The Two Bit Racing Stable's A Bit O'Gold, last year's champion 3-year-old male in Canada, will make his first United States appearance in the $4-million Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I)."We've pre-entered him in the Classic, I think it's great," said conditioner Catherine Day Phillips of the decision to bypass the $2-million Pattison Canadian International (Can-I) Oct. 23. "It's very exciting, wildly exciting."It wasn't an easy decision for Day Phillips, who has saddled the son of Gold Fever to 10 wins from 17 starts and nearly $1.9-million in earnings.
"The bottom line is that I had a very difficult time with A Bit O'Gold going 1 1/2-miles on the turf against very good grade I competition in the International," she offered. "He won the Sky Classic Stakes (Oct. 2 at Woodbine) on sheer heart. I was very uncomfortable and was losing sleep over running him in the International."Taking on some of the world's top horses over 1 1/4-miles on Belmont's main track on what is often termed the biggest day of racing is certainly no easy task, but it is a race Day Phillips feels is better suited for the 4-year-old Ontario-bred, who'll leave for New York Oct. 24."I don't believe he can handle grade I competition on the turf at a mile and a half, but I don't know that he can't handle it at a mile and a quarter on the dirt," said Day Phillips of A Bit O'Gold, who finished second in last year's Queen's Plate before taking the final two jewels of the Canadian Triple Crown series, the Prince of Wales and Breeders' Stakes.