10/18/2011 2:02PM

Calder: Brei, Gold considering three for Breeders' Cup

Jim Lisa
Awesome Belle, with Luis Jurado riding, wins the My Dear Girl.

MIAMI – Owner-breeder Fred Brei and his trainer Stanley Gold said Tuesday that all three of their 2011 Florida Stallion Stakes winners – Fort Loudon, Awesome Belle, and Redbud Road – remain under consideration for this year’s Breeders’ Cup, although of the trio Fort Loudon is the most likely to go.

Fort Loudon completed a sweep of the open division of the Stallion Stakes with his 2 1/2-length victory in Saturday’s In Reality Stakes. Earlier Saturday, Awesome Belle was an even more impressive 7 1/2-length winner of the My Dear Girl Stakes. Earlier this year Redbud Road, who finished a distant third in the My Dear Girl, won the Desert Vixen division of the Stallion series.

Overall, Brei and Gold won 5 of the 6 Stallion Stakes races this year, with Redbud Road’s nose defeat at the hands of Queen Drama in the seven-furlong Susan’s Girl all that kept the pair from an unprecedented sweep of the entire series.

“Right now I’m still considering my options,” Brei said by phone from Ocala on Tuesday. “I’d say at the moment Fort Loudon is probably 80-20 to go to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and the fillies probably will not go. But nothing is definite yet. Sending Fort Loudon is pretty much a no brainer just like Awesome Feather was last year. He’s undefeated since stretching out to six furlongs and beyond and has beaten everything in Florida. I don’t think people around the country realize that the 2-year-olds down here are just as good as anywhere else, except they’re not running in Grade 1 races.”

Last year, Brei and Gold swept the filly division of the Florida Stallion Stakes with Awesome Feather, who then went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and an Eclipse Award as the champion 2-year-old filly of 2010. She sold 48 hours after her Breeders’ Cup victory at the Fasig-Tipton November sale to Frank Stronach for $2.3 million. Brei has all three of his potential Breeders’ Cup candidates cataloged in the upcoming 2011 Fasig-Tipton sale.

“If the fillies don’t run in the Breeders’ Cup, they won’t go to the sale,” said Brei. “And if Fort Loudon doesn’t run one-two in the Juvenile, he’ll be pulled out too. These horses need to prove they are national prospects and deserve to be running in Grade 1 races to make it worthwhile to send them to the sale. Just like with Awesome Feather last year.”

Gold, who won a Breeders’ Cup race in his first attempt last fall with Awesome Feather, pulled off an even more outstanding training feat by sweeping a division of the Stallion Stakes for a third consecutive season. Gold also won all three legs of the open division in 2009 with Jackson Bend, who will represent Brei and majority owner Robert LaPenta as one of the favorites in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

“It’s really just starting to sink in what we accomplished both over the last few years and this season by nearly winning all six of the Stallion Stakes,” Gold said Tuesday. “On Saturday, all I was really thinking about and concentrating on were winning those two races. I try not to think ahead or look back. Then you start to realize you did it the year before and the year before that and start reading all the stuff in the paper and it’s really pretty nice. But after it’s all over it’s just business as usual, the next day you’re running in a maiden $12,500 claiming race, and are mad if you don’t win that race too.”

Gold said perhaps the biggest surprise Saturday was that Awesome Belle’s final time for the 1 1/16-mile My Dear Girl was more than four-fifths of a second faster than Fort Loudon covered the same distance 30 minutes later in the In Reality. Awesome Belle, who raced with blinkers for the first time, earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 84 for her performance, while Fort Loudon received a 78.

“Naturally you’d expect the colts to run faster than the fillies, but I think a lot of that had to do the way the races were run,” said Gold. “The riders up front were trying to slow things down as best they could to avoid burning the colts out in the In Reality, while she had everything her own way running loose on the lead. I also think the blinkers made a big difference with her. They helped her get out of the gate for the first time, helped her get to the lead, and kept her focused once she was in front.”

Gold said if he does take one or more of his 2-year-olds to the Breeders’ Cup, hewill follow that same training regime that proved so successful with Awesome Feather a year ago, working them once at Calder before putting them on a van for Churchill Downs about a week before the races.

◗ The jockey and trainer standings will have a familiar look to them when racing resumes on Thursday, with Calder title-holders, Luis Saez and Antonio Sano, back atop their respective divisions again.Sano snapped a seven-way tie for the lead with a pair of winners on Monday giving him six for the Tropical meet, two more than Nick Canani, Joe Woodard, Steve Dwoskin, Jose Garofolo, Eddie Plesa Jr. and Jose Navarro. Saez holds a 16-13 advantage over Daniel Centeno entering Thursday’s action.