Sarava Works Toward Gold Cup; May Face Funny Cide

from NYRA reports
Sarava, who is winless in eight starts since winning the 2002 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), breezed five furlongs in 1:01 1/5 over a fast main track at Belmont Park Monday morning as the 5-year-old son of Wild Again continued preparations for Saturday's Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at 1 1/4 miles. Exercise rider Simon Harris was aboard for the work.

"We got him galloping out three-quarters in 1:13," said Tonja Terranova, assistant to trainer Bob Baffert. "Simon said he went really well and finished well. The track really wasn't that fast today. He went off nice and steady and came home in :24 flat, which was exactly what we were looking for. He had a good three-quarters work last week, so we were just looking for a nice, steady five-eighths. He's trained steady for the Gold Cup and this race is a mile and a quarter on a track he really likes.

Meanwhile, Seattle Fitz breezed five furlongs on the main track in 1:01 3/5, with jockey Richard Migliore aboard. Both the rider and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin were not thrilled with the work, however, and the 5-year-old is doubtful for the Gold Cup.

"He went okay, just not great for him," McLaughlin said. "We're going to look him over. The way he worked, we probably won't run. He's not off or anything, he just didn't work like he usually does. The time was okay, but the way he did it just wasn't himself. We should know more tomorrow."

Another Gold Cup nominee who worked Monday was 3-year-old Love of Money, who worked six furlongs in 1:10 4/5, handily, at Aqueduct, with Rudy Rodriguez in the irons.

"He worked really good," trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said. "He galloped out seven furlongs in 1:24 and change. It was exactly what we wanted to see."

Dutrow is undecided about where to run the Not For Love colt next. He is nominated to the Gold Cup and the Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park, also to be run Saturday.

"We're going to take a couple more days to think about it," Dutrow said. "If a couple of the nice ones come out of the Gold Cup, then he would run here."

Indications are that 2003 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Funny Cide is more likely to run in the Jockey Club Gold Cup than in the Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II), also scheduled for Saturday.

"We haven't really made a final decision yet," said Smullen, who serves as trainer Barclay Tagg's assistant. "Barclay and I discussed that this morning. Running here we'd have to carry equal weights with Peace Rules, but he's never been to Hawthorne and we don't know if he'd like the track, not that he's a horse that needs to take his track with him, because he doesn't. Barclay wants to run in New York because we're here. The owners want to run in New York, too. I think at this moment, we're leaning towards running here, but we haven't ruled out going there either. We haven't made any plane arrangements yet, put it that way."

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