Horse of the Year Tiznow contests Saturday's Woodward Stakes.

Horse of the Year Tiznow contests Saturday's Woodward Stakes.

Skip Dickstein

Woodward Brings Stars To Belmont

Five runners will take the post in Saturday's $500,000 Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park. The field might seem small, but the qualifications the five runners bring into the 1 1/8 mile event have championship status written all over them.

Attempting to defend his Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) title is 2000 Horse of the Year Tiznow, who will be making his first start since winning the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) in March. Back problems have prevented Tiznow from racing more frequently this year.

Before shipping to New York on Tuesday, Tiznow had a string of nice works in California to ready him for his return, including an Aug. 30 seven-furlong move at Del Mar clocked at 1:25 4/5. Tiznow galloped out strong and was pulled up by an outrider after going 1 1/4 miles in 2:02 4/5.

The term "horse of the course" is an understatement when discussing Albert the Great at Belmont. His only loss at the New York oval came at the hands of Fusaichi Pegasus and El Corredor in last year's Jerome Handicap (gr. I). In the Woodward, Albert the Great will renew his rivalry with the Bobby Frankel-trained Lido Palace. The two runners are tied at one win each. Albert took the Suburban Handicap (gr. I) in the spring and Lido Palace walked away the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) winner last month at Saratoga.

It's hard to ignore any runner sent out by Frankel these days after an impressive 10-for-21 stint at Saratoga with six stakes winners. In the Woodward, Frankel will send out Chilean-bred Lido Palace, a 4-year-old colt owned by John and Jerome Ammerman.

Last year's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Red Bullet will be making his first start in stakes company in over a year. After finishing third in the Dwyer last year, the Unbridled colt came down with a viral infection and ulcers. Later it was discovered he had a small crack in his left-front cannon bone. Red Bullet returned to the track this summer to win an allowance race at Saratoga.

The field for Saturday's Woodward: Red Bullet (Gary Stevens); Tiznow (Chris McCarron); Lido Palace (Jerry Bailey); Albert the Great (Jorge Chavez); and Country Be Gold (Robbie Davis).