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Golden Missile Headlines Probables for Gold Cup

STICKNEY, IL -- Trainer Joe Orseno was looking for a spot for Golden Missile to run last fall as a prep for the Breeders' Cup Classic. Golden Missile came to Hawthorne nearing the end of his four-year-old season for the Gold Cup and was ushered off as the 4-5 favorite. That day was not to be his though as after a long stretch battle he came up a nose short to Supreme Sound. Although strong in that effort, he was given little hope when he came into the Breeders' Cup Classic, being sent off at odds of 75-1 in the ten horse field. He would finish a strong third that day and close out his 1999 season with over $800,000 in earnings.

This year the Missile is back. Posting a pair of victories earlier in the year in the Grade 1 Pimlico Special and the Grade 2 Stephen Foster Handicap, Golden Missile looks to the Gold Cup to help vault him into Classic prominence again. The five-year-old horse by A.P. Indy has earned over $1.2 million on the season and can surpass the $3 million mark with wins in the Gold Cup and Classic. Trainer Joe Orseno has him pointed to arrive Thursday or Friday.

An easy victory probably won't be the case though for Golden Missile as numerous other fine candidates will look to be the upsetter. Heading the charge could be Blazing Sword. The six-year-old gelding by Storm Dance is coming off of a rough fifth place finish in the Iselin Handicap in his last start, but posted a pair of wins before that, highlighted by a length victory in the Grade 2 Washington Park Handicap at Arlington on July 22. Golden Missile's regular rider Kent Desormeaux is set to be up again.

Although not as tested in the stakes ranks, Guided Tour has shown that he knows the winning way. A winner of four straight, he comes off of an impressive five-and-a-quarter length victory over the slop in the Hall of Fame Breeders' Cup Handicap at Thistledown. Larry Melancon is set to be aboard Guided Tour.

Mula Gula was overlooked by many as he headed to the post for the Grade 1 Arlington Million. After finishing a close second to Blazing Sword in the Washington Park, he was dispersed at odds of 25-1 in the Million. Circling the field in the turn that day, he rallied to finish third, thus lining him up for this spot. Mark Guidry receives the mount for the third straight race aboard Mula Gula.

Although things have been a bit of a struggle of late, Puerto Madero (CHI) has shown that he can run with the big boys. A winner only once in the past two years, he entered the Dubai World Cup as an almost oversight. Running a solid race that day, he came home fourth in the $6 million event under Laffit Pincay. Pincay is slated to ride Puerto Madero once again.

Others listed as probables in this race are: Catienus, Dust on the Bottle, El Ballezano, Maracaibo, and Where's Taylor.

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