Rick Pitino has the "horses." In Russ Smith, Chane Behanan, Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng, he has the type of strong, athletic players that could take his Louisville Cardinals all the way to an NCAA championship.
The Triple Crown season at Santa Anita Park begins Jan. 5 with the Sham Stakes led by Goldencents, recent winner of the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot and runner-up in the prestigious Champagne Stakes.
With the clock inexorably ticking ever closer to the 29th Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita nine days hence, event participants went through their daily regimen without a hitch on a clear, crisp, sun-filled Thursday morning.
The jockey, the trainer, and the owner will all be very familiar, but a new name, Handsome Mike, will be representing the team of Doug O'Neill, Paul Reddam, and Mario Gutierrez in the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park July 29.