Belmont Park Race Report (Cont.)

As Evening Attire returned to the winner's circle to a loud reception and shouts of "Shauney," there was no one to lead him in, as back problems had kept T.J. home, while the Grants had decided not to buck superstition and remained home in Massachusetts.

"After he won three in a row, we attended three of his races this year, and he lost all of them," Joe Grant said. "It was fun watching at home, but I made T.J. agree we'll all be there for the Breeders' Cup."

T.J. was able to make it to the barn the morning after the race, and took great pride in what his horse and his son accomplished. "This is one of my greatest thrills ever in this game," he said. "I had a lot of success with horses like Plugged Nickle, but winning the Gold Cup is just unbelievable. To breed this horse and watch him develop the way he has, it's just a great feeling. I'm so proud of him. And Pat has done a damn good job with him."

And now, it's on to "that race in Chicago."

"It shows that hard work, consistency, and being able to stay the course will get you somewhere in the long run," Pat said. "I like taking things one at a time. But I guess now we have to start dreaming a little bigger."

Tactical Kazzia

Godolphin assistant trainer Tom Albertrani had a filly in the Sept. 28 Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. IT) who liked to run on the lead, which meant he also had a dilemma. How was he going to prevent his recently arrived English Oaks (Eng-I) and One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) winner Kazzia from hooking up with the speedy England's Legend, who had not been outrun for the opening mile in her last five starts?

A brief discussion with England's Legend's trainer Christophe Clement before the race might have solved his problem, he felt. "Christophe said he was afraid of both of us going head and head," Albertrani said. "So, I told him, 'Well, I'm on the inside; I think I'll wind up going for the lead. But I agree with you. I don't want them going head and head either.' "

Albertrani, knowing he had planted the seed in Clement's head, now had to try to take advantage of it. He told jockey Jorge Chavez the plan. "I told him, 'If you go to the front, they might take back, so, don't you take back,' " Albertrani said. " 'See how you are going into the first turn; maybe they'll come off of you. If they do, and you get to the front, just nurse her along.' "

Albertrani could not have written the script more perfectly. England's Legend broke slightly ahead of Kazzia, but when Chavez came up on her inside heading into the clubhouse turn, Jerry Bailey eased back a bit on England's Legend. That allowed Kazzia to open a length advantage with her ears pricked. She maintained that length lead through fractions of :24.35, :49.77, and 1:14.88.

In the stretch, England's Legend began to tire, as Turtle Bow, Starine, and Mot Juste all took aim on Kazzia. With Chavez waving his whip frantically, Kazzia held on to win by a neck over Turtle Bow in 2:05.22 for the 10 furlongs, paying $8.10. Mon Juste just got up for third, a neck in front of Starine.

"The main reason we brought her here was to find out if she was good enough to run in the Breeders' Cup," Albertrani said. "She was beaten in the Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-I), but lost some time going into the race because of a quarter crack. Then she had to miss the St. Leger (Eng-I) with a foot abscess. But she didn't lose much time and was able to get back going right away. She's a very talented filly and proved today she can beat older fillies."

No Denying Frankel

Now, you really didn't think trainer Bobby Frankel was going to saddle five horses in grade I stakes this weekend and not win with one of them, did you? After getting beat with Lido Palace, Milwaukee Brew, and Starine, Frankel sent out Edmund Gann and the Niarchos family's Flaxman Holding's Denon the following day to capture the $750,000 Turf Classic (gr. IT) by a half-length over the fast-closing Blazing Fury and Delta Form.

Sent off as the 6-5 favorite, coupled with Gann's Timboroa, winner of last year's Turf Classic, Denon was given a ground-saving trip by Edgar Prado. When a hole closed in front of him in the stretch, Prado steered Denon out and shot to the lead. The son of Pleasant Colony, as he's done in the past, began to ease himself after hitting the front, allowing Blazing Fury and Delta Form to make it close.

The big disappointment was the 9-5 With Anticipation, who never fired and might have had trouble handling the wet turf course, which was labeled "good." Denon, who had dropped two close decisions to With Anticipation in his last two starts, covered the mile and a half in 2:28.47.

"He pulled up a little bit again," Frankel said. "If someone comes strong at him, he could be in trouble. He got in a little trouble turning for home with nowhere to go, but that might have been a blessing, because he didn't get out to make the lead too soon. I put the saddle on bad. When he came back, the saddle was back about six inches. I was a little concerned that maybe he wasn't tight enough, but I think now he'll be perfect for the Breeders' Cup. I don't think he ran too hard today. If I can get a little bit of cut in the ground, I would be very confident with him. I think he is my best horse for a mile and a half."

(Chart, Equibase)