Tizway will miss Gold Cup, train up to BC Classic

Let the debate begin.

Handicappers questioned Tizway’s ability to win at a mile and an eight


Let the debate begin.

Handicappers questioned Tizway’s ability to win at a mile and an eighth heading into the Whitney.

Now the question becomes whether he can win at a mile and a quarter, after the Saratoga Springs-based Horse of the Year candidate was declared from next Saturday’s Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park.

Tizway spiked a fever on Thursday, missed a scheduled breeze on the Oklahoma training track on Friday and will train up to the mile-and-a-quarter Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5.

Trainer James Bond said missing the Jockey Club Gold Cup could be a “blessing in disguise.” Tizway has shown that he can run well with extra time between races, and the Jockey Club Gold Cup promises to be an exhausting test against a difficult field on Belmont Park’s deep track. Saving Tizway’s best shot for the Breeders’ Cup isn’t the worst scenario in the world, he said.

The Jockey Club Gold Cup would’ve given Tizway a chance to try 10 furlongs for just the second time in his career, though.

He answered the nine-furlong question empathically in the Whitney, beating Flat Out by three lengths.

The horse who took forever to break his maiden, but has emerged as a leading contender for Horse of the Year at the age of 6, ran a mile and a quarter in last year’s Jockey Club Gold Cup, when he was third to Haynesfield.

Tizway is a son of Tiznow, one of only two two-time winners of the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He won it at Churchill Downs in 2000 and at Belmont Park in 2001.

Bond said he’s not worried about the distance of the Classic, based on how Tizway finished in the Whitney.

“Yes, it does hurt, but it might be a blessing in disguise, because he can go in fresh,” Bond said. “I’m not concerned with the mile and a quarter. If you watch the Whitney, they weren’t getting to him.”

Tizway, stabled at Bond’s barn on Gridley Avenue across Nelson Avenue in Saratoga, spiked a fever on Thursday and missed his scheduled Friday work on the Oklahoma training track.

He was feeling like his old self and eating well Friday afternoon, but Bond didn’t want to hustle a work into him today when he wasn’t at the top of his game, so he played it cautiously and declared out of the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

“Thursday, he was a little dull,” Bond said. “Then his temperature was up by midday, to 102.1. He’s us­ually at 100.1.

“It’s like if you were getting ready to run a marathon five to six days from now and you had a major, major tuneup, and you’re engine is at half-empty.

“We live in the East. We’re in the rain belt. We’ll be really cautious. In a perfect world, we’ll work at the end of the week and get him back rolling. If it rains tomorrow [today], he’ll stay in the shed, and we won’t lose a whole lot here. We’ll let this thing play its course. I didn’t give him a lot of drugs or anything, bas­ically three Tylenols, and his blood counts are good. It’s disappointing, but again, maybe it’s a blessing in disguise.”

Tizway has been his usual spectacular self during workouts, Bond said.

The first two breezes after the Whitney came on Wednesdays, in order to allow for some wiggle room later if unforeseen circumstances like rain or illness arose.

Tizway has been a tick over 1:01 for five furlongs the last two times out.

“If you watch him work, he does it with style and comes back and doesn’t look like he’s breaking a sweat,” Bond said. “You say, ‘He can’t be going that fast.’ The clockers say, ‘Jimmy, we haven’t had anything go 1:02 all week,’ and he goes 1:01 and couldn’t blow out a candle.”

Despite the minor setback this week, Bond remains supremely confident in Tizway.

He pointed out that Tizway’s best races, the Met Mile, in which he was just off the stakes record at Belmont on May 30, and the Whitney have come after a little bit longer layoff than usual.

“The Jockey Club Gold Cup isn’t the end-all; the Breeders’ Cup is the Super Bowl,” Bond said. “It’s his last race, he’s going to be retired and I think he’s the best horse in North America, and to jeopardize that, I’m not going to do that.

“The filly [Havre de Grace] ran great in the Woodward, but we’re very, very excited to go against anybody, if we have him right. He’s happy here. This is the best track in America, and it’s right in my backyard, so we’re lucky. His base is Saratoga. The only thing we would possibly do is, if we get deluges up here and the track is fast in New York, we’ll ship down there, but he’d come back up here.”

The Jockey Club Gold Cup is expected to draw Travers winner Stay Thirsty, 2010 Belmont Stakes winner Drosselmeyer, Flat Out, Ice Box and A. U. Miner.


Besides the Jockey Club Gold Cup, next Saturday’s blockbuster card includes five other graded stakes that are Breeders’ Cup qual­ifiers through the “Win and You’re In” series.

The big filly-and-mare race, the Grade I Beldame, is expected to draw Woodward winner Havre de Grace and Alabama winner Royal Delta, along with Life At Ten and Super Espresso, who was fifth in the Personal Ensign.

