06/24/2008 11:00PM

Go Between treks far for Gold Cup


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - It's a good thing that Go Between is a good shipper. Trainer Bill Mott has been most willing to send him across the country for lucrative stakes on synthetic tracks.

On Saturday, the New York-based Go Between will make his third start of the year in California for the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park.

Earlier this year, when Mott was based in Florida, he sent Go Between to Santa Anita for two major races on a synthetic track - a win in the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic for California-breds and Florida-breds on Jan. 26 and a game second to Heatseeker in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 1.

Go Between was beaten three-quarters of a length by Heatseeker in the Big Cap. They will meet for the first time since that race in the Gold Cup, and Mott fears that Go Between may not have had sufficient works to be in top shape for Saturday's race over 1 1/4 miles.

"There are not a lot of other options," Mott said. "We do not have the exact amount of work in him that we'd like. He'll have to go with what he's got. He handles the synthetic surfaces well. I wish I had a couple more works in him."

The Gold Cup will have a field of 10. Heatseeker, the 122-pound topweight, will be a strong favorite. There will be support for Tiago, who was second to Heatseeker in the Californian Stakes on May 31 and beat him by a head when they finished one-two in the Oaklawn Handicap in Arkansas in April.

The other Gold Cup entrants are Big Booster, Mast Track, McCann's Mojave, Perfect Drift, Racketeer, Spice Route, and Student Council

Aside from Go Between, there are two shippers for the Gold Cup that have thrived on synthetic surface - McCann's Mojave and Student Council.

McCann's Mojave won the Berkeley Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on a synthetic track in his last start on May 26. An 8-year-old trained by Steve Specht, McCann's Mojave is best known for winning the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park on a conventional dirt surface in January 2007.

Student Council, 6, won the Grade 1 Pimlico Special on dirt on May 16, his first win since the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup last September. Last August, Student Council pulled off a 23-1 upset in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic, his first stakes win on a synthetic surface.