06/30/2008 12:00AM

Distance no problem for Mast Track


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Watching from his New York home, Bobby Frankel was holding his breath when Mast Track ran through the stretch en route to a victory in Saturday's $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup.

"I didn't know about the distance," he said.

Making his first start over 1 1/4 miles, Mast Track carried his speed throughout the Grade 1 Gold Cup. The upset win at 10-1 gave Frankel his third Gold Cup, preceded by Marquetry in 1991 and Aptitude in 2001.

Unlike those two, Frankel bred and owns Mast Track, a 4-year-old colt by Mizzen Mast, a stallion that Frankel trained. Mast Track was fitted with blinkers for the Gold Cup, the first time he wore them since winning an optional claimer on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita in February.

"Since we took the blinkers off, he wasn't as focused," Frankel said, explaining the decision to put them back on.

Mast Track's victory in the Gold Cup was the colt's second win in three starts on a synthetic surface. Frankel said Mast Track is a different horse on such surfaces.

"The breakthrough is how good he is on the all-weather," Frankel said.

The win has prompted Frankel to consider Mast Track for the $1 million Pacific Classic over 1 1/4 miles at Del Mar on Aug. 24.

"We'll try it now," Frankel said. "This feels pretty good."

Frankel, 66, has won the Pacific Classic a record six times, most recently in 2001 with Skimming.

Mast Track's job was made easier when Heatseeker, the 123-pound topweight, was scratched Friday because of swelling in an ankle. Heatseeker was retired on Monday.

Sadler enjoys 'number one' weekend

Trainer John Sadler won three stakes on a single day for the first time Saturday and won another stakes on Sunday in what he described as the "number one" weekend of his career. By the end of the weekend, Sadler had amassed 24 wins at the meeting, four more than defending titleholder Doug O'Neill.

A training title at this meeting would be a first for Sadler. He won the training title at the fall meeting here in 2007. The season ends July 13.

"Whatever happens, happens," he said. "We've been building toward this. We're one of the larger outfits. We're supposed to win."

His three stakes winners from Saturday - Emmy Darling in the Landaluce Stakes, Whatsthescript in the Grade 2 American Handicap, and Dearest Trickski in the Grade 2 A Gleam Handicap - are expected to start at Del Mar.

Emmy Darling will be considered for the $150,000 Sorrento Stakes for 2-year-old fillies over 6 1/2 furlongs on Aug. 6. Whatsthescript is a candidate for the $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap on July 20 or the Arlington Million at Arlington Park on Aug. 9. Dearest Trickski will be pointed for the $200,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap over 6 1/2 furlongs for fillies and mares on Aug. 24.

Black Mamba, the winner of Sunday's Beverly Hills Handicap, may start in the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park on Aug. 9.

Sadler expects further success at Del Mar. He has 90 horses in training, 50 at Hollywood Park and 40 at Santa Anita, and is in the midst of an outstanding year. Sadler was second to Mike Mitchell in the trainer standings at the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting earlier this year.

"I'm running at every meeting," he said. "We want to get ready for Del Mar, too."

Daytona targets Del Mar Mile

Daytona, the six-time stakes winner who finished sixth as the 3-5 favorite in the Grade 2 American Handicap on Saturday, will have only one more start before the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, trainer Dan Hendricks said.

Hendricks said Daytona will be pointed for the $400,000 Del Mar Mile on turf on Aug. 24 and will not start in the Oak Tree Mile at the start of the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting in late September.

Hendricks said he would prefer to give Daytona a lengthy break before the BC Mile.

A winner of 8 of 16 starts and $967,690, Daytona won the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile on May 26. A 4-year-old colt, Daytona has won six graded stakes since last October. In the American Handicap, Daytona was near the pace to the final furlong before finishing 7 1/2 lengths behind race winner Whatsthescript.

"It could have been a combination" of things, Hendricks said, explaining the loss. "We may have run back too quick off a tough race. It's good to know that. We'll regroup and learn from our mistakes. He scoped clean and he's sound."

Gomez plans to ride at Del Mar

Garrett Gomez, who won the Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding jockey of 2007, will ride at Del Mar this summer, he said Saturday. Gomez rode at Saratoga last year and plans to travel to ride some major stakes there this year.

Gomez, 36, cited the desire to be near his family and a disappointing number of mounts at Belmont Park this spring as reasons for his decision to ride at Del Mar.

"This is home and it weighs into the decision," he said. "We'll be here for Del Mar. We've done a lot of shipping, and I don't ride a lot during the week. This year is a little bit slower. To be away from my family, it doesn't make sense."

In the last two years, Gomez has ridden in California from November to early April and then relocated to the East Coast. Last year, he led the nation with $22.8 million in earnings. He leads all riders in earnings this year, with more than $9.8 million through Sunday.

Gomez is riding at Hollywood Park on Saturday. He is booked to ride Clearly Foxy in the $750,000 American Oaks and Ventura in the $750,000 CashCall Mile.

* Hollywood Park has shuffled its post times this week to accommodate the Fourth of July holiday. Thursday's program will begin at 7:05 p.m. Pacific, instead of the typical afternoon program on Thursday. Friday's program, normally run during the evening, will begin at 1:20 p.m.