Updated on 09/17/2011 10:54AM

Harlan's Holiday opts out of Suburban


ELMONT, N.Y. - Harlan's Holiday was scratched from Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park and instead will run in the Grade 1, $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park on Sunday, July 13.

Trainer Todd Pletcher said he felt the Gold Cup was a better fit for Harlan's Holiday because it is a true two-turn race and the field will not be quite as tough. Only eight horses were nominated to the Gold Cup, led by Congaree. Of the others nominated, neither Western Pride nor Perfect Drift are expected to start leaving at most a field of six. In the Suburban, Harlan's Holiday would have had to face Grade 1 winners Mineshaft, Volponi, and Evening Attire.

"It's a short field, you can make a case it's not quite as tough, though it's still tough," Pletcher said. "I think he's a better two-turn horse and this is not a real two-turn race. "[Owner] Jack Wolf liked the idea and we felt like we'd give it a shot."

Pletcher plans to breeze Harlan's Holiday either Sunday or Monday at Belmont and the horse will ship to California on Thursday.

Pletcher said that even by running in the Gold Cup, he believes Harlan's Holiday could still make the Whitney Handicap on Aug. 2 at Saratoga.