09/23/2008 12:00AM

Golden Spikes heads to Philly


MIAMI - After much soul-searching, the connections of Golden Spikes have settled on Saturday's $250,000 Gallant Bob Stakes at Philadelphia Park for the Grade 2 winner's next start.

Golden Spikes, owned by M375 Thoroughbreds in partnership with Pablo Suarez and Paul Lo Duca, and trained by Marty Wolfson, is coming off a 10th-place finish in the Grade 1 King's Bishop at Saratoga. In that race, he inexplicably wound up in a suicidal pace battle that compromised the chances of all involved, including the 8-5 favorite, J Be K. Golden Spikes had won his previous two starts, including the Grade 2 Carry Back over his home grounds at Calder, from off the pace.

"Several factors went into the decision, not the least of which is Philly is where Marty really wants to go," explained Rob Murphy, managing partner for M375 Thoroughbreds. "It was also a lot easier to make travel arrangements to get him to Philadelphia rather than Kentucky or Indiana."

Other options for Golden Spikes included Saturday's Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Sprint at Turfway Park or the Grade 2, $500,000 Indiana Derby the following week.

"There were other considerations involved in the decision as well," said Murphy. "Right now we're looking as much down the road with this horse as at this particular race, and there are breeding considerations involved, too. There was also an issue about securing a rider if we weren't going to Philly."

Elvis Trujillo, who was aboard Golden Spikes in both the Carry Back and King's Bishop, is sidelined with an injury. Wolfson has tabbed the locally based Jermaine Bridgmohan to handle the assignment in the Gallant Bob.

The Gallant Bob hasn't come up an easy spot. A field of 10 was entered Tuesday, including Desert Key, who rated off the torrid pace before rallying to finish second in the King's Bishop, and Grade 3 winner Lantana Mob, who finished 1 1/4 lengths behind Golden Spikes in the Carry Back.

Golden Spikes will share a van ride north with Rockerfeller, who will compete the same afternoon in the Grade 1 Vosburgh at Belmont Park.

Wolfson will also send out the Grade 2 stakes-winning 3-year-old filly She's All Eltish along with stablemate Joffe's Run here in the $100,000 Judy's Red Shoes, a 1 1/16-mile race on the turf.

Big Drama will await In Reality

Big Drama, the top 2-year-old on the grounds this summer, recorded his first official drill since capturing the Affirmed Stakes on Sept. 6 when he breezed an easy half-mile in 49.40 seconds on Sunday. Big Drama will attempt to complete a sweep of the open division of the Stallion Stakes in the 1 1/16-mile In Reality on Oct. 18.

Trainer David Fawkes could have used Saturday's Foolish Pleasure Stakes as a prep for the stallion series finale, but opted not even to nominate Big Drama for the race. His chief competition for the In Reality, This One's for Phil, will likely be a solid favorite in the Foolish Pleasure, especially after working a sharp five furlongs in 1:01 over a fast but cuppy main track on Monday.

Busy morning on turf course

The local grass course was as busy as it has been in years during training hours here Monday, with 11 horses working for future engagements.

Times were on the slow side, with the course officially listed as good following early morning rain and the "dogs" placed out past the middle of the track.

Among the more impressive moves were those turned in by Dubai Distinction, who went a half-mile in 48.40 seconds; Phaleonopsis, who worked five-eighths in 1:03.80 in company with Hypocrite; and Langworthy, who breezed an easy half in 49.80 along with stablemate Lydia's Love.

Dubai Distinction will go for his third straight win when he returns to the turf against Grade 2 winner Smooth Air in Saturday's Needles Stakes, while Phaleonopsis goes in the Judy's Red Shoes.

* Bridgmohan won a pair of races on Sunday, including the seventh aboard the promising 2-year-old filly Frolic's Dream, an impressive debut winner, for Wolfson. Bridgmohan shared top honors with Javier Santiago and apprentice Eddie Dominguez, both of whom also posted riding doubles on the 10-race card.