09/22/2010 2:46PM

Convocation pointing to Kelso Breeders' Cup

Barbara D. Livingston
Convocation is likely to skip next Saturday’s Jockey Club Gold Cup in favor of the Kelso Breeders’ Cup.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Convocation received an invitation to next Saturday’s Jockey Club Gold Cup, but trainer Jimmy Jerkens said the horse would most likely be pointed to the Grade 2, $250,000 Kelso Breeders’ Cup at a mile on Oct. 3. The Kelso will be run on the dirt this year, after having been previously run on the turf.

Two of Convocation’s three lifetime victories have come in one-turn mile races, including a maiden win at Belmont in June 2009 and a first-level allowance win at Gulfstream in March. Convocation finished second to Le Grand Cru in the Grade 3 Westchester here in April and fourth to Quality Road in the Met Mile in May.

“He ran good in the Westchester,” Jerkens said. “He seems to run good here.”

Baffert seeks third straight Gallant Bloom

Trainer Bob Baffert will seek his third straight victory in the Grade 2, $150,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap when he sends out the 3-year-old Rapport against Sara Louise and seven others in the 6 1/2-fulrong sprint for fillies and mares.

The winner of the Gallant Bloom earns an spot in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs as part of the Breeders’ Cup’s Win and You’re In program.

Baffert won the Gallant Bloom in each of the last two years with Indian Blessing, who won this race as a 3-year-old in 2008 and again last year when she beat Sara Louise by a head.

Rapport is coming off a front-running, 3 1/2-length victory in the Grade 3 Victory Ride at Saratoga. Rapport, a daughter of Songandaprayer, will be ridden by Martin Garcia and break from post 8 in the nine-horse field.

Among Rapport’s chief rivals are Sara Louise, who drew post 2 in what will be her first race in 10 months; My Jen, runner-up to Rapport in the Victory Ride; and Qualia, who had a nightmarish trip when eighth in the Grade 1 Ballerina but who had never finished worse than second in six previous starts.

Chavez involved in spill

Jockey Jorge Chavez was taken to North Shore University Hospital after his mount, Pea Stone, fell at the quarter pole of Wednesday’s fifth race after suffering a fatal injury to her left foreleg.

Chavez, 48, was taken off the track on a stretcher. Chavez did break his back several years ago in a spill at Gulfstream Park.

Pea Stone, a 4-year-old daughter of Birdstone, had to be euthanized on the track.

UPDATE: Chavez says he's okay (Inside Post)

◗ Birdrun, passed by Tahitian Warrior at the five-sixteenths pole, battled back along the rail in the stretch under Rajiv Maragh on Wednesday to beat the 1-4 favorite Tahitian Warrior by a length in a third-level allowance race.

Birdrun, a son of Birdstone owned by Preston Stables and trained by Bill Mott, covered one mile in 1:35.93 and returned $11.20.