10/19/2008 11:00PM

Mile: Awesome Gem more likely


On Sunday, trainer Craig Dollase said Awesome Gem was 50-50 between the turf Mile and the Classic, but by Monday morning, Awesome Gem's camp was leaning heavily in the direction of the Mile.

"We pretty much are going to go to the Mile unless there's a major defection in the Classic," Dollase said. "That's the plan right now."

Awesome Gem finished a distant third to Curlin in the Classic last year, but has finished second in three of his four turf starts, and has a nice late run that could be effective in the Mile, a race that seems less competitive than the Classic.

"He's a horse that needs pace, and we're definitely going to get pace in the Mile," said Dollase.

Dollase said Tyler Baze was likely to ride Awesome Gem.

At Aqueduct, defending Mile champion Kip Deville had his final work before shipping here Tuesday, going five furlongs on turf in 1:05.40. Kip Deville had his major Breeders' Cup work on Oct. 13.