Mineshaft Breezes Toward Jockey Club Gold Cup
Updated: Tuesday, September 23, 2003 9:33 PM
Posted: Monday, September 22, 2003 1:25 PM
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Mineshaft among top runners in Saturday's Gold Cup.
Mineshaft, impressive winner of the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) in his last start, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 Monday morning in preparation for Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
"He's doing great," trainer Neil Howard said. "He's ready."
Howard, who has trained grade 1 winners such as 1990 Preakness (gr. I) winner Summer Squall, Runup the Colors, Secret Status and Tomisue's Delight, says Mineshaft is in a league of his own.
"I would never say anything to slight Summer Squall, but Mineshaft is a special horse," he said.
Two horses considered possible starters in the Gold Cup – Saarland and Dynever – will not run. Saarland breezed a half Monday morning in :50 2/5 for trainer Shug McGaughey, who is considering the Meadowlands Cup (gr. III) on Oct. 3. "We need to get a win with him," McGaughey said. "It's a tough field."
Christophe Clement, trainer of Dynever, also feels the Gold Cup will too tough a race. "It's not a big field, but it's a good group of horses," he said.
The field for the Gold likely will include Mineshaft, Moon Ballad, Empire Maker, and possibly Evening Attire and Puzzlement.
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