Working Toward 'Super Saturday'
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2001 9:38 AM
From the New York Racing Association
Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2001 9:38 AM
Both of trainer Nick Zito¹s starters for Saturday¹s grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup worked five-eighths in :59, breezing, over the good track this morning. A P Valentine went out about 20 minutes after Albert the Great.
"They harrowed the track early this morning and a couple of people were concerned," said Zito, who did not give much thought to postponing the works. "As it turned out, they harrowed it again after the break and it was fine. There¹s two ways of looking at it. Sometimes you work when there¹s water in the track and sometimes when there¹s not water in it. Before the rain yesterday, the track had been cuppy for a couple of days. Tomorrow, if it doesn¹t rain and it gets warmer, it can get crusty. Both works were very good."
Albert the Great has run second to the Bobby Frankel-trained Lido Palace in his last two starts, the Whitney and the Woodward. Lido Palace will not be present in the Gold Cup for Frankel, but the opposing trainer is sending out Sumitas and Aptitude.
"The problem is that Frankel has been very hot," Zito said. "The other problem is that Aptitude beat Gander very convincingly and Gander came back to beat Include and Broken Vow in the Meadowlands Cup. No matter who Frankel runs, he¹s going to be tough."
A P Valentine has not run since finishing fourth in the Travers. He was second to Point Given in the Preakness and Belmont and probably could have placed better in the Kentucky Derby had he not gotten in trouble.
"It hasn¹t been and up-and-down year for him," Zito said. "Where¹s the down? His fourth in the Jim Dandy was a complete disappointment, but he was spinning his wheels on that [good] track. When a horse has an injury like shin splints early in the year like he did and keeps running as well as he did, it has to take its toll. You will never get a better looking horse than A P Valentine. He¹s the equivalent of Tom Cruise. He¹s a top horse and he¹s got a lot of ability. Coolmore has a big investment in this horse, so he will be retired at the end of the year. I honestly think that if A P Valentine would have been able to run at four or five, he might have been able to show his potential. The wonderful thing about Coolmore is that we¹ll get to see plenty of A P Valentine¹s offspring, so we might even see through them how good this horse could be."
Gold Cup starter Country Be Gold breezed five furlongs in :59 2/5 over the good training track this morning beneath exercise rider Angel Monserrate. The four-year-old Summer Squall colt was fourth in the Woodward at 66-1.
"He breezed very well," trainer Steve Kappes said. "I got him a half-mile in :46 and galloping out six furlongs in 1:13. The track was a little heavy, so I wanted to wait until a little later to breeze him."
Prior to the Woodward, Kappes said he was looking forward to the mile-and-a-quarter distance of the Jockey Club Gold Cup.
"I feel that the longer he goes, the better and stronger he gets," the trainer commented. "He¹s just getting a head of steam at a mile and an eighth so I think a mile and a quarter will be to his advantage."
Heiligbrodt and Team Valor Stable¹s Cashier¹s Dream breezed a half-mile over a good main track this morning in :50 with jockey Donnie Meche aboard. Cashier¹s Dream will run in Saturday¹s grade 1, $500,000 Frizette and get a chance to even the score with You, who beat her by a neck in the Adirondack after an intense stretch duel.
"She looked very impressive," said Scott Blasi, Steve Asmussen¹s New York assistant. "She went the last quarter in :24. It was just a maintenance breeze. She had a great move last week."
Blasi said Asmussen¹s team has been working with the filly in the mornings to get her to carry her speed the mile-and-a-sixteenth distance.
"We¹re trying to get rid of the eighths in :11 and focus more on getting that in :12," Blasi said. "That¹s why it was encouraging to see her go the last quarter-mile in :24. She¹s been responsive to her training and it should help her carry her speed."
Following the Adirondack, Cashier¹s Dream scored an easy victory in the grade 1 Spinaway, drawing off to a decisive six-length win.
"I¹ve been able to do everything I wanted to with her after that race," Blasi said. "We schooled her in the paddock three or four times. She never gets hot in there, but she can get a little fussy. It¹s more her temperament than anything else. I think she¹ll handle things well."
Blasi and Asmussen are looking forward to getting another shot at You.
"It¹s hard not to compare her and You," Blasi said. "It looks like the race is shaping up between those two and I think she has more distance in her pedigree than You. Her sire is by Deputy Minister and they like to run all day."
Trainer Bobby Frankel worked four horses Sunday morning, prepping for Saturday¹s stakes. Flute, Aptitude, Sumitas and You all appeared to come out of their breezes in good order, according to the trainer.
All four horses have not run since at least mid August and are fresh for their engagements this weekend.
"I think you can make more mistakes when you have a fresh horse," Frankel said. "If you train a horse that runs a lot, one little mistake might not throw them off that easily. Is it more of a challenge to run a fresh horse? No, I think it¹s easier doing it this way as long as they stay sound."
Frankel has a special liking for Flute, the Kentucky Oaks and Alabama winner.
"It¹s just her personality," Frankel said, who will start the filly in the grade 1, $750,000 Beldame. "She¹s such a sweet horse to be around. I don¹t know if she likes me or if she likes people in general. She¹s like a dog.
"She¹s run since January, but her races have been spaced out. She got a break at Santa Anita earlier in the year because of bad weather and she missed the Mother Goose and that might have been a blessing in disguise. I don¹t know if she would have beaten Fleet Renee that day, but she would have had to run hard. She really hasn¹t had a hard race in a while."
Flute had been racing from off the pace in all her races until the Alabama, when she went all the way on the lead.
"It just shows another dimension of what she can do," Frankel said. "It¹s good that she did that so whatever way a race may shape up, there¹s no panicking. She¹s the ultimate pro. She lays her body down when ever she runs."
Frankel will run two horses in the grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup, Aptitude and Sumitas. Aptitude won the Hollywood Gold Cup via disqualification and easily handled the Saratoga Breeders¹ Cup field.
"Aptitude is doing really well," Frankel said. "I¹m very high on him."
You will start in the grade 1, $500,000 Frizette. It will be her first start since defeating Cashier¹s Dream by a neck in the August 13th Adirondack.
"I¹ve given her a little break and she¹s responded well," Frankel said. "I¹m not just looking for one race from her, I¹m looking for a career for her. She might be my next Kentucky Oaks winner. She¹s a sweet filly too.
"I don¹t think the extra distance will be a problem. She¹s relaxed very well in the mornings. If Cashier¹s Dream wants to go :22 and :45 going a mile and a sixteenth, then all the more power to her."
Frankel said there is a possibility of supplementing two turf horses that ran here Saturday, Starine (third in the Flower Bowl) and Turf Classic winner Timboroa, to their respective divisions of the Breeders¹ Cup. Owners would have to put up $180,000 to get Timboroa into Turf and $90,000 for Starine in the Filly and Mare Turf, according to Frankel.
"I¹d rather have to make these decisions about supplementing than not have to," Frankel said. "Other people are in the same situation I am, so I can¹t complain."
With Vosburgh runner-up Squirtle Squirt slated to run in the Sprint, Frankel could have a presence in all Breeders¹ Cup divisions except for the Juvenile.
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