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Ghostzapper to Woodward
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - After Ghostzapper ran such a powerful race in last Saturday's Iselin Handicap, trainer Bobby Frankel's first inclination was to skip the Woodward Stakes on Sept. 11 and point him to the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on Oct. 2.
But on Wednesday morning, Frankel was having a change of heart. Now, he is planning on running Ghostzapper back in the Woodward and using that as a prep for the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 30 at Lone Star Park.
"I'm scared he might run too good in the Jockey Club Gold Cup," said Frankel, who would then be worried about Ghostzapper regressing in the Breeders' Cup Classic. "If I run him in the Woodward, even if he backs up a little bit, I'll have seven weeks [to the Classic]."
Part of Frankel's philosophy is based on what happened to Aptitude back in 2001. Aptitude ran a monster race, winning the Jockey Club Gold Cup by 10 lengths, then regressed and finished eighth as the 2-1 favorite in the Breeders' Cup Classic.
Frankel is also considering a change of plans with Peace Rules, the Suburban Handicap winner. He has nominated Peace Rules to the Atto Mile, a one-mile grass race at Woodbine on Sept. 19. A good effort there could put Peace Rules back in the Breeders' Cup Mile for the second straight year. Last year, Peace Rules dueled for the lead in the Mile and finished last.
"We'll put him on the grass, don't send him, take a little hold. and see how it goes," Frankel said. "He's not hard to relax."
Master David to Pennsylvania Derby
Frankel also said Wednesday that Master David, runner-up in the Wood Memorial, would make his next start in the Grade 2, $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia Park on Sept. 6.
Frankel will add blinkers to Master David's equipment. Master David, who finished 12th in the Kentucky Derby, has not raced since finishing sixth in the Grade 3 Kent Breeders' Cup on turf at Delaware Park on June 26.
"We're dead fit - he's doing good," Frankel said. "I think the blinkers are going to make a difference for him. Why, if he's going to run such a huge race, would I want to run him in an allowance race?"
On Monday, Master David worked a bullet five furlongs in 59.16 seconds over Saratoga's main track.
Flight knocks 'Dancer' out of race
Summer Wind Dancer was not entered in Friday's Grade 1 Personal Ensign Handicap as expected after a charter flight that was scheduled to bring her and four other horses to Saratoga on Wednesday was grounded in Kentucky due to mechanical problems.
Also scheduled to arrive on that flight were Travers starter Suave, King's Bishop runners Hosco and Fire Slam, and Yessirgeneralsir, who is scheduled to run in the Grade 1 Forego Handicap on Sept. 4.
All five horses were bedded down at Churchill Downs - Suave and Fire Slam are based at Churchill - and were scheduled to be flown to Saratoga on Thursday morning, provided the plane was fixed in time.
Jeff Mullins, the trainer of Summer Wind Dancer, said the delay would have cost his filly precious training and paddock-schooling time.
"She'd miss two days of training," Mullins said. "She was on a van at 1 a.m., then was on a plane for four to six hours and was on another van to Churchill Downs. She'd miss training [Thursday] and I wouldn't get a chance to school her in the paddock. The first time she'd see the paddock would be race day. I don't feel like going into a Grade 1 like that."
Mullins said Summer Wind Dancer, who was coming off wins in the Hawthorne Handicap and Delaware Handicap, would have to wait until Sunday before returning to Southern California. Mullins said he had no plan B for her.
Santos to resume riding on Friday
Jockey Jose Santos, sidelined with a broken right arm since July 23, is scheduled to make his return to the saddle on Friday. Santos was named to ride in five of the 10 races.
Santos said he would be at Monmouth Park on Saturday to ride Upscaled in the Sapling Stakes for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Santos got on horses Wednesday morning and said he's looking forward to his return. "This is my life, this is what I do best," Santos said. "I'm not a handyman."
Saint Liam may return in Woodward
Saint Liam, who has not raced since finishing third in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap in April, is working toward his return to the races, which could come in the Woodward.
On Wednesday at Saratoga's Oklahoma training track, Saint Liam, with jockey Edgar Prado aboard, worked six furlongs in 1:12.69 in company with Torre and Zim, who got the distance in 1:14.81.
Saint Liam's trainer, Richard Dutrow Jr., said that if Ghostzapper doesn't run in the Woodward, Saint Liam is a definite starter.
Dutrow said Saint Liam was given a break from racing because he has recurring problems with his feet.
"He has no [foot] walls and had a quarter crack that took a while to heal," Dutrow said. "I just had to wait with him, but he is doing very good right now. I worked him on the training track because he has such delicate feet, and it's rougher on the main track. When [Prado] got off him this morning, he said he went super."
Love of Money to try for big check
On Wednesday over Saratoga's main track, Dutrow worked Love of Money, a six-length winner of a first-level allowance race in the slop here on Aug. 12.
With Rudy Rodriguez aboard, Love of Money covered six furlongs in 1:13.60.
Love of Money, a 3-year-old son of Not for Love, earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 104 in his last race, his second win in three career starts. Dutrow was so pleased with the performance that he will run the colt next in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby.
Dutrow said Love of Money had hind-end problems, which kept him from making his first start until this June.
"He was a different horse when he won the other day, and he has the pedigree to go long," Dutrow said.
In the Pennsylvania Derby, Robby Albarado will ride Love of Money, who is expected to ship to Philadelphia Park several days before the race to have a work over the track.
Lung infection KO's Chowder's First
Chowder's First, winner of the $250,000 Cab Calloway Stakes on Aug. 4, was scratched from Wednesday's $150,000 Albany Handicap due a lung infection, trainer Phil Serpe said.
Serpe explained that Chowder's First has been susceptible to respiratory infections since undergoing throat surgery last year. Serpe said he had to put Chowder's First on antibiotics, which precluded his running in the Albany.
- additional reporting by Karen M. Johnson