09/28/2004 12:00AM

Gold Cup lures Love of Money

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ELMONT, N.Y. - The retirement on Tuesday of Peace Rules following the defection on Monday of Seattle Fitz left Saturday's $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup without any true speed.

That's why trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. has decided to run Love of Money in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup rather than the $500,000 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park that night. Love of Money is coming off a gate-to-wire victory in the $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia Park on Sept. 6.

The Jockey Club Gold Cup field lost another possible starter Tuesday when it was also announced that 2002 Belmont Stakes winner Sarava has been retired due to an injured suspensory ligament in his right foreleg.

Thus, the Gold Cup field remained in flux. Love of Money, Domestic Dispute, Evening Attire, and The Cliff's Edge are considered definite. Funny Cide is probable, though trainer Barclay Tagg was still considering the Hawthorne Gold Cup, run on Saturday. Newfoundland and Powerful Touch are both possible.

Though a 3-year-old with only four career starts, Love of Money is a serious player in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. He successfully stretched out from seven furlongs to 1 1/8 miles in the Pennsylvania Derby, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 112. He could be the one to catch in the Jockey Club, run at 1 1/4 miles.

"I don't think that our horse needs the lead,'' Dutrow said. "If nobody else wants to go I'm sure he'll just inherit it.''

Robby Albarado, who rode Love of Money in the Pennsylvania Derby, has the return engagement in the Jockey Club.

Dutrow said Love of Money has trained great since the Pennsylvania Derby, including a six-furlong workout in 1:10.87 at Aqueduct on Monday. As a 3-year-old, Love of Money will get four pounds from the older horses.

"He likes the track," Dutrow said. "They're going to have to spot me some weight, which is always a good thing. I don't think I have any problems with anything. I know our horse is doing really good. We're going to take a chance and run against older horses, and I feel good about it.''

Dutrow said how Love of Money performs in the Gold Cup will determine if he goes on to the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Meanwhile, trainer Patrick Kelly said he chose the Jockey Club Gold Cup over the Hawthorne Gold Cup for Evening Attire because Evening Attire doesn't have to ship and is familiar with the track.

Tagg said the defection of Peace Rules makes the Jockey Club Gold Cup "more appealing.'' The Hawthorne Gold Cup is also appealing because of an expected short field headed by Perfect Drift, winless in more than a year, Quest Star, and Sonic West.

Midas Eyes likely for Vosburgh

An already outstanding Vosburgh got even stronger on Tuesday when trainer Bobby Frankel said he would most likely run Midas Eyes and not Watchem Smokey in the Grade 1, $500,000 race.

Midas Eyes would be added to a field that already includes Cajun Beat, the defending Breeders' Cup Sprint winner; Speightstown, undefeated in four starts this year; and Pico Central, winner of the Carter and Metropolitan handicaps earlier this year.

Following Midas Eyes's victory in the Grade 1 Forego, Frankel planned on running him in the Phoenix Breeders' Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 8. But under the allowance conditions of the Phoenix, Midas Eyes would have to spot horses weight whereas Watchem Smokey would get all the weight allowances.

The Vosburgh, meanwhile, is run under weight-for-age conditions. Older horses carry 124 pounds, compared to 122 for 3-year-olds.

Pico Central, Speightstown, and Cajun Beat all like to run on the front end, while Midas Eyes showed in the Forego that he could stalk.

"Midas Eyes can sit off the pace,'' Frankel said. "He was three or four lengths off it at the beginning of the Forego.''

Mike's Classic, who finished last in the 2003 Vosburgh, worked five furlongs in 1:02.16 Tuesday at Belmont. Trainer Allen Jerkens said he is a possible starter.

Lucifer's Stone to QE II

Trainer Linda Rice said she had considered running Lucifer's Stone in Saturday's Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational, but now is more inclined to stick with straight 3-year-olds in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 16.

Rice said it's unlikely that she would run Lucifer's Stone back in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Lone Star on Oct. 30 because that would give the filly only two weeks between starts.

The probable starters for the Flower Bowl at 1 1/4 miles on the grass are Aubonne, Commercante, Film Maker, Moscow Burning, Riskaverse, and Wonder Again.

Dimitrova, last year's Flower Bowl winner, will not make the trip from California, according to her trainer, Neil Drysdale.

Dimitrova will run instead in the Grade 2, $500,000 WinStar Galaxy at Keeneland Oct. 10.

Aubonne, a group winner in Europe, was scheduled to arrive in New York from France on Tuesday evening.

Riskaverse, who finished fifth in last year's Flower Bowl, will be reunited with Cornelio Velasquez on Saturday. In her last four starts Riskaverse was ridden by Pat Day, who has a commitment to ride Perfect Drift in Saturday's Hawthorne Gold Cup. The last time Velasquez and Riskaverse were a team, they won the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs in November 2003.

Galloping Grocer back galloping

Galloping Grocer, the undefeated New York-bred 2-year-old who missed some training time last week due to a lung infection, will have a breeze Sunday at Belmont to help his connections determine where he starts next.

Galloping Grocer has resumed galloping. Trainer Dominick Schettino said the $500,000 Champagne on Oct. 9 and the restricted Sleepy Hollow on Oct. 23 remain the possible next starts.

"We'll re-evaluate him after the breeze, see how he comes out of it, make the sure the lung infection's cleared, and go from there,'' Schettino said.

Schettino said that unless Galloping Grocer were to win the Champagne impressively, a start in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile would be unlikely. Schettino said he prefers the Remsen at Aqueduct on Nov. 27 for Galloping Grocer's two-turn debut.

- additional reporting by Karen M. Johnson