Jockey Club Gold Cup victory solidified Mineshaft's Horse of the Year chances.

Jockey Club Gold Cup victory solidified Mineshaft's Horse of the Year chances.

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Frankel: A Mineshaft Cup Defection Could Cost Him Horse of the Year

(from Belmont track notes)
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel thinks the connections for Mineshaft could hurt their Horse of the Year aspirations by skipping the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Oct. 25 at Santa Anita.

Owner William S. Farish is considering Mineshaft's retirement after the colt won Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park.

"I think he's putting the Horse of the Year in jeopardy," Frankel said. "What has Medaglia d'Oro done wrong? He's allowed to get beat once in a while. What if he goes and wins (the Classic)? That's the championship race.

"Look at who (Mineshaft) has run against. He hasn't beaten anything. He beat Quest. Medaglia d'Oro beats him 20 lengths when he runs against him, but I don't want to make a big deal about Medaglia. Let him win. Then, you'll hear me. Talking before is not going to help if I get my (butt) whipped.

"The most important thing is to win the race, so if I don't have to run with (Mineshaft), that's fine. Listen, when you keep on winning, you can't knock somebody. He's obviously a very good horse, but the only knock I can say is that do you not think Medaglia d'Oro could beat those same horses he beat yesterday? Quest would have never even seen the lead if Medaglia d'Oro was in the race."

Haskell (gr. I) winner Peace Rules, who had been considered a likely starter for the Breeders' Cup Mile, may now run in the Classic and join Medaglia d'Oro, who worked six furlongs at Hollywood Park this morning in 1:15.

"He could get loose on the lead in there," Frankel said. "Right now, it looks like Medaglia d'Oro is the only speed. I could put Peace Rules on the lead and have Medaglia d'Oro sit off him. I don't care about the Mile. The Mile is $1.5 million and the Classic is $4 million. I was good at one subject in school – that was math. It may make (Edmund Gann) Owner of the Year if he runs 1-2."

Frankel said he would like to see Azeri run in the Distaff, where he hopes to challenge the 2002 Horse of the Year with Sightseek, who is scheduled to run at Belmont Saturday in the $750,000 Beldame (gr. I).

"I'd like to run against Azeri with Sightseek because I'm scared that if she runs in the Classic and I win the Distaff, I don't know what would happen," Frankel said, concerning divisional honors.