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One bad moment for bridge-jumpers
ELMONT, N.Y. - There were a few anxious moments for backers of Galloping Grocer, the 1-10 favorite in Friday's third race, when he stumbled leaving the starting gate.
Galloping Grocer, who accounted for $905,654 of the $954,185 wagered in the place pool, quickly recovered and was a 12 1/2-length winner under John Velazquez.
The New York Racing Association did not permit show wagering in anticipation of Galloping Grocer's short odds in the first-level allowance race for 2-year-old New York-breds. The frenzied wagering created a minus place pool of $151,218. NYRA officials said two sizeable ontrack wagers of $200,000-plus were made to place on Galloping Grocer.
The short odds were a result of Galloping Grocer's 11 3/4-length win in his career debut on Aug. 22 at Saratoga.
Galloping Grocer's trainer, Dominick Schettino, and his co-owner, Richard Rosenthal, said they would discuss the gelding's next start in a couple of days.
When asked if the Grade 1 Champagne on Oct. 9 was a possible spot, Rosenthal said, "It's time to move him forward."
If Galloping Grocer's connections don't aim as high as the Champagne, other possible races include restricted stakes, the $100,000 Bertram F. Bongard on Oct. 3 and the $100,000 Sleepy Hollow on Oct. 23.
Velazquez didn't use the whip on Galloping Grocer until he reached the wire. He galloped out vigorously for a sixteenth of a mile past the finish line.
"He had never been hit and I wanted to give him that experience," Velazquez said.
Galloping Grocer ($2.10) covered 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:18.90.
A tale of two Gold Cups
Evening Attire and Funny Cide worked Friday for their next race, which is expected to come in a Gold Cup on Oct. 2. The question is - which Gold Cup?
Evening Attire and Funny Cide, the winner and runner-up in the Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap, are both under consideration for the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont and the $750,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup.
Evening Attire, who won the 2002 Jockey Club Gold Cup, worked five furlongs on the training track in 1:01.48, covering his last quarter in 23.40 seconds. On the main track, Funny Cide worked six furlongs in 1:12.76.
Barclay Tagg, Funny Cide's trainer, said: "I would love to run in the Jockey Club Gold Cup and win - about as much as any race. But I will deem what the easiest spot is. I'd rather run in a $750,000 race with a shot to win than run my horse's heart out for $1 million."
Pat Kelly, Evening Attire's trainer, noted his gelding's only good race at Belmont came in the 2002 Jockey Club Gold Cup.
"We were going to go to [Hawthorne] two years ago and we just stayed here when they had a small field," Kelly said. "For as good as he is at Aqueduct and Saratoga, he has only had one good race at Belmont."
Peace Rules and Seattle Fitz are considered probable starters for the Jockey Club Gold Cup.
Frankel makes plans for sprinters
Though two of his top sprinters have been coughing lately, trainer Bobby Frankel doesn't think it will compromise either one's chances of participating in major stakes later this fall.
Midas Eyes, winner of the Grade 1 Forego earlier this month, is being pointed to the Grade 3, $250,000 Phoenix Breeders' Cup on Oct. 8 at Keeneland. Cajun Beat, last year's champion sprinter, will prep for a defense of his Breeders' Cup Sprint victory in the Grade 1, $500,000 Vosburgh here on Oct. 2.
Frankel said Cajun Beat coughed and had some mucus earlier this week, but that shouldn't keep him from the Vosburgh.
"He's a pretty fit horse," Frankel said. "I can get two more works in him."
Midas Eyes won twice in 10 days after being off for six months. He also coughed and had some mucus, but Frankel has three weeks to get him right.
Frankel said he may run Watchem Smokey, winner of an allowance race here on Wednesday, in the Vosburgh.
"He's a fresh horse; it wasn't a hard race on him." Frankel said. "He only ran for the last quarter of a mile."
Frankel said Badge of Silver, who has been plagued by foot problems, developed another quarter crack in a hind foot. He is still hopeful of having him ready for the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct in November.
Seducer's Song injured
Seducer's Song came out of her victory in last Sunday's Grade 3 Boiling Springs Stakes at Monmouth Park with a non-displaced condylar fracture of her left foreleg, and her racing career is in jeopardy, trainer Christophe Clement said.
Seducer's Song underwent surgery at the New Jersey Equine Clinic, where she had three screws inserted in her leg. She is still at the clinic.
"There's a small chance for her to come back," Clement said. "We'll assess the situation in three or four months. Let's just worry that the filly is okay and we go from there."
Seducer's Song, a 3-year-old daughter of Unbridled's Song, was bred by her owner, Peter Karches, a NYRA vice chairman. She won 4 of 8 starts, including the Grade 2 Lake George at Saratoga, and earned $239,760.
Clement said another 3-year-old filly he trains, Torrestrella, came out of her sixth-place finish in the Grade 1 Garden City in good order. Torrestrella was extremely rank in that race. Clement said he would be looking for a race in which to run Torrestrella back soon.
Dream Time to resume training
Three fillies who ran behind Dream Time in a June 17 maiden race here will be in action in graded stakes here on Sunday. At the same time, Dream Time will be close to getting on a van and returning to trainer Shug McGaughey's Belmont Park barn.
Dream Time suffered a stress fracture in her left hind tibia after her maiden victory and was given 60 days off. She was handwalked for 30 days and turned out for another 30 days.
"She was re-examined the other day and they said go," McGaughey said.
McGaughey said that Dream Time will resume training early next week, but probably won't be ready to run before the Gulfstream Park meet.
Capeside Lady Indiana-bound
Capeside Lady, coming off easy wins in two stakes at Monmouth Park, will run next in the $400,000 Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks at Hoosier Park on Oct. 1. The Grade 3 Indiana Oaks will be run at 1 1/16 miles.
In her last start, Capeside Lady became a graded winner in the Grade 2 Monmouth Park Oaks on Aug. 15. In her previous start, Capeside Lady won the ungraded Little Silver Stakes. Her combined margin of victory in those races, which were run over wet tracks, was 20 lengths.
Todd Pletcher, Capeside Lady's trainer, nominated the 3-year-old New York-bred to Sunday's Grade 1 Ruffian against older horses, but didn't enter. Capeside Lady has an affinity for Belmont, having won two restricted stakes here, but Pletcher thought the Indiana race would be easier.
"We would rather run against straight 3-year-olds for what is a significant purse," Pletcher said.
* A forecast for wet weather prompted racing officials to move up turf works from Sunday to Friday. Wonder Again, the Diana winner, worked five furlongs in 1:00.02 over the turf in preparation for the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont on Oct. 2.
- additional reporting by David Grening