Meet David Hofmans, the Giant Killer of the Breeders' Cup.
Consider the fact that he saddled Adoration, at 40-1 the longest shot on the board, to win the 2003 Distaff under Patrick Valenzuela; Desert Code at 36-1 with Richard Migliore up to win the 2008 Turf Sprint; and Alphabet Soup to upset two-time Horse of the Year Cigar in the 1996 Classic with Chris McCarron aboard at a $41.70 win payoff.
His next task could be his most daunting, however, sending out Santa Anita Handicap and Gold Cup at Santa Anita winner Melatonin after an absence of more than four months to tackle streaking 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome in the $6 million Classic at Santa Anita on Saturday, Nov. 5.
“He loves to run fresh, I know that,” said the 73-year-old Hofmans of Melatonin, a five-year-old gelded son of Kodiak Kowboy owned by Susan Osborne's Tarabilla Farms, Inc. “Unfortunately, I missed a race with him before the Classic so we have to come into what is probably the toughest race of his life off of works.
“I know the horse is doing really well right now. He reminds me of Alphabet Soup. They both try real hard every time and they're both so smart.
“I thought Adoration and Alphabet Soup had good shots to win, despite their odds. Desert Code, I wasn't too sure about, but I think Migliore was a big part of that. He really wanted that win and he rode the horse like he did, and I think he got every bit out of him.
“But all three horses were like Melatonin, peaking at the right moment.”
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