The 2002 Breeders' Cup Classic is unique in that there will be more activity at the Arlington Park stable gate during Breeders' Cup Week than on the track. As of Monday, Oct. 21, only two of the 13 horses expected to run were on the grounds. They were Macho Uno, who has been as Arlington for six weeks, and Evening Attire, who vanned from New York last week.
Expected to get the mass invasion rolling are Bobby Frankel's pair of Medaglia d'Oro and Milwaukee Brew, who were scheduled to arrive from New York late Monday afternoon. Aidan O'Brien's Rock of Gibraltar and Hawk Wing were expected to arrive on Tuesday from Ireland, while the two big California guns, War Emblem and Came Home, were due in on Wednesday. Trainer Aidan O'Brien still has not made any commitments to the Classic, but indicated via a teleconference on Oct. 17 that there is a distinct possibility that both colts could run.
Joe Orseno, trainer of Macho Uno, said the son of Holy Bull has completed his serious training and will gallop up to the race after working a mile at Arlington in 1:40 the previous week. Orseno remains optimistic, despite the colt's fifth-place finish in the Washington Park Handicap (gr. II). "He had only two works going into the race after being turned out at Mr. (Frank) Stronach's farm in Canada following the Whitney Handicap and I told Mr. Stronach he probably wouldn't be ready for that race," Orseno said. "Sure I would have wanted to win it, but it was only a prep(gr. I). Since the race he's done super and has really brightened up."
Macho Uno was out Monday morning for a gallop in company with one of trainer Wayne Catalano's horses. Macho Uno was supposed to open gallop the last three-eighths in :15-second eighths, but was so strong, he wound up going in :40, which was timed by the clockers. Orseno had him in :39 4/5.
Evening Attire, who was shipped to Arlington early in order to get a work over the track, turned in a solid 5-furlong drill in 1:02 Monday morning, which was exactly what trainer Pat Kelly was looking for.
Over at Belmont Park, Medaglia d'Oro worked 5 furlongs in 1:00 4/5 Monday, while Milwaukee Brew went the same distance in 1:01 2/5. Volponi worked a half in :48 for trainer Phil Johnson.
The field for the Classic was reduced to 13 when Momentum, runner-up in the Goodwood BC Handicap (gr. II), Pacific Classic (gr. I), and Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) was withdrawn after suffering an injury in the back of his knee.
The Classic, as usual, will go a long way in determining Horse of the Year, with Came Home and War Emblem sure things should either of them win. Medaglia d'Oro and Evening Attire also have a chance at Horse of Year with a victory.