Rail Trip, the defeated odds-on favorite in the July 10 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I), will be transferring barns, going from trainer Ron Ellis in California to New York-based Rick Dutrow, according to the horse’s owner.
Mace Siegel, who campaigns the gelded son of Jump Start with his daughter, Samantha, under the Jay Em Ess Stables banner, said Rail Trip will fly East on a Tex Sutton charter the morning of July 14.
“It’s simple,” said Mace Siegel. “We had a game plan that included winning the Gold Cup. The race was run so slowly it was a travesty. He should have won by six lengths.”
Rail Trip finished second to Awesome Gem in the Gold Cup. Rail Trip, a 5-year-old, has won eight of 12 starts and went over the $1-million mark in earnings in the Gold Cup, a race he won last year. This season, he has captured the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) and the Californian Stakes (gr. II).
“I believe this is the best horse I’ve ever owned,” Siegel stated. “Our goal is to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), and to do that you have to think you can beat Zenyatta. I don’t think we’ll know that unless he runs on dirt. If Rick Dutrow thinks he can get him to the Breeders’ Cup and win it, we’ll go. If not, we’ll continue on with him and have some fun later.”
This year’s Breeders’ Cup will be run at Churchill Downs, which features a dirt racing surface. Rail Trip has raced exclusively on the synthetic tracks in California.
Siegel did not say what race would be next for Rail Trip. He said that decision will be up to Dutrow in consultation with Samantha Siegel.
Another Jay Em Ess runner, Golden Itiz, is now doubtful for the July 17 Swaps Stakes (gr. II) after working slowly July 12 and then not eating up that night, according to Samantha Siegel. Golden Itiz won the Affirmed Handicap (gr. II) in his most recent start.