Seventeen Breeders’ Cup horses arrived at Santa Anita Park at 9:12 a.m. Monday after a cross-country Tex Sutton flight that originated in Newburgh, N.Y. and departed before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.
Greg Otteson of Tex Sutton told the Breeders’ Cup Notes Team that the company changed the starting point for the flight from Long Island to Newburgh, which is located north of New York City, and pushed its departure ahead by eight hours to 1 a.m. to avoid the leading winds of Hurricane Sandy.
Trainer Bill’s Mott’s three Breeders’ Cup Classic candidates – Flat Out, Ron the Greek and To Honour and Serve – and the likely Ladies’ Classic favorite Royal Delta were on the flight. The other New York-based trainers with horses on the flight were Chad Brown, Shug McGaughey, Michael Hushion, Michael Trombetta and Diane Alvarado. The flight stopped in Louisville, Ky., to pick up horses trained by Tom Amoss and continued on to LA/Ontario Airport.
The flight was originally scheduled to leave from McArthur Airport in Islip at 9 a.m., but was switched to the upstate airport as the hurricane moved up the East Coast.
“We just tried to get in there and beat the storm,” Otteson said. “Long Island, even as early as Sunday, was unacceptable to fly in and out of there.
“We usually use Islip Airport there and it only has one runway with one heading. So if you get any crosswind it shuts them down pretty much. Newburgh is a much bigger airport with different runway directions. We were able to get out of there.”
Otteson said the trip was uneventful.
The horses that made the trip on Monday: Chad Brown (Awesome Feather, Balance the Books, Corporate Jungle, Noble Tune, Watsdachances, Zagora); Bill Mott (Ron the Greek, Royal Delta, Flat Out, To Honour and Serve); Mike Hushion (The Lumber Guy); Mike Trombetta (Next Question, Strike the Moon); Diane Alvarado (Eldaafer); Shug McGaughey (Point of Entry); Tom Amoss (Global Power, Sum of the Parts).
–Breeders’ Cup Notes Team
Flat Out/NYRA photo