Monday, October 22, 2007
Commentator – see Sprint
Corinthian – The 4yo colt galloped 1 3/8m over the Belmont Park training track under exercise rider Kelvin Pahal Monday morning in preparation for a start in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
Corinthian, who will be ridden by Kent Desormeaux, was shipped by van to Monmouth Park following the workout.
The son of Pulpit had established himself as a premier miler while winning the Metropolitan Mile at Belmont Park on May 28, before being outrun by Lawyer Ron at 1 1/8m in the Whitney and Woodward at Saratoga.
“It seems like (he is best at a mile). I didn’t think so before, because he won the Gulfstream Park Handicap at a mile and three-sixteenths,” said trainer James Jerkens. “I guess it wasn’t against the best field. I guess he outclassed them. He was getting a little worn down at the end of that race.”
Diamond Stripes – see Classic
Discreet Cat – Discreet Cat, the likely favorite in Friday’s Dirt Mile, walked the shedrow at Belmont Park Monday morning. Yesterday, Discreet Cat worked 5f over Belmont’s main track in a blazing :57 2/5. It was the fastest of 25 works at the distance. Discreet Cat, who won Aqueduct’s Cigar Mile in a dominating performance last November, will team up with jockey Garrett Gomez in the Dirt Mile. The colt is leaving for Monmouth Park on Wednesday morning.
“Maybe he worked a little faster than you’d want yesterday, but we feel he’s at the top of his game going into the Monmouth race,” said Rick Mettee, assistant trainer to Saeed bin Suroor. “I think we may have him back to the level he was at for the Cigar Mile.”
Forefathers – see Sprint
Gottcha Gold – Centaur Farms’ 4yo colt Gottcha Gold jogged over the Monmouth Park track Monday morning with exercise rider Antonio Campos in the saddle. He recorded his last major workout here on Oct. 18, going 5f in 1:00 2/5, the “bullet” work on the tab.
Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. splits his time between his two stables at Monmouth Park and Calder Race Course in Miami, Fla. and is expected to be at Monmouth on Thursday.
Gottcha Gold will be ridden by C.C. (Chuck) Lopez, a New Jersey regular, in the Dirt Mile.
Gottcha Gold could be considered a “horse for the course” along with Park Avenue Ball in the race. In eight starts at Monmouth Park, Gottcha Gold has won five races with two second-place finishes. Park Avenue Ball has won six of 10 starts at the track.
Gottcha Gold comes into the Dirt Mile off two victories here, the Salvator Mile on June 23 when he defeated Classic contender Lawyer Ron by a neck, and the Iselin on Aug. 18, when he was an easy 4 ½-length winner.
High Finance – High Finance, a Grade 2 winner pointing to Friday’s $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, walked the shedrow at Aqueduct Monday. On Sunday, High Finance breezed 4f at Aqueduct in 48 3/5. High Finance is going to ship to Monmouth Wednesday morning and has jockey John Velazquez for the Dirt Mile. High Finance enters the Dirt Mile a fresh horse, having not raced since the Forego at Saratoga on Sept. 1. The race was forgettable, as High Finance finished eighth as the favorite, some 18 lengths behind runaway winner Midnight Lute.-more-
“I still have no idea what happened in the Forego,” trainer Rick Violette said. “He just didn’t run.”
Lewis Michael – In his final major move leading up to Friday’s Dirt Mile, the 4yo son of Rahy logged 5f in 1:01 on Monday at Keeneland. He got the final eighth in 11 1/5.
“He did exactly what we wanted him to do,” said trainer Wayne Catalano. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the way he’s coming up to the race.”
Lewis Michael, who finished 11th in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint, has not raced over a traditional dirt track since. His first start of the year came on turf, and his last five races have been run over synthetic surfaces.
“We’re not worried about running him back on dirt,” Catalano said. “One of the best races of his career came at Belmont (second in the Peter Pan). The Dirt Mile was the best option for us.”
Joe Talamo has the mount.
“Ronnie Ebanks (Talamo’s agent) hooked that up with Frank (owner Calabrese),” Catalano said. “He’s impressed me and I have no doubt that he’ll handle the pressure.”
Park Avenue Ball – Trainer Jim Ryerson said definitively on Monday that Park Avenue Ball, whom he had pre-entered in the Dirt Mile and the Sprint, will run in the Dirt Mile. Based at Monmouth Park, Park Avenue Ball will breeze 4f on Tuesday and then jog and gallop up to the race.
“He always runs good here at this track. He ran some good races at Gulfstream too but he does have an affinity for this racetrack and he always runs good here,” said Ryerson, who will be running his second Breeders’ Cup starter after Unbridled’s Song won the Juvenile in 1995. “I don’t know if we have a home field advantage, but it would be awfully sweet to win a Breeders’ Cup race right here at home.”
Million dollar- plus earner Park Avenue Ball has won six of his 10 starts at Monmouth Park and made $638,900 on this racing strip.Wanderin Boy – Stone Farm’s speedy 6yo horse will make his first Breeders’ Cup appearance in the inaugural running of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
Monday morning, Wanderin Boy galloped 1½m over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga. He is scheduled to be shipped from Saratoga to Monmouth Park on Tuesday.
The homebred son of Seeking the Gold enters the Dirt Mile after running in three consecutive 1 1/8m Grade 1 races. On July 28, he finished second in Lawyer Ron’s track record-breaking victory in the Whitney Handicap. Trainer Nick Zito said the Dirt Mile was a good fit for Wanderin Boy, who will be ridden by Javier Castellano.
“The Classic has come up tough,” Zito said. “This is a nice race, a Breeders’ Cup race. It’s a good race to win.”
Xchanger – Following Saturday’s breeze at Fair Hill training center, recent Meadowlands Cup runner-up Xchanger “couldn’t be better”, according to trainer Mark Shuman.
“He’s a push-button individual,” Shuman said. “The race (Dirt Mile) was too good to pass over and the distance should hit him right between the eyes.”
The 3yo son of Exchange Rate breezed a half-mile over Fair Hill’s Tapeta surface in
47 1/5 on Saturday, and he is scheduled to arrive at Monmouth Park on Wednesday afternoon.
As a 2yo, he won the first two starts of his career at Monmouth Park, a maiden sprint and the Sapling, but finished a distant sixth in the Haskell this past August.
“He’s a much better horse now than he was in the Haskell,” Shuman explained. “We would have liked to take a shot (at the Classic), but 1 ¼ miles against that sort of competition is a little much. The Dirt Mile is perfect.”
Xchanger will be ridden on Friday by Ramon Dominguez, who was aboard for the 3yo colt’s win in the Federico Tesio and his eighth-place performance in the Preakness.