Both Cat Thief and Golden Missile worked at Saratoga Saturday morning as they prepare for an expected meeting in the $500,000 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park Sept. 15.
Cat Thief, who finished third in last year's renewal of the race before winning the Breeders' Cup Classic in his next start, worked six furlongs over the Oklahoma training track. The 4-year-old son of Storm Cat, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, completed the distance in 1:14 1/5, while stablemate Surfside went five furlongs in 1:01 over the same track.
"We just put them over the training track for a little conditioning," said Lukas. "I was very pleased with both of them."
Stronach Stables' Golden Missile, meanwhile, completed a four-furlong breeze in :51 3/5 over the main track for trainer Joe Orseno. "It was a controlled open gallop," said Orseno. "I wanted him to only go :55."
Golden Missile finished a troubled fifth of six in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I), won by Lemon Drop Kid, in his first start since sweeping both the Pimlico Special (gr. I), in which Lemon Drop Kid was third, and the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. III). "I'm really looking forward to taking on Lemon Drop Kid again," Orseno said. "We've split in two races, yet everyone is saying that Lemon Drop Kid is the best horse in the world. I don't agree with that. These fall races are going to be interesting."
Also expected for the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Cup Classic is Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Early Pioneer.
As for Surfside, Lukas said he is uncertain where her next start will come. "We're still debating about where we should send her after Saratoga.," said Lukas. "She trains well at Churchill Downs, but she'd run wherever a race would be most advantageous for her. I'd like to get her one start before the Breeders' Cup."