09/29/2004 11:00PM

Love of Money a star on rise

Evening Attire tries for a second Jockey Club Gold Cup win on Saturday.

ELMONT, N.Y. - What he lacks in experience and pedigree, Love of Money makes up for in speed and talent. The latter two factors make him the most intriguing runner in Saturday's $1 million at Belmont Park.

After undergoing radical changes all week, the Gold Cup field ended up with seven runners, including 2003 champion 3-year-old Funny Cide and 2002 Gold Cup winner Evening Attire, whose connections opted to stay home rather than ship to Chicago for the Hawthorne Gold Cup.

California shipper Domestic Dispute, Blue Grass winner The Cliff's Edge, and Newfoundland and Bowman's Band round out the field. The Jockey Club is one of four Grade 1 races on an 11-race card that begins at 1 p.m. Eastern. The card also includes the Vosburgh, Flower Bowl, and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational. All four stakes will be part of a pick four wager offered by the New York Racing Association. The Vosburgh, Joe Hirsch, and Jockey Club Gold Cup will combine with the Yellow Ribbon from Santa Anita to make up a National Thoroughbred Racing Association pick four with a guaranteed pool of $400,000. All five races will be shown live on ESPN during a two-hour broadcast beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern.

Love of Money is a 3-year-old son of Not for Love whose pedigree is questionable going a distance. He had no problem stretching out from seven furlongs to 1 1/8 miles when he won the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby by 8 1/2 lengths over a strongly speed-biased Philadelphia Park main track.

Dutrow had considered shipping Love of Money to Hoosier Park for the Indiana Derby, but altered plans when Peace Rules came out of the Gold Cup. Dutrow was confident enough to bet $2,000 to win and place on Love of Money at 12-1 in the Pennsylvania Derby. He sounds very confident about the Gold Cup, too.

"I feel like we are the horse to beat," Dutrow said. "I feel that he can beat these horses. I don't know that I'm that much concerned about the distance. If I was concerned about it, I think I just would have run in the race in Indiana.''

Love of Money will break from post 2 under Robby Albarado, who won last year's Gold Cup aboard Mineshaft. As a 3-year-old, Love of Money will carry 122 pounds, four fewer than the older horses.

Funny Cide, who drew post 7, comes off a well-beaten second-place finish behind Evening Attire in the Saratoga Breeders' Cup. He was too eager early on under Edgar Prado and failed to change leads in the stretch. He will be reunited with Jose Santos, who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness on him. Funny Cide has the speed to outfoot Love of Money early, but it will be up to Santos to decide whether to use it or save it.

"If we go with him, we'll set it up for the closers,'' trainer Barclay Tagg said. "If we don't go with him, he'll probably go the whole way. Dutrow's pretty hard to beat right now."

Funny Cide worked four furlongs in 47.04 seconds Thursday morning under exercise rider Robin Smullen.

Evening Attire, a 6-year-old son of Black Tie Affair, unleashed a powerful late kick to win the Saratoga Breeders' Cup, ending a 10-race losing streak. In 2002, Evening Attire won the Jockey Club Gold Cup following a win in the Saratoga Cup. Last year, Evening Attire ran third in the Gold Cup, but he had run three times at Saratoga.

The Cliff's Edge, a 3-year-old son of Gulch, takes on older horses for the first time. He won the Blue Grass in the spring, lost two shoes when fifth in the Kentucky Derby, and has finished second in his last three starts, including the Grade 1 Travers. Gary Stevens will replace Shane Sellers.

"One thing about Cliff, he's very consistent," said trainer Nick Zito, who won this race in 2000 with the 3-year-old Albert the Great. "I would think he's going to do well because he's a very consistent horse."

Domestic Dispute won the nine-furlong Strub in February, and comes off a nose loss to Supah Blitz in the Grade 2 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap. Newfoundland ran great when second in the Suburban, but has been awful in two starts since.

Bowman's Band is 0 for 9 this year, but has finished second or third in four Grade 1 races. Trainer Allen Jerkens said he could scratch from the Gold Cup and run in the Meadowlands Cup next week.

The field

Jockey Club Gold Cup
Purse: $1 million; 1 1/4 miles ; Grade 1

1The Cliff's EdgeG. Stevens1226-1
2Love of MoneyR. Albarado1227-2
3Domestic DisputeJ. Velazquez1265-1
4Evening AttireC. Velasquez1263-1
5Bowman's BandR. Dominguez12610-1
6NewfoundlandE. Prado12615-1
7Funny CideJ. Santos1262-1

* DRF line
* Televison: Saturday, 4-6 p.m. (Eastern), ESPN