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Godolphin buys Discreet Cat
ELMONT, N.Y. - Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum's spending spree last week was not restricted to yearlings.
Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin Racing Inc. purchased the impressive juvenile winner Discreet Cat late last week from owner Joyce Robsham and trainer Stanley Hough.
Discreet Cat, a son of Forestry, was transferred to trainer Rick Mettee's barn at Belmont Park. The purchase price on the colt was not disclosed.
Mettee said plans call for Discreet Cat to go to Dubai for the winter with possibly one more start in North America before he leaves. Mettee said that Discreet Cat, who has been battling a sore shin since before he raced, would not make the Cowdin Stakes here on Oct. 2 - a race Hough was considering for the colt. Discreet Cat will not be pointed to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
Discreet Cat won his maiden by 3 1/2 lengths on Aug. 27, running six furlongs in 1:09.76 and earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 106, the highest among juveniles this year. His performance was further flattered when Superfly, who finished second to Discreet Cat that day, came back on Saturday to win a minor stakes at Delaware Park.
"Obviously we're excited about having the horse in the barn," Mettee said. "He won well up at Saratoga. Looks like a horse that should at least be a middle-distance horse anyway."
Though Hough is very high on Discreet Cat, he said it made good business sense for Robsham to sell. Discreet Cat is a homebred out of the Robsham's Alabama winner Pretty Discreet. Einar Robsham, Joyce's husband, died two years ago.
"She just sold him for me, because it's my theory that you have to make a business out of it; it's not something she wanted to do," Hough said. "He's a lot of horse. It was a very fair offer, one that was hard to turn down. In my opinion, he was well worth it."
Commentator done for the year
Commentator, the Whitney Handicap winner who was third in the Woodward, has aggravated an old shin injury and will be out for the remainder of the year, his connections announced in a press release Monday.
Commentator, a 4-year-old New York-bred gelded son of Distorted Humor, is expected to make a full recovery and race next year.
Commentator initially injured his left shin when he finished seventh in the Hal's Hope Handicap at Gulfstream Park in January. He returned to the races in July, winning an allowance race at Belmont by 16 1/2 lengths before upsetting Saint Liam in the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga in August.
Commentator ran in the Woodward but was double-teamed by two rabbits entered by trainer Rick Dutrow to set things up for Dutrow's multiple Grade 1 winner Saint Liam.
"The last time it happened we fired his shin, and a similar procedure will probably be done this time," said Lincoln Collins, the racing manager for owners Tracy and Carol Farmer. "Obviously, while it clearly happened [in] the Woodward, you got to give these things a couple of weeks until you do these things. The prognosis from the vet is very good.
"Tracy and Carol love the horse, as does [trainer Nick Zito]. We wouldn't have made the press release unless we were very confident we could bring him back."
Following the Woodward, Collins had said that Commentator would probably be turned back in distance for future races.
Commentator is expected to rejoin Zito's stable early next year.
Private Vow will need new rider
If Private Vow makes another start prior to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, he will need a new rider. Jerry Bailey, who rode Private Vow to three straight victories, including a nine-length score in Saturday's , is also the rider of the undefeated 2-year-old First Samurai.
Ron Anderson, the agent for Bailey, said he is committed to ride First Samurai in the Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne here on Oct. 8, and most likely the B.C. Juvenile. Steve Asmussen, the trainer of Private Vow, said his horse is likely to race on Oct. 8, though he has not decided whether it will be the Champagne or the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland.
Asmussen said Monday that he has not given the riding assignment much thought and will wait till after Private Vow works on Monday before deciding which race to run in.
"I'm definitely not going to rule anything out," Asmussen said. "The three possibilities are the Breeders' Futurity, the Champagne, or training up to the Breeders' Cup."
Private Vow earned a 94 Beyer Speed Figure for Saturday's victory.
Folklore heads back to Kentucky
Folklore, the 14-length winner of Saturday's Grade 1 shipped back to trainer D. Wayne Lukas's Churchill Downs barn on Monday. When she will come back to New York has not yet been decided.
Assistant trainer Peter Hutton said Folklore came out of the Matron in great shape and is possible to return for the Grade 1 Frizette on Oct. 8. She could also simply train up to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on Oct. 29.
"I imagine he'll probably run her again [before the Breeders' Cup]," Hutton said. "We put her in the round pen [Sunday] and she was bucking and squealing. She certainly came back full of energy."
Meanwhile, India, the beaten favorite in the Matron, will likely undergo a myectomy, a minor throat operation, after displacing her palate in the race. India hit her head against the starting gate after Along the Sea, in the stall next to her, broke through the starting gate. India finished last.
Trainer Todd Pletcher said India loosened a few teeth in addition to displacing. Pletcher did not rule out running India in the Frizette on Oct. 8.
Wonder Again gets serious
Wonder Again, still in search of her first win of the year, worked five furlongs Monday morning in company with stablemate Sir Walter Rahy as she prepares for the Flower Bowl Invitational on Oct. 1.
Wonder Again started a few lengths behind Sir Walter Rahy and finished two in front. Wonder Again was credited with a five-furlong time in 1:01.65. Belmont clockers caught her last three furlongs in 35.80 seconds.
Wonder Again has not run since finishing fourth, beaten a half-length, in the Grade 1 Beverly D. at Arlington in August.
"I felt like we needed to pick her head up a little bit," said Jimmy Toner, who timed Wonder Again going a little faster. "We wanted to get her mind back into it."
Migliore hires new/old agent
Jockey Richard Migliore has parted ways with agent Drew Mollica and has hired a former agent of his, Maurice Farias, to book riding assignments for him.
According to Migliore, Farias has twice worked as Migliore's agent in the 1980's, first when he became a journeyman rider in 1982 and again from 1984-86.
"We had a lot of success together and have been friends forever," Migliore said. "I felt like it was an appropriate time to do something a little different. I love what I do; I want to be happy. I want nothing but positive energy around. Maurice is the most positive person I know. I like his positive attitude toward the business."
Migliore is among the leading riders in New York with 136 victories this year.
"The numbers speak for themselves," Mollica said. "I'm in search of another opportunity. Best of luck to him."
Mollica remains the agent for Channing Hill, the leading apprentice in New York, who is scheduled to return action on Sept. 28.
* Ice Wynnd Fire, winner of two straight allowance races at Saratoga, worked five furlongs in 59.98 seconds Monday on Belmont's main track. Trainer Bobby Frankel said Ice Wynnd Fire will most likely start next in the $500,000 Meadowlands Cup on Oct. 7.