Stephen Foster winner Macho Again<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Stephen Foster winner Macho Again
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Anne M. Eberhardt

West Point Pair Aiming For BC Classic

Macho Again and Awesome Gem are preparing for the Breeders' Cup Classic.

West Point Thoroughbreds will be represented by graded stakes winners Macho Again and Awesome Gem in the $5-million Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), West Point president Terry Finley confirmed Sept. 16.


Macho Again, winner of the Stephen Foster (gr. I) and New Orleans Handicap (gr. II), and runner-up in the grade I Woodward and Whitney, will make his next start in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) Oct. 3. Awesome Gem, second in the grade I Eddie Read Handicap on turf and grade III Longacres Mile, and a troubled seventh in the Pacific Classic (gr. I), will try Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface in the Goodwood Breeders’ Cup (gr. I) Oct. 10.


In regard to running Macho Again in the Gold Cup instead of the Goodwood, Finley said, “People don’t want to hear that you’re not going to go and test that surface out there, but I tell them he is a different horse now and everything is a gamble. You don’t get very many chances to run for five million.”


Finley and trainer Craig Dollase have the Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT) as an option for Awesome Gem, but they don’t relish having to run against Goldikova.


“I didn’t love the fact that I heard Goldikova is coming back for the BC Mile (gr. IT),” Finley said. “Awesome Gem kind of got sawed in half in the Pacific Classic while making his run, and if he can run big in the Goodwood we’ll probably bring him back in the Classic.


“As an owner who has sizeable strings in California, New York, and the Midwest, I’d like to say the tracks out in California are as safe as any of the other tracks. If we get beat in the Classic it’s not going to be because of the racetrack. We’re not going to use that as an excuse. If we don’t win the Classic, it’s going to be because we’re not the best horse on that particular day.”


As for the prospect of possibly meeting Sea the Stars in the Classic, Finley said. “I want him to stay in Europe. I don’t want any part of that horse. But if he does come we’ll try to beat him, too.”


West Point is also looking at the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile with El Gato Malo, who came off a five-month layoff to win a 1 1/16-mile allowance race in a sharp 1:40 2/5 at Del Mar Sept. 9.


“El Gato Malo is in the mix, too, now,” Finley said. “You can’t forget about him. We’re trying to figure out where to go next, but he holds the track record at Santa Anita going a mile, so we’ll look at the Breeders’ Cup (Dirt) Mile with him.”


Two other potential Breeders’ Cup starters for West Point are Successful Score, who will try to earn his place in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) in the Sept. 19 Futurity Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont, and Encore Saritta, a maiden winner at Saratoga who is headed for the NATC Futurity at Monmouth Park.