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Golden Missile Headlines Gold Cup Nominations

CICERO, IL -- Racing Secretary Gary Duch released the nominations for the Grade 3 $500,00 Hawthorne Gold Cup with the makings of once again providing solid Breeders' Cup candidates. In the past three years, this mile-and-a-quarter event has proven itself to be a major prep for the Breeders' Cup. In 1997, Gold Cup winner Buck's Boy was victorious in the Gold Cup and then went on to win the running of the Breeders' Cup turf. In 1998 it was Awesome Again who came home first in the Gold Cup and surprised many when he came on to win the Breeders' Cup Classic.

1999 had a slightly different outlook as it wasn't the winner of the Gold Cup who was the Breeders' Cup placed finisher, but it was second-place finisher Golden Missile. After running second to Supreme Sound last year, Golden Missile went on to finish third in the Classic. This year the Joe Orseno trainee looks for the Gold Cup to be another vaulting point for the Breeders' Cup. A winner of the Pimlico Special on May 13 and the Stephen Foster on June 17, Golden Missile comes off a second-place finish in the Kentucky Cup Classic.

The horse that beat Golden Missile that day is Gold Cup nominated Captain Steve. Trained by Bob Baffert, this hard-fighting three-year-old has won three of four and is already nearing the $2 million mark for his career.

A veteran that looks to be the spoiler could be Blazing Sword. Nominated by Kathleen O'Connell, this six-year-old gelding last posted victory on July 22 in the Washington Park Handicap. Blazing Sword has won eleven times in forty-three career starts.

Second to Blazing Sword in the Washington Park Handicap is another Gold Cup nominee, Mula Gula. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Mula Gula, was surprised by Blazing Sword on the 22nd of July, but was almost the spoiler only four weeks later. A longshot at 25-1, Mula Gula ran home a strong third in the Arlington Million.

Another horse familiar to Illinois is 1999 Illinois Derby winner Vision and Verse. Nominated by William Mott, Vision and Verse followed up that underdog victory in the Illinois Derby by posting a strong effort when beaten a head in the Belmont. Running only twice this year, Vision and Verse comes off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Massachusetts Handicap.

-All Gold Nominations follow:

Beboppin Baby

Frank Kirby

Big Ten (CHI)

Richard Mandella

Blazing Sword

Kathleen O'Connell

Captain Steve

Bob Baffert


Charles Simon

Dust On The Bottle

Glenn Hild

El Ballezano

Charles Simon

Golden Missile

Joseph Orseno

Ground Storm

William Mott

Guided Tour

Niall O'Callaghan

Jazz Club

Neil Howard

Lord Sterling

Alfredo Marquez


Allen Iwinski

Mula Gula

Jerry Hollendorfer

Nite Dreamer

Niall O'Callaghan

Pleasant Italian

Wayne Catalano

Puerto Madero (CHI)

Richard Mandella

Talk's Cheap

Linda Rice

Vision and Verse

William Mott

Where's Taylor

Michael Stidham

*Nominations final pending late mail

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