09/21/2012 3:00PM

Belmont: Switch to Jamaica opens up Breeders' Cup Classic option for Dullahan

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Benoit & Associates
Dullahan, who won the 1 1/4 mile Pacific Classic last time out, will run in the 1 1/8 mile Jamaica rather than the 1 1/2 mile Joe Hirsch.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Trainer Dale Romans and owner Jerry Crawford have decided to switch plans for their pair of 3-year-olds, moving Dullahan to the Grade 1 Jamaica on Oct. 6 and Finnegan’s Wake to the Grade 1, $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational next Saturday.

Romans said Friday that by running Dullahan in the Jamaica at 1 1/8 miles on turf as opposed to the Joe Hirsch at 1 1/2 miles, it still leaves the door open to run in any one of three Breeders’ Cup races – the Mile, the Turf at 1 1/2 miles, or the $5 million Classic on dirt at Santa Anita.

“If you go a mile and a half, it’s hard to back up,” Romans said, referring to the fact the Classic is run at 1 1/4 miles. “This leaves the Classic as an option.”

Dullahan is 3 for 3 on synthetic surfaces, 0 for 6 on dirt, and 0 for 3 with two seconds on turf. He is coming off a win in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic, a 1 1/4-mile race over Del Mar’s synthetic surface on Aug. 26. He hasn’t started on turf since he finished second in the Grade 3 Palm Beach at Gulfstream on March 11.

Meanwhile, Finnegan’s Wake, a two-time winner on turf, is coming off a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Secretariat at 1 1/4 miles at Arlington.

“A mile and a half will be better for him,” Romans said.

Romans is also running Little Mike, the Arlington Million winner, in the Joe Hirsch.

Romans said Dullahan, Finnegan’s Wake, Little Mike, and Shackleford – who is running in Saturday’s Grade 2 Kelso – will fly from Kentucky to New York on Thursday. This will give Dullahan the opportunity to get a work in at Belmont.

Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
I think folks get a little goofy when a horse wins a big race. Dirt Mile or Classic??
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
Not the Dirt Mile. Romans is considering the BC Turf Mile, the 1 1/2 mile BC Turf, or the BC Classic at 1 1/4 miles on dirt at Santa Anita for Dullahan.
Steve More than 1 year ago
classic is probably the best option for Dullahan's style. But the competition will probably be too tough for him. Dullahan is best on synthetic, but he's probably better on dirt than Turf. On Turf, he's faced much, much easier foes than on either dirt or synthetic, but has 0 wins to show for it.