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.