09/17/2012 12:13PM

Alternation will prep for Breeders' Cup Classic in Hawthorne Gold Cup

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Barbara D. Livingston
Alternation, with trainer Donnie Von Hemmel, will prep for the Breeders' Cup in the Hawthorne Gold Cup.

For a little more than a month, the connections of Alternation have been debating the best route to get the horse to the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and on Monday trainer Donnie Von Hemel said the Grade 2, $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup on Oct. 6 will be Alternation’s next race. The horse, who is based at Remington Park in Oklahoma City, also had been under consideration for the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on Sept. 29.

“Travel was a big concern,” Von Hemel said. “There were a lot of positives for both races, and in the end, travel was probably the deciding factor and what would be the best way to the Breeders’ Cup without putting undue stress on your horse. You want to run well in this next race and be able to move forward off it into the Breeders’ Cup.”

Von Hemel said there was a “good shot” that Alternation would have had to ship to Kentucky to get a plane to New York. The horse will likely remain at Remington for the next few weeks before heading to Hawthorne for the 1 1/4-mile Gold Cup. Luis Quinonez has the mount, Von Hemel said.

Alternation has won five stakes races this year, including the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap in April, the Grade 3 Pimlico Special in May, and the $200,000 Governor’s Cup at Remington in his last start Aug. 11. He races for his breeder, Pin Oak Stable.

The $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic is at Santa Anita on Nov. 3. Von Hemel won last year’s BC Dirt Mile with Caleb’s Posse.

cappelletti63 More than 1 year ago
Game On Dude's home turf. Should do well.Hasn't lost @ Santa Anita.
Jay Van Horn More than 1 year ago
Did anyone see Alternations last race? He was hit by the whip 147 times in the final furlong. This horse has been mishandled and abused. His year is over and maybe career. Good job Von Hemel, you've ruined another horse with potential to be great! But good luck in the Classic, I'm sure that will work out real well for everyone.
Perl More than 1 year ago
He has no prayer in the classic, or any other BC race for that matter. He's a nice G2/G3 animal.
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
The whole division is full of gr2/gr3 horses. look who he beat.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Sounds like he's not the best shipper...?
James More than 1 year ago
He ships fine. Dont for get Pimlico and the Peter Pan last year at Belmont. Point to be made is he is running over a new surface.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
I like Alternation. I just don't see him winning The Classic. Like Dan below, I believe his best races are middle distance. Even The Mile may be tough with the speed factor at Santa Anita. But it suits him better.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
The winner of the 9.5f Pimlico Classic belongs in the BC Classic, not the Dirt Mile. It is a lot prestigious to come in 3rd in the BC than to win the Dirt Mile. Any owner or trailer will tell you that. You only choose the Dirt MIle if you know for a fact that your horse is much better at a mike or if he couldn't get the distance. Alternation has never won at a mile because he does not possess the kind of turn of foot required to be successful at that distance, he's a little bit of a bladder. This hires is a multiple graded stakes winner at 9 furlongs. The Classic is the obvious choice. Drosselmeyer was not most people's top pick last year, miost did not even pick Alternation in the Pimlico Special. Anything can happen. He belongs.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
You give this nice horse too much credit. No way he finishes in top 3 in The Classic. With Ron The Greek, Flat Out, Fort Larned, Game On Dude, Mucho Macho Man, Alpha, Fed Biz, and a chance of others clogging up the race where is he going to finish? The Mile looks like Shackleford and To Honor And Serve and nobody else. So In My Opinion..he belongs there.
Dan Cronin More than 1 year ago
He should turn this horse back to the dirt mile he would win for sure.