10/20/2009 11:00PM

Godolphin still sorting out strategy


With the likes of Girolamo, Midshipman, Pyro, and Regal Ransom all pointing to the Breeders' Cup, Godolphin Racing is trying to figure out how best to divide and conquer with its male main-track runners. Midshipman is going in the BC Dirt Mile, Pyro in either the Dirt Mile or the Sprint. Girolamo and Regal Ransom are also possible for the Dirt Mile, but are being considered for the BC Classic, too, according to Rick Mettee, the United States-based assistant to Saeed bin Suroor, Godolphin's head trainer.

The trouble with Girolamo and Regal Ransom is that both might find the 1 1/4 miles of the Classic a bit beyond their optimum, and their aptitude on synthetic surfaces is in question. While running in the Dirt Mile might give them their best chances, having multiple entries in that race, and none in the Classic, is not an ideal scenario.

"Girolamo and Regal Ransom could go in the mile, the mile and a quarter, or neither," Mettee said.

Both Girolamo and Regal Ransom shipped to Santa Anita this week, and will be monitored closely, in particular Regal Ransom, since the worst race of his career came on Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface last year in the Norfolk Stakes.

Regal Ransom's Breeders' Cup participation "will depend on whether he works well," Mettee said.

The Classic lost several potential runners this past week, with Gitano Hernando, Macho Again, and Rail Trip all defecting. Macho Again missed key training time with a cough, according to Jeff Bloom, the West Coast vice-president for owner West Point Thoroughbreds. West Point still will be represented in the Classic by Awesome Gem.