Grade I Forego winner Jackson Bend is supposed to be challenged by Uncle Mo in the Grade II Kelso, along with Forego runner-up Jersey Town, Rodman and Sangaree.

Grade I Beverly D. winner Stac­elita, trained by Mechanicville native Chad Brown, is targeting the Flower Bowl and could face Deluxe, Aruna, Distorted Legacy and Emerald Beech.

The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic is expected to draw Winchester, Grassy, Mission Approved, Cape Blanco, Teaks North and Dean’s Kitten.

Pointing toward the Vosburgh to face Trappe Shot are Apriority, Big Drama, Caixa Eletronica, Cal­ibrachoa, Euroears, Force Freeze, Giant Ryan, Hamazing Destiny, Justin Phillips and Sunrise Smarty.


The sport lost some of its stars, and appeared to be on the verge of losing a few others this week.

Rahy, a one-time graded-stakes winner who became an influential sire, died on Thursday at the age of 26.

Among his progeny were Fantastic Light, the 2001 European Horse of the Year and U.S. champion male turf horse after winning the Breeders’ Cup Turf; the Hall of Famer Serena’s Song, who won 11 Grade I races; multiple Group 1 winner Noverre; multiple stakes winner Mariah’s Storm, the broodmare of Giant’s Causeway; and Dreaming of Anna, the 2006 2-year-old filly champion in 2006 after winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Graded-stakes winner Bearpath, second in the Sword Dancer last year, had a setback in his recovery from a broken shoulder and was euthanized on Friday.

He was injured at Saratoga when he clipped heels with another horse during the John’s Call.

Del Mar Derby winner Banned broke down during a workout at Santa Anita on Thursday, breaking sesamoids in his right ankle, and is scheduled for life-saving surgery today.

Coincidentally, the promising Burns broke down in the Del Mar Derby on Sept. 4 and was euth­anized.

The retired turf star Better Talk Now was hospitalized on Tuesday for a gastrointestinal problem, suspected to be botulism, but was feeling better on Friday, although still considered to be in critical condition.


Pomeroys Pistol, second in the two straight Grade I’s, the Prioress and Test, is the 5-2 morning-line second choice behind Tar Heel Mom in the Grade II Gallant Bloom at Belmont today.

Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice faces a tough field in the Grade II Pennsylvania Derby at Parx off his fourth in the Travers.

To Honor and Serve, a two-time Grade II winner as a 2-year-old, is entered off an impressive allowance optional claiming win and a sixth in the Amsterdam at Saratoga.

He had been off since the Florida Derby in April.

The field also includes Travers runner-up Rattlesnake Bridge and long shot third-place finisher J W Blue.

Ontario-bred Pender Harbour, winner of the second and third legs of the Canadian Triple Crown, is 12-1, and the field also includes Wood Memorial runner-up Arthur’s Tale.

Brown has two stakes runners today, Casino Host in the Grade III Kent at a mile and an eighth at Delaware Park and Bowman’s Causeway in the Ontario Derby at Woodbine.

Casino Host is 12-1 and drew the rail against 12 rivals.

The Ontario-bred Bowman’s Causeway is coming off a seventh in the Travers, the first time Brown has saddled a horse in that race.

The Kentucky Cup series returns to Turfway Park, and Starlight Racing, co-managed by Don Lucarelli of Duanesburg and Jack Wolf of Saratoga Springs, has Ailalea in the Distaff.

Baryshnikov, third in the Bernard Baruch at Saratoga, is the 3-1 favorite in the Grade II Kentucky Cup.


The National Turf Writers and Broadcasters will honor New York-based Daily Racing Form reporter David Grening, recently retired Oaklawn Park track announcer Terry Wallace and the Perm­anently Disabled Jockey Fund at its annual awards dinner on Nov. 2 in Louisville, Ky.

Grening, who has worked for DRF since 1998, will receive the Walter Haight Award for career excellence in turf writing.

Wallace was awarded the Mr. Fitz Award that annually goes to the individual who typifies the spirit of horse racing, and the PDJF was named to receive the Joe Palmer Award for meritorious service to racing.


Starlight Racing purchased two yearlings last week during the Keeneland September yearling sale.

They bought a Dixie Union colt out of Sandra’s Rose for $310,000 and a Divine Park filly out of Don’t Trick Her for $220,000.


Trainer Wesley Ward notched his 1,000th career win last Saturday when Cozy Kitten won the Franklin-Simpson Mile Stakes at Kentucky Downs. . . .

A half-brother to Preakness winner Shackleford, Stephanoatsee was second in his career debut last Friday, in the first at Laurel Park.

The My Meadowview homebred is by A.P. Indy out of Oatsee.

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