06/17/2001 11:00PM

'Captain' may go in Gold Cup


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Captain Steve, second as the heavy favorite in the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs Saturday, could make his next start in the $1 million Hollywood Gold Cup on July 1, although "I'm going to have to take a really good look at him later this week," trainer Bob Baffert said Monday.

Baffert, en route to California said Captain Steve "wasn't that knocked out" after finishing second to longshot Guided Tour in the Foster. "He ran like a horse that needed the race."

Captain Steve departed Sunday morning on a flight to California with his stablemate, Preakness and Belmont winner Point Given. Another Baffert standout, Saudi Poetry, winner of the Fleur de Lis, remains at Churchill.

Baffert said his main goal for Captain Steve this summer is the Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 19, but he wanted to "leave the window open for the Gold Cup. I hadn't told anybody, but I've had it in the back of mind just in case he came out of the race the way I wanted."