09/21/2005 11:00PM

Lava Man heads to Gold Cup


ELMONT, N.Y. - The Jockey Club Gold Cup is run in New York, but it will have a distinct Southern Californian flavor to it.

Lava Man, the Hollywood Gold Cup winner, became the latest West Coast-based horse to join the field for the $1 million Gold Cup, to be run next Saturday at Belmont Park. The Gold Cup is a stepping-stone to the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic, which will be held at Belmont on Oct. 29.

Other California-based horses pointing to the Gold Cup are Borrego, the Pacific Classic winner; Imperialism, the Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap winner; and Roman Ruler, who has already won two stakes on the East Coast.

Also pointing to the Gold Cup are Alumni Hall, Flower Alley, and Suave.

Lava Man had also been considered for the Grade 2, $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup on Oct. 1 at Santa Anita. Since Lava Man is not Breeders' Cup-eligible, though, he would only be running for $400,000. Also, since it would cost owner Jason Wood $360,000 to supplement Lava Man to the Breeders' Cup Classic, trainer Doug O'Neill said he wants to run for the $1 million in the Gold Cup to hopefully get some money to pay the supplemental fee.

"Big time," trainer Doug O'Neill said when asked if his decision to ship cross-country was based on money. "The fact he's not nominated to the Breeders' Cup, if we get lucky and win it we can stay there and point to the big dance."

Lava Man has not run since finishing third behind Borrego and Perfect Drift in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 21. Last Saturday, Lava Man worked six furlongs in 1:13.60 at Hollywood Park.

"He worked really, really well, and that kind of pushed us that way, too," O'Neill said.

O'Neill said Lava Man would work this weekend at Hollywood Park and then ship to New York on Thursday.

Smuggler may return this year

Smuggler may not be done for the year after all.

Trainer Shug McGaughey said Thursday that Smuggler, winner of the Mother Goose and Coaching Club American Oaks in the summer, would return to her Belmont Park barn Monday and could run again before the end of the year. She will not run in the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

Earlier this month, McGaughey indicated that Smuggler's 3-year-old season was finished after a recurring bout with a fever that forced her to miss the Alabama on Aug. 20. Smuggler was shipped to the Phipps family farm in Kentucky, where she was examined and treated.

McGaughey said Smuggler's illness "wasn't quite as bad as we expected up here. They put her on antibiotics. They feel like they got it all cleared up now."

McGaughey said Smuggler did not resume training while on the farm and was simply walked twice a day. McGaughey said he is hopeful Smuggler could make a race in the fall, such as the $150,000 Top Flight Handicap on Nov. 25.

Bailey's streak of 6 ties NYRA record

Jerry Bailey tied a New York Racing Association record by riding six straight winners. The streak was spread out over four cards and five days.

It began last Saturday, when Bailey rode Private Vow ($3.90) to victory in the Grade 2 Futurity. After getting unseated in the gate in the second race Sunday, injuring his wrist and taking off his mounts that day, Bailey swept the late double Wednesday with Connie Belle ($3.90) and Elizabul ($23). He won the first three races on Wednesday's card with Misto Quente ($4.70); Strummer ($2.50), who dead-heated for the win with Building New Era; and Quahada ($3.80).

Bailey's streak ended when Code Book finished eighth in the sixth race Thursday. By riding six straight winners, Bailey joins Steve Cauthen, Jeffrey Fell, and Jorge Velasquez as jockeys to ride six consecutive winners on this circuit.

After finishing third in the seventh race aboard Sagitta Ra, Bailey rode Taittinger Rose ($8.30) to a 1 1/4-length victory in the $67,400 Sky Beauty Stakes.

New York-breds highlight Sunday card

New York-bred juveniles and juvenile fillies will be highlighted on Sunday's card when Belmont hosts a pair of $100,000 stakes.

The Bertram F. Bongard, for colts, is likely to draw a small field headed by Parkhimonbroadway, a 10 1/2-length maiden winner at Saratoga on Aug. 26. Others pointing to the race are Speed of Sound, Raw Cat, King Glacken, and either Trading Pro or What's Your Edge.

A large field is expected for the Joseph A. Gimma, for fillies, including Artistic Express, Blushing Marian, Curtana, Doll Baby, Fly to Me, Little Miss Zip, No Reason, Truely Alone, and Willshefire. Dominic Galluscio is expected to run at least one from four he nominated.

* Henny Hughes, the Saratoga Special winner, worked five furlongs in 1:00.17 Thursday morning over Saratoga's training track. It was the fastest by two seconds of 12 works at the distance. Henny Hughes is pointing to the Grade 1 Champagne here Oct. 8.