Tizway, the expected favorite for the next weekend’s $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I), will miss the race, according to trainer Jimmy Bond.
The 6-year-old son of Tiznow spiked a fever Wednesday evening, Sept. 21, forcing him to miss his scheduled work Sept. 23 at Saratoga. Though the fever has subsequently subsided, Bond said pushing him to make the Oct. 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup is not in the horse’s best interest.
Tizway will instead train up to the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs.
“His temperature broke this morning at about 3:30, four o’clock,” Bond said Friday morning. “He was a little lethargic yesterday. I needed to get a hard work into him today, but I didn’t want to push him at 70%. At this point, he’s not going to go.
“I would love to win the Gold Cup; I’m a New York boy and it’s a race I’ve always wanted to win. But the ultimate goal is the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and my job now is to make it there.”
Bond said he considered pushing Tizway’s work back to Saturday, but decided against it, especially since there is steady rain expected in the Saratoga Springs, N.Y., area this weekend.
Tizway has won two consecutive grade I races, including the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) and Whitney Invitational Handicap (gr. I), and is the top-ranked handicap horse in the country. He races for William Clifton Jr.
Bond said he is still confident Tizway will be ready to run a big race in the BC Classic.
“This horse trains hard and has run well off a layoff before,” Bond said. “It’s a deep track up here at Saratoga, and I can still do what I need to get him ready.
“I’ll keep my fingers crossed. My father always said, 'If you do right by the horse, they will do right by you.' ”
Havre de Grace owner Rick Porter said Friday morning he still plans to run his filly in the Beldame Stakes (gr. I) Oct. 1, not the Gold Cup.
“We thought about it even before Tizway was out, but we think it would be asking too much of her to go a mile and quarter against the boys and then come right back and do it again (in the BC Classic),” Porter said.