09/27/2011 3:17PM

Belmont Park: Rodman will take a shot at Jockey Club Gold Cup

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Barbara D. Livingston
Rodman has been rerouted from the Kelso to the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

ELMONT, N.Y. – The Metropolitan Handicap winner won’t be running in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, but the runner-up will.

Rodman, who finished second to Tizway in the Met Mile here in May, has been redirected from Saturday’s Grade 2 Kelso to the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, trainer Mike Hushion confirmed Tuesday. Hushion said that Tizway’s defection from the Gold Cup due to a temperature was part of the reason for the change of heart.

“And I think we can be on the lead in there,” Hushion said. “I’m unsure if he has distance limitations. He might be fine.”

In 2009, Rodman won the Grade 3 Queens County Handicap at 1 3/16 miles by 5 3/4 lengths. Injuries and illness kept him off the track in 2010, and he has had mixed results in five starts this year.

In his second start off a layoff, Rodman went gate to wire to win an overnight stakes at Aqueduct before finishing second to Tizway when coming from well off the pace in the Met Mile. He went back to his front-running ways when finishing third to Flat Out in the Suburban, before finishing a non-threatening eighth in the Whitney, a race in which he encountered trouble early.

“He was rank, he got checked three times, it’s a throw-out,” Hushion said.

Hushion gave Rodman time on owner Barry Schwartz’s farm following the Whitney, with an eye toward running him in one of Saturday’s big races. The Kelso, which is a Grade 2, $200,000, features Grade 1 winners Uncle Mo, Jackson Bend, and Jersey Town.

The Gold Cup has Travers winner Stay Thirsty as well as Suburban winner Flat Out as its major players. Others pointing to the race include 2010 Belmont Stakes winner Drosselmeyer, Birdrun, A. U. Miner, and Ice Box.

“We know we’re taking a shot, but it’s a home run if we get lucky,” Hushion said.

Rajiv Maragh, who would have ridden Tizway in the Gold Cup, has picked up the mount on Rodman.

On Monday, Rodman worked a sharp five furlongs in 59.60 seconds, getting his final quarter in 24.38 over Belmont’s main track.

Quiet Giant points to Spinster

Quiet Giant, coming off blow-out victories in the Lady’s Secret and Grade 2 Molly Pitcher at Monmouth Park, will not run in Saturday’s Beldame against Havre de Grace. Instead, trainer Todd Pletcher will point Quiet Giant to the Spinster at Keeneland on Oct. 9.

“She seems to relish two turns,” Pletcher said. “We only had one race here last fall, and she ran okay here around one turn – she maybe wasn’t quite in her best form yet – but two turns is a little more attractive.”

Pletcher also is likely to run Super Espresso in the Spinster as opposed to the Beldame. She, too, has never raced on synthetic.

“She’s Grade 1 placed, so we’re thinking about trying to win a Grade 1,” Pletcher said. “If you go by which race is a little easier to win, she’ll end up going to the Spinster. The question mark with both of them is the synthetic track, but maybe less of a question mark than trying to beat Havre de Grace.”

Pletcher will still be represented in the Beldame by Life At Ten, who is the defending Beldame winner.