Updated on 09/15/2011 2:04PM

Jamaica pivotal for Proud Man


ELMONT, N.Y. - Proud Man gets one more chance to prove he's worthy of Breeders' Cup consideration when he runs in Sunday's $200,000 Grade 2 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont Park.

Proud Man, a winner of four Grade 3 stakes earlier this year, is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Saranac Handicap at Saratoga. It was his first race off a three-month layoff precipitated by a cut suffered on his tendon sheath while winning the Grade 3 Hill Prince here in June. Since then, he was sidetracked by a fever.

Jimmy Iselin, racing manager for owner Robert Kaufman, said Proud Man has trained well since the Saranac and has put on and maintained weight.

"This race is a pivotal race for the end of the year for Proud Man,' Iselin said from Saratoga, where Proud Man has been training since the conclusion of that meet. "Honestly, if he hadn't gone forward off of the Saranac we wouldn't be running here. He still has to reestablish his form in this race. I was pleased with the Saranac based on everything that took place.'

Iselin is hoping Proud Man runs well enough to merit consideration for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Mile at Belmont on Oct. 27.

In the Jamaica, run at nine furlongs, Proud Man will face Baptize, a multiple graded stakes winner who is the 123-pound highweight. Jerry Bailey, who rode Proud Man in the Saranac, will ride Baptize. Eibar Coa will ride Proud Man under 120 pounds. Others expected to run include Navesink (118), Strategic Partner (118), Krieger (117), Fast City (115), Rapid Ryan (114), and possibly Bowman Mill (115).

Thunderello out for the year

Thunderello, who was headed for stakes company after winning his maiden by 14 1/4 lengths at Saratoga on Sept. 1, is out for the year after suffering a slight tear of the suspensory ligament in his left foreleg.

Trainer Scott Lake said he noticed the injury on Tuesday when the horse was galloping at Belmont. Lake had entered Thunderello in last Sunday's Grade 1 Futurity, which was lost when racing was canceled because of the terrorist attacks on New York City. "We just turned down $2 million for him,' Lake said. "It's a little upsetting.'

Lake said Thunderello would receive a "heavy blister' and be sent to a farm in upstate New York for his recuperative period.

Thunderello, a son of Montbrook, finished second behind Mayakovsky in a maiden race in which a 55-year-old track record was broken. He then came back to win his maiden in hand.

"It's scary how good I think he could be,' Lake said. "[Richard] Migliore told me he's one of the best 2-year-old he's been on in his life.'

Terranova mulls options for 'Champ'

John Terranova said he has four options for Heavyweight Champ, a 2-year-old son of Two Punch who won a seven-furlong allowance race by 8 1/2 lengths on Wednesday.

Among the options are the Grade 1 Champagne here on Oct. 6, the Cowdin here the following day, the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland on Oct. 6 or the Maryland Million Juvenile at Pimlico on Oct. 13.

"The Champagne is under serious consideration,' Terranova said. "It's 17 days away and that was a pretty easy race for him so I don't think it'd be any problem at all.'

Terranova said the Breeders' Cup Juvenile "is not on the calendar right now' in part because he is not nominated. It would cost $90,000 to supplement.

"He's got to prove he can stretch out first before we even take a shot at supplementing,' Terranova said.

Arroyo's brother begins career

Erick Nelson Arroyo, the younger brother of Norberto Arroyo Jr., was scheduled to begin his riding career Friday night at The Meadowlands. He was to ride Slim Pic in the third race.

Arroyo, who will be listed as Nelson Arroyo in the program, will ride with a 10-pound weight allowance until he achieves his fifth winner. After that, he will get a seven-pound weight allowance until his 35th winner. From there, he gets a five-pound weight break for one year.

"I always loved horses. I always looked up to my brother when he got into this sport,' the younger Arroyo said.

Arroyo will try to pick up a few mounts between Belmont and The Meadowlands, but probably will not begin riding regularly until the Aqueduct winter meet. Arroyo said he would love to win the Eclipse Award that his brother was beaten out of by California's Tyler Baze last year.

"To me, just by God giving me the opportunity to work with horses and follow in my brother's footsteps, there's nothing better than that,' Arroyo said. "But I would like to get an Eclipse Award for him.'