With Empire Maker withdrawn from Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I), several trainers who had no plans to run are now reconsidering and will see how the field shapes up before deciding whether to enter on Thursday.
Mineshaft, clearly the class of the field, shook off a stubborn Hold That Tiger in the stretch to draw away to an easy 4 1/4-length triumph in the $500,000 Woodward at Belmont Park Saturday.
With Saratoga still fresh in everyone's mind, Belmont's first big "Fall Preview" weekend is already here. On paper, Mineshaft looks virtually unbeatable in the $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I), but pay very close attention to Northern Rock, who should be rolling along on an uncontested lead.
Edmund Gann's Medaglia d'Oro withstood a determined rally from his rival Volponi in the stretch and pulled away for a one-length victory in the $750,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Saturday.
Aldebaran, who finished third in the June 14 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, will shorten up from that race's nine-furlong distance when he competes in Friday's seven-furlong Tom Fool Handicap at Belmont.
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