On to Breeders' Cup Classic for Rock Hard Ten

Mercedes Stables and Madeleine Paulson Pickens' Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) winner Rock Hard Ten came out of his latest victory in top shape, trainer Richard Mandella said, and will make his next start in the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Belmont Park on Oct. 29.

The nearly black son of Kris S. won the Goodwood by a length over Roman Ruler in his first start since winning the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) in early March.

"He's in good shape," Mandella said. "We'll get ready here and then ship (to New York) about a week or so out."

Multiple grade I winner Rock Hard Ten, who was bred in Kentucky by co-owner Pickens, has earned $1,870,380.

Fog City Stable's Roman Ruler also emerged from the Goodwood in top shape, but whether he makes an appearance on World Thoroughbred Championships Day is still in question.

"He ran great," trainer Bob Baffert said of the son of Fusaichi Pegasus  . "We feel that he got beat by the best older horse in training right now. I'm just going to wait and see what happens before I decide if he'll go to the Breeders' Cup."

Roman Ruler, who won the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) in early August, has earned $1,220,800.

Trainer Jeff Mullins said that Goodwood third-place finisher Choctaw Nation was doing well following Saturday's race and is also on the fence regarding a possible start in the Breeders' Cup Classic. Five-year-old Choctaw Nation, who is owned by Bob Bone, made his typical strong late run in the stretch of the nine-furlong Goodwood, but couldn't catch up with the top two finishers.

"There was no pace," Mullins said. "He couldn't get there off that pace. We're definitely considering the Breeders' Cup, but we don't know yet. Bob (Bone) will make the decision."

Multiple grade II winner Choctaw Nation has banked $1,173,800 since being claimed out of his first start in early 2004 and has earned $1,185,800 overall. His last win came in the San Diego Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar in July after finishing third in the Dubai World Cup (gr. I) in late March.

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