Quality Road gelding was on a roll in 2016, but missed the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) with a quarter crack.
Michael Blowen, founder and president of Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility, announced that grade I winner Early Pioneer will reside at the Georgetown, Ky., farm.
Shane Sellers put Captain Steve on the lead going into the stretch and held off Golden Missile to win the $500,000 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) on Saturday at Turfway Park. This was the third win in four races for Captain Steve, the only 3-year-old in the six-horse field. The victory gave trainer Bob Baffert three Kentucky Cup Classic winners in the past four years.
The last time Golden Missile raced in Kentucky, he came away with a 2 3/4-length victory in June's Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. II) over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs. On Saturday, the 5-year-old son of A.P. Indy will face five rivals as the 121-pound highweight in the $500,000 Kentucky Cup Classic Handicap (gr. II) at Turfway Park.
Rize, the nine-length winner of the Philip H. Iselin Handicap (gr. II) in his most recent start, will breeze Monday morning at Turfway Park in a work that will determine his status for Saturday's $500,000 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II). If he is entered, the 4-year-old son of Theatrical will likely face Golden Missile, Cat Thief, Early Pioneer, and Captain Steve in the 1 1/8-mile race.
Brief racing and breeding news.
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. Surfside went five furlongs in 1:01 over the same track.
Lemon Drop Kid continued preparing for the $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I), completing a six-furlong drill over the main track in 1:13 1/5, handily, at Saratoga on Thursday. At Del Mar, Early Pioneer worked a mile in 1:39 2/5, handily.
David and Holly Wilson’s Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Early Pioneer, who skipped Saturday’s Pacific Classic (gr. I) after missing some training time due to a minor foot problem, put in a seven-furlong work at Del Mar Friday.
Trainer Vladimir Cerin declared Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Early Pioneer out of the Aug. 26 Pacific Classic (gr. I).
A total of nine horses, headed by defending champion General Challenge, have been nominated to the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) to be run at Del Mar Aug. 26.
Golden Eagle Farm's General Challenge, who is being pointed toward a start in the Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar Aug. 26, drilled six furlongs in 1:10 4/5, handily, at that track Thursday.
David and Holly Wilson's Early Pioneer posted the biggest win of his career when the 5-year-old gelding overtook 7-5 favorite General Challenge in the stretch to win the $1-million Sempra Energy Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park on Sunday.
Possible starters for the Hollywood Gold Cup
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