10/08/2009 11:00PM

Interpatation may go to Japan Cup

Barbara D. Livingston
The $5.6 million Japan Cup on Nov. 29 could be Interpatation's next goal.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Bob Barbara is hoping he's going to need to find someone who can interpret Japanese for him.

After speaking with officials from the Japan Racing Association this week, Barbara is hopeful that Interpatation, upset winner of the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational on Oct. 3, is going to receive an invite to the $5.6 million Japan Cup at Tokyo Racecourse on Nov. 29.

In order to receive an invite, one must nominate a horse to the race. There is no cost to nominate. Barbara nominated Interpatation earlier this week. According to Bruce Lombardi, New York's representative for the International Racing Bureau, invitations will be announced in about a week.

"I presume he will be invited,'' Lombardi said.

Barbara said if he does get an invite, he will accept.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime kind of a thing,'' Barbara said. "You get to see another country and how they race there. It'd be really exciting.''

Interpatation won the Joe Hirsch at 43-1. It was just his sixth victory from 50 career starts and his first since he won the President's Cup at Philadelphia Park in 2008.

Two fatal breakdowns on turf

There were two fatal breakdowns in consecutive turf races Friday, but track officials don't believe there are any issues with the turf courses.

"There's nothing going on,'' said Glen Kozak, the New York Racing Association's director of racing surfaces. "Unfortunately, bad racing luck.''

In the third, the $67,200 Possible Mate Stakes run on the inner turf, Exotic Indy broke her left hind leg after taking a bad step midway down the backstretch. She suffered a severely broken left hind leg and was euthanized. The winner of that race, Bubbly Jane, also took a bad step in midstretch, but was able to recover to get a head victory over Zaskar.

In the fourth race, a $50,000 claiming race for 2-year-olds run on the Widener turf, Tony Manero suffered a condylar fracture of his right front cannon bone and also was euthanized.

The turf courses were labeled firm for the day's races, but jockey John Velazquez - who rode Bubbly Jane - said the courses were "loose'' on top.

"I think it's just pretty loose. With all the rain and we've been running on it, it's getting to peel up quickly,'' Velazquez said. "The top of it, when you run on it, they slip a lot. The grass comes up right away. It's not like when it's soft and you go in too deep and then come out you feel they got a better grip. Right now it's peeling up quickly.''

Just before the sixth race - the final turf race on the card - Kozak walked the Widener turf with Bruce Johnstone, NYRA's manager of racing operations, but found nothing "out of the ordinary,'' he said.

The course did absorb 2 1/2 inches of rain on Oct. 2, a day on which NYRA ran both the Joe Hirsch and Flower Bowl Invitationals - two Grade 1 events. Last Sunday's races - including three graded stakes - were all taken off the turf. But, from Wednesday through Friday, NYRA carded and ran 15 turf races. There were five turf races scheduled for Saturday, including the Grade 1 Jamaica and five more grass races carded for Sunday.

The rails on the inner turf course were just moved out from 18 to 27 feet on Wednesday. The rails on the Widener turf course are out 18 feet, but will moved in to nine feet on Monday, Kozak said.

There have been some incidents on the dirt as well. Flint River, a horse who was vanned off after finishing fourth in an allowance race on dirt here on Thursday, was euthanized after suffering a fractured right hind leg. In Friday's seventh race, Penalty Due was eased in the stretch by jockey Jose Lezcano, but did not have to be vanned off and appeared to be okay.

Regal Ransom likely for BC Classic

How Girolamo performs in Sunday's Grade 2 Jerome here could help determine the next start for stablemate Regal Ransom.

Rick Mettee, the assistant trainer for Godolphin Stable, said it is likely that either horse could be pointed for the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 7. Regal Ransom, winner of the Super Derby last out, is the more likely of the two because he has had experience on synthetic surfaces, has raced around two turns, and has shipped. Girolamo has not done any of the above. However, a brilliant performance on Sunday could make the Classic an intriguing possibility.

"Girolamo, there's a little more upside to him,'' Mettee said. "They may want to send both of them.''

Mettee said Regal Ransom could also be considered for the Meadowlands Cup on Oct. 16, though Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Stable is expected to run Etched in that spot.

Pebbles heads Monday card

Belmont will be open Monday, Columbus Day, for a 10-race card that includes the $100,000 Pebbles Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on the turf. While Maram, last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner, will likely be favored, one potential upsetter could be Denomination.

A Group 3 winner in France, Denomination finished sixth, beaten 4 1/2 lengths in the Grade 1 Beverly D. at Arlington Park on Aug. 8. She was transferred to trainer Christophe Clement, who gave her a freshening.

"I thought she needed a bit of time from that race,'' Clement said. "The trip plus the race I thought time would do her well. She looks in good order.''

Others expected to run include Dynaslew, Legally Blanca, Miss Blakely, Morning Chatter, Pull Dancer, and Saucey Evening.