11/01/2007 11:00PM

Mach Ride back to work after missing BC Sprint

EmailMIAMI - Mach Ride, scratched from the Breeders' Cup Sprint just a week prior to the race, is back in training at Calder, although trainer Steve Standridge said he does not know when he will run.

Mach Ride, winner of the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap here in July, was considered among the top contenders for the Sprint until he was sidelined by a foot abscess a week after his troubled fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Vosburgh at Belmont Park. Mach Ride is ranked fifth among sprinters in Daily Racing Form's Watchmaker Watch.

"He's back galloping, but the spot on his foot is still real tender and not good enough for him to work just yet," said Standridge. "Right now our main goal is the Sunshine Millions Sprint Jan. 26 at Gulfstream. He'll probably have a race before that, but when or where I'm not sure just yet."

Standridge said he isn't sure how Mach Ride might have fared over the sloppy track at Monmouth Park had he been able to run in the Sprint.

"He's never raced on slop before, so I really can't say if he'd have loved that track or hated it," said Standridge.

Gottcha Gold to Sunshine Millions

One horse who did run in the Breeders' Cup and ran well over the wet track is Gottcha Gold, runner-up to Corinthian in the BC Dirt Mile.

Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. reported Friday that Gottcha Gold will return to south Florida next week and will be given some time off before pointing for his next goal, the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic over the Cushion Track at Santa Anita.

"I thought Gottcha Gold ran a great race in the Breeders' Cup," said Plesa. "Needless to say, Corinthian ran a super one that day. But we're very proud of him and everything he's accomplished this year. The Sunshine Millions makes the most sense for him right now, although naturally I'm somewhat concerned he'll have to run over the artificial surface for the first time.

"I'm not sure if he'll have a race before that one or not," Plesa added. "He's the kind of horse who doesn't need a prep. He usually gets six or seven weeks between races, and although this would be a little longer, I'm sure he'll handle it fine."

Plesa, a mainstay on the Calder circuit, split his stable between south Florida and Monmouth Park this past season. He has been allotted 28 stalls at Gulfstream Park for the winter, well above his usual quota.

"I'll probably bring most of my New Jersey string to Gulfstream, although I'm not sure if Gottcha Gold will train over there or at Calder this winter," said Plesa.

Asmussen, Lukas back in the fold

Gulfstream Park's new racing secretary, Bill Couch, released his barn lists for Gulfstream and the Palm Meadows training facility earlier this week. The 2008 Gulfstream meet opens on Jan. 3.

Steve Asmussen, whose Breeders' Cup Classic champion Curlin began his 3-year-old campaign at Gulfstream for trainer Helen Pitts, will return this winter following a one-year absence, as will D. Wayne Lukas. Both were allotted 26 stalls at Gulfstream. Ken McPeek will also be back, after a two-year hiatus, and has 62 stalls split between Gulfstream and Palm Meadows. Couch, who also serves as racing secretary at Thistledown, has brought in one of his own, Cleveland's leading trainer Jeffrey Radosevich, for the first time this winter.

Most of the East Coast's top horsemen will again be on hand for the 89-day session, led by perennial training champion Todd Pletcher, whose local stable will be split between Palm Beach Downs and Gulfstream.

Palm Meadows opened its doors Thursday. The state-of-the-art training facility 48 miles north of Gulfstream in Boynton Beach was the winter home for the last two Kentucky Derby winners, Street Sense and Barbaro, along with the last three Horses of the Year, Ghostzapper, Saint Liam, and Invasor.

Hotstufanthensome works half-mile

Multiple Grade 3 winner Hotstufanthensome worked a half-mile in 49 seconds here Friday. Hotstufanthensome has not started since finishing fifth in the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap at Churchill Downs on May 26.

Silk Ridge, whose attempt to sweep the filly division of the Florida Stallion Stakes was snapped by Calico Bay in the My Dear Girl Stakes, also worked a half-mile in 49 on Friday. Silk Ridge is nominated for next Saturday's $150,000 Joe O'Farrell Juvenile Fillies Stakes.