Melbourne Cup Not in Puerto Banus' Future

Puerto Banus, who won the 1 1/2-mile Sunset Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park in June, will not be the first North American-based runner to start in the Victoria Racing Club's Melbourne Cup (Aus-I) on Nov. 4 at Flemington Racecourse.

Trainer Kristin Mulhall denied published reports saying the 4-year-old son of Supremo was under serious consideration for the two-mile race.

"I've only talked to the (Victoria Racing Club representatives) once and that was about medication," Mulhall said. "(Puerto Banus) runs on Lasix and since they don't allow any race-day medication there, I can't run him; I can't do that to him."

Neil Papiano, Steve Taub and Richard Mulhall are partners in Puerto Banus, who gave the 21-year-old Kristin Mulhall her first graded stakes victory.

"I know Neil Papiano really wants to go, but it's just not a realistic option for Puerto Banus right now," she said. "I was going to run him in the Clement L. Hirsch but I think I'll wait for the (Carleton F.) Burke instead."

The Clement L. Hirsch (gr. IT) is a 1 ¼-mile event worth $250,000 set for Oak Tree's opening day on Sept. 28. The $125,000 Carleton F. Burke is a 12-furlong grass event which will be run on Oct. 4.

Puerto Banus, who has earned $241,410 from a career line of 14-4-3-1, last raced on Aug. 9 at Saratoga where he finished sixth, beaten 3 ½ lengths, in the Sword Dancer Handicap (gr. IT).

"I would have liked to run in the (Melbourne Cup)," Mulhall said. "So next year maybe we'll run Californian in it."

Californian, who is owned by the same connections as Puerto Banus, won the Forerunner Stakes and finished second in the American Derby (gr. IIT) earlier this year. He is to start next in the $150,000 Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT) on Oct. 4.

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