In all 20 horses are nominated to the 1 1/4-mile Hawthorne Gold Cup, including Blazing Sword, Captain Steve, Mula Gula, Puerto Madero, and Vision and Verse. The other nominees are: Beboppin Baby, third in last year's renewal; Big Ten; Dust on the Bottle; El Ballezano; Ground Storm; Guided Tour; Jazz Club; Lord Sterling; Marcaibo; Nite Dreamer; Pleasant Italian; Talk's Cheap; and Where's Taylor.
Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (gr. III) nominees Golden Missile and Catienus put in morning works at separate New York tracks Wednesday. Golden Missile breezed five furlongs at Belmont Park in a bullet :59 3/5. The Stronach Stable's 5-year-old is also nominated to the Meadowlands Cup Handicap (gr. II) but is being pointed to the Hawthorne race. "That's the prep I used last year for his Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I)," trainer Joe Orseno said. Golden Missile finished second in last year's Hawthorne Gold Cup before finishing third in the Breeders' Cup Classic. Stronach Stable's Awesome Again won the 1998 Hawthorne Gold Cup prior to a 3/4-length win over Silver Charm in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs.Catienus completed the only one-mile work over a muddy track at Aqueduct Wednesday, completing the breeze in 1:40 1/5. In his most recent start, the 6-year-old son of Storm Cat finished second in the Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) for the second consecutive year. He is also nominated to the Meadowlands Cup.