Superstorm Sandy scrambled the travel plans of East Coast-based horses and trainers heading to the Breeders' Cup this weekend at Santa Anita.
Fourteen horses still have to be shipped in for the races, including 10 in New York and four in Kentucky.
Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup president and CEO, said officials don’t anticipate any issues getting the Kentucky-based horses to Los Angeles. But those based in New York are a different story.
"We’re very hopeful that hose horses get a smooth trip out here Wednesday morning and we look forward to their getting here," Fravel said Monday before the post-times were announced.
Seventeen horses arrived Monday morning following a flight that left Newburgh, NY, at 1 a.m., eight hours earlier than initially scheduled to avoid the rain and high wind. The airport also was a last-minute change, replacing Islip on Long Island that was more directly in the path of the storm.
The contingent included the powerful quartet of Flat Out, Ron the Greek, To Honor and Serve and Royal Delta for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. Royal Delta is the defending champion in the Ladies' Classic while the other three are entered in the $5 million Classic.
The flight included horses for Chad Brown, Shug McGaughey, Mike Hushion, Michael Trombetta and Diane Alvarado.
They were the lucky ones. Todd Pletcher's New York-based horses, including the unbeaten Shanghai Bobby in the Juvenile, were scheduled to fly Tuesday morning, but the flight has been pushed back to Wednesday.
"Those that are entered for Friday will be under surveillance from the time they leave to comply with our 72-hour rule on Breeders’ Cup observation of horses," Fravel said, adding that those horses that are racing on Saturday will arrive in LA with plenty of time for pre-race observation.