10/22/2002 11:00PM

Medaglia d'Oro looks stunning


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - After spending a week watching the same handful of Breeders' Cup hopefuls train at Arlington Park, Wednesday was a refreshing change with new faces in every category out to get their first feel for both the main and turf courses.

The skies were cloudy and the temperature hovered in the low 40's during training hours although a 10-mile-per-hour wind out of the the east made it feel much colder as the morning progressed. The main track was fast and the turf again listed as good with the dogs placed well out past the middle of the course.


Medaglia d'Oro was one of six Bobby Frankel-trained Breeders' Cup horses to gallop on Wednesday and made a grand impression, perhaps the best of any Breeders' Cup hopeful I have seen here. He looked a picture of health during his once-around tour of the track.

Milwaukee Brew preceded Medaglia d'Oro onto the track, coming out immediately after the first renovation break and galloping once around just behind stablemate Beat Hollow. Dollar Bill also visited the track for the first time since his arrival from Kentucky and made a nice appearance.

Evening Attire, a local favorite all week, returned to training for the first time since he worked five furlongs on Monday and continues to look like one of the key contenders for this race.


Azeri, Farda Amiga, Mandy's Gold, and Starrer all got their first looks at the Arlington surface after shipping in earlier this week. Two Item Limit returned to the track for the first time since her sharp half-mile breeze on Monday and appeared a bit more relaxed than during previous gallops.

Azeri, accompanied onto the track by trainer Laura de Seroux on her pony, broke off for a leisurely gallop but ventured a bit too close to the rail, where she was startled by another horse approaching the finish line at the end of a workout. Azeri briefly grabbed the bit and picked up her pace in pursuit of the worker but quickly came to hand. She certainly has the looks of a worthy Distaff favorite.

Juvenile Fillies

Ruby's Reception was one of only a few members of this field to make an appearance Wednesday. A smallish filly, she was practically dwarfed by her trainer-exercise rider Larry Jones, whose boots were nearly scraping the ground as he put her through an easy gallop.


Good Journey worked four furlongs in 55.20 seconds on the turf. As was the case on Tuesday, final times for turf works will be misleading with the dogs placed so ridiculously far out onto the course. The only true gauge is the run through the home straight and in that regard Good Journey passed with flying colors. He completed his final furlong in 11.60 seconds before galloping out an additional eighth in 12.40 after appearing a bit uncomfortable and running with his head held a bit too high coming away from the pole under jockey Rene Douglas.

Both Frankel hopefuls Beat Hollow and Aldebaran galloped once around, while Medecis was a little more relaxed than in his first appearance on Tuesday.


The near-white Swept Overboard jogged alongside the pony and was feeling full of himself in the cold, crisp air. Bonapaw continues to look muscled up while again jogging alongside his stable pony and is seemingly bowing his ample neck a little more with each passing day.

Filly-Mare Turf

Defending champ Banks Hill seemed very eager to train and looked very racy despite galloping over the main track.

Islington was fractious upon first setting foot over the local turf course, kicking down one of the temporary railings near the five-furlong pole and continuing to act up for a couple of minutes before finally breaking off well behind stablemate Golan. She jumped some tire tracks near the finish line and struggled some over the unfamiliar ground. So too did Gossamer, who switched leads repeatedly galloping through the stretch.

Dublino, on the other hand, skipped over the course without turning a hair, looking very professional. She made one of the more favorable first impressions on the day.


Zavata (four furlongs in 50.60). As was the case with stablemate Whywhywhy 24 hours earlier, he broke away from the pole at little more than a two-minute lick then finished strong getting his final quarter in 23.80 before galloping out another furlong in 12 under light urging.

Sky Mesa returned from his slower-than-expected work on Monday in his usual good spirits. Gave his rider all he could handle trying to run off on a couple of occasions and was a handful to pull up at the end of yet another impressive looking gallop.


Golan did not stride out well over the turf while Denon galloped willingly on the dirt.