08/13/2008 11:00PM

Beware of a sharpened Go Between


DEL MAR, Calif. - Go Between will make his fourth cross-country trip to California this year for the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 24. The familiarity will lead to respect from bettors.

After winning the Sunshine Millions Classic at Santa Anita in January, and finishing second in the Santa Anita Handicap in March and the Hollywood Gold Cup in June, Go Between may be favored in the Pacific Classic, the richest race of the Del Mar meeting.

Trainer Bill Mott raved about Go Between's condition on Thursday, three days after the 5-year-old breezed seven furlongs in 1:25.40 at Churchill Downs.

Mott said Go Between has had a better preparation for the Pacific Classic then he did for the Hollywood Gold Cup on June 28. Before the Gold Cup, Mott feared he had rushed Go Between to be ready for his first start since a second in the Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland on April 20.

"If things go well, we'll have more in him now than before the last race," Mott said. "We've got a better schedule. He didn't have much in him going to the last race."

A big performance in the Pacific Classic would put Go Between closer to a start in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.

Owned by Peter Vegso, Go Between has won 7 of 25 starts and $2,183,880. Go Between will be Mott's first starter in the Pacific Classic since Cigar finished second to Dare and Go in the 1996 running in an attempt to win an unprecedented 17th consecutive race.

"I don't know if anything will make up for that loss," Mott said.

The Pacific Classic will have a large field. Aside from Go Between, the probable starters are Awesome Gem, Barcola, Delosvientos, Mast Track, McCann's Mojave, Mostacolli Mort, Out of Control, Student Council, Surf Cat, Tissy Fit, Well Armed, and Zappa.

Mast Track does not have a confirmed jockey, according to trainer Bobby Frankel. He said Thursday that Rafael Bejarano will ride one of his two starters - Mast Track or Out of Control - but offered no specifics.

Get Funky flourishing in turf sprints

Get Funky has made a successful career change this summer. The winner of the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby over 1 1/8 miles on turf in 2006, Get Funky is thriving as a turf sprinter.

Wednesday, Get Funky won his second consecutive stakes in the Green Flash Handicap over five furlongs on turf, beating a field that included 2007 Breeders' Cup Sprint runner-up Idiot Proof.

Ridden by Jose Valdivia Jr., Get Funky ($7.40) rallied from fourth in a field of seven to win by a length over Idiot Proof, the 6-5 favorite. Get Funky was timed in 55.39 seconds.

The victory left Get Funky on course for the newly created $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, with an expected start in the Morvich Handicap on Sept. 24. Both the Turf Sprint and Morvich will be run over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course. Get Funky won the 2007 Morvich.

Owned by Keith Abrahams of Brentwood, Calif., and trained by John Sadler, Get Funky has won 7 of 16 starts and $604,757. Two years ago, he frequently started in races at a mile or farther, but has been campaigned mostly in sprints this year.

"John was always thinking he was a good sprinter," said Abrahams, 48.

Sadler considered the Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park on May 26, but opted for the Robert Kerlan Memorial Handicap over six furlongs on turf on July 6, which Get Funky won.

"We do think he can run a mile," Abrahams said. "We were all set for the Shoemaker and John said, 'I want to sprint.' "

Idiot Proof led to early stretch of the Green Flash.

"He needed a race," trainer Clifford Sise said.

Idiot Proof was making his first start since finishing second in the $2 million Golden Shaheen for sprinters in Dubai on March 29. He will be pointed for a defense of the Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 27, Sise said.

Too few horses for 10 races

Del Mar management hoped to offer 10 races for Saturday's program, but could not draw sufficient horses when entries were taken on Wednesday, according to director of racing Tom Robbins, so just nine races will be run.

Robbins has voiced frustration in recent weeks about the quality of racing and field sizes. Through Wednesday, the 25th day of the 43-day meeting, Del Mar was averaging 8.3 runners per race. Last year, the entire meeting had 8.63 runners per race.

Robbins is hoping for a late season boost, similar to what occurred last year, but is worried that may not occur. The inability to fill 10 races on Saturday was not encouraging, he said.

"We offered 10, hoping that things would turn around," Robbins said.

Gomez draws three-day ban

Jockey Garrett Gomez has been suspended for three days - from Aug. 21-23 - for failing to maintain a straight course in the stretch of Wednesday's eighth race. Gomez rode race winner The Supply Program, who finished a neck in front of Brave Sun in the $10,000 claimer over 1 1/16 miles.

Julio Garcia, who rode Brave Sun, claimed foul against Gomez, but the objection was disallowed by track stewards. Gomez, who won the Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding jockey of 2007, was fourth in the jockey standings through Wednesday with 18 wins, nine behind leader Rafael Bejarano.

Maiden 3-year-old euthanized

Tigley, a 3-year-old gelding, was euthanized after suffering sesamoid injuries in Wednesday's third race, according to track officials.

Trained by Brian Koriner for Flintridge Stable and STD Racing Stable, Tigley was racing just behind the leaders in the stretch when he was injured. Jockey Joe Talamo was able to pull up Tigley in the stretch.

Tigley was winless in three starts and earned $4,900.