Funny Cide, winner of the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (both gr. I), and Even The Score, winner of the 2004 Meryvn LeRoy Handicap and Californian (both gr. II), head a list of 12 nominations to the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) on July 10.
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide, beaten a head June 19 in the Massachusetts Handicap (gr. II), would have a chance to become the sixth Kentucky Derby winner to capture the Gold Cup. The Barclay Tagg-trained gelding has won two of six starts this year and seven-of-17 lifetime starts for earnings of $2,474,485.
Funny Cide is one of three Gold Cup nominees entered in Saturday's $500,000 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park. In the event the New York race loses horses due to inclement whether, Funny Cide would probably run there. If the field remains intact, Tagg will consider scratching Funny Cide and running him in the Gold Cup.
Real Quiet, Derby champion in 1998, won the 1999 Gold Cup. Citation, 1948 Triple Crown winner, became the first Derby champion to win the Gold Cup when he finished his career with a win in 1951. Other Derby winners to win the Gold Cup are Swaps (1956), 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed (1979) and Ferdinand (1987).
Even The Score, owned by Rosendo Parra and trained by Valdimir Cerin, would join Eleven Stitches (1981) as the only horse to sweep Hollywood Park's three major races for older horses with a victory in the 1 1/4-mile Gold Cup. The 6-year-old has won two of three starts this year and nine-of -28 lifetime for earnings of $1,285,380.
Other nominations to the Gold Cup are Continental Red, Dynever, Gift of the Eagle, Night Patrol, Olmodavor, Peace Rules, Royal Moro, Seattle Fitz, Total Impact and Yessirgeneralsir.
Dynever, winner of the San Bernardino Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita Park in April, and Peace Rules, a winner of $2.7 million and eight races, including the New Orleans Handicap and Oaklawn Park Handicap (both gr. II) in 2004, have also been in entered in Saturday's Suburban. Dynever and Peace Rules could scratch in the event of rain and then be considered for the Gold Cup a week later.
Yessirgeneralsir, owned by James Jackson of Rockdale, Texas, and trained by Dallas Keen, won the $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (gr. III) on May 31. The Texas-bred arrived at Hollywood Park on Monday for the Gold Cup, hoping to earn a berth in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), which will be run at Lone Star Park in October.
Seattle Fitz has won his last two starts, including the Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) on June 12. Total Impact finished third in the Mervyn LeRoy and second in The Californian. Olmodavor won the Native Diver Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood in December.