Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel has nominated three horses to the $1-million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) on Sept. 28, but will likely run two--John Amerman's Lido Palace and Stronach Stables' Milwaukee Brew--in the 1 1/4-mile, weight-for-age race.
Milwuakee Brew, third in the Pacific Classic (gr. I) Aug. 25, worked six furlongs on Sept. 18 in 1:13 3/5 with blinkers on. Frankel was not sure whether or not to equip the Wild Again horse with blinkers in the Gold Cup. He worked Milwaukee Brew in company with Harrisand.
"I was thinking about putting blinkers on him, but I'm not going to do it," Frankel said. "I don't necessarily want him closer, but you have to ride him to keep him in the race. On this track it might be different. The pace might be a little slower. It's always a hard decision when to put the blinkers on and when not to."
Frankel is confident Milwaukee Brew will like Belmont better than the California tracks.
"I probably should have brought him for the Saratoga race," Frankel said. "But he was running for $1 million (Pacific Classic) out there and he ran a big race. That was probably the race I should have put the blinkers on him. I knew on that track he didn't have a chance to win. Put it this way, if Lido Palace was in the race, he probably would have run a similar race on that kind of track. He's also a horse you have to ride a little bit."
Kent Desormeaux will ride Milwaukee Brew in the Gold Cup while Jorge Chavez retains the mount on Lido Palace. Travers (gr. I) winner Medaglia d'Oro, who was also nominated to the Gold Cup, will train up to the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), the centerpiece of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Arlington Park on Oct. 26.
"He's a young horse and he did so well off the layoff from the Belmont," Frankel said of Medaglia d'Oro. "It would be different I wasn't sure he'd get the distance. I don't want to do what I did with Aptitude last year, have his race run before the Breeders' Cup."
With each passing day, it appears more and more likely Godolphin Stable Will not be represented in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.
E Dubai, who has not run since wiring the field in the Suburban on July 6 because of a bruised foot, breezed five furlongs in 1:02 1/5 handily Sept. 15.
"He worked good the other day, but unfortunately we lost that time because of the foot," Godolphin assistant Tom Albertrani said. "Right now, it looks like we're running out of time for the Jockey Club Gold Cup. We're going to try to keep him going and keep him together. He's nominated to the Meadowlands Cup (gr. II, $400,000 at 1 1/8 miles Oct. 4) and if he needs more time, he could go straight to the Breeders' Cup. It would be nice to have another race before then."
Best of the Bests, who has been campaigning in Europe, will not run in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, leaving Express Tour as a slight possibility.
Express Tour was a game third in the Sept. 7 Woodward Stakes (gr. I), only beaten a neck for second by Gander.
"We have no definite plans for him, but he's also nominated to the Meadowlands Cup," Albertrani said. "A mile and a quarter might stretch him out a little bit, but we'll see how the race shapes up. We tried him in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I) last year, but it's too early to say if that would be another possibility. We could keep him around for the Cigar Mile (gr. I) later on (Nov. 30)."
The Jockey Club Gold (5:16 p.m. EDT) will be race nine of a 10-race card. Race 8 (4:43 p.m.) will be the $750,000 Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. IT) for fillies and mares at 1 1/4 miles on the turf. Superfecta wagering will be available on the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Flower Bowl and on race 10, which will go to post at 5:48 p.m. The $500,000 guaranteed Pick 4 will be run on races 7-10.