jet lag doesn't hurt so much with a world title in your baggage.

"It's a world tour, but when things happen like today, it's quite easy,'' Delzangles said through a translator.


QUESTING EASED: Questing, expected to contend in the Ladies' Classic, was last out of the gate and eased down the stretch by jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., but an initial examination found no injury.

The British-bred filly trained by Kiaran McLaughlin scored a pair of U.S. Grade 1 stakes wins earlier in the year and is among the favorites to win an Eclipse Award as the nation's top 3-year-old female.

There was no indication of trouble during the training week, and McLaughlin said Thursday that he planned to have the filly speed straight to the lead in the Ladies' Classic.

A veterinarian examined Questing after the race, but found nothing physically wrong. Santa Anita's stewards ordered a precautionary blood test.


SCRATCHES FOR BREES, PITINO: Stars from non-horse sports had their Breeders' Cup hopes dashed before the starting gate.

Worth Repeating, whose owners include New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, and South Floyd, co-owned by Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino were scratched before their respective Breeders' Cup races.

Worth Repeating missed the Marathon, with trainer Mike Machowsky saying the 6-year-old wasn't 100 percent after a Thursday workout and Friday vet check.

Brees is part of the Donkey Island Racing LLC group that owns Worth Repeating.

Pitino, a longtime thoroughbred fan and owner who has named horses after his Cardinal players, had his colt South Floyd, trained by reigning Kentucky Derby winner Doug O'Neill, scratched moments before the gate in the $500,000 Juvenile when the veterinarian saw what appeared to be a front leg problem during the post parade.

Trainer Bob Baffert's Super Ninety Nine had scratched from the same race earlier Friday when he got tangled in his stall and sustained scrapes.

"It is really too bad,'' said Baffert, whose Breeders' Cup entries were reduced from 10 to nine. "He was going to win that race, and it was his owner's first horse - her very first horse and her very first Breeders' Cup.''


ONE PICK SIX HIT: Somebody got a golden ticket. It won't get them into Willie Wonka's factory, but it's nearly as rare and worth a lot more dough.

A single ticket claimed the entire prize of $773,865 in the notoriously difficult Breeders' Cup Pick Six after Friday's day one, made all the more difficult with several longshot winners.

The ticket was bought through online account wagering company Xpress Bet for $288. Its owner and location were unknown.


ATTENDANCE AVERAGE: The on-track attendance at Santa Anita for Friday's first day of the Breeders' Cup was 34,619.

That's down from the first days of 2010 and 2011 when the event was held at Churchill Downs and drew more than 40,000, but very close to the average Friday since the event was expanded to two days in 2007.

The wagering total was $47,586,765, a 5 percent decline from Friday's total of $50,053,505 bet last year, and also down from the 2009 card at Santa Anita.

"Considering the effects of Hurricane Sandy and difficult circumstances for much of the East Coast, to be within 5 percent of last year's total handle is a success,'' said Ken Kirchner, senior wagering consultant for the event.
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