10/01/2010 2:10PM

Regal Ransom cuts back to mile in Kelso Handicap


ELMONT, N.Y. − Although three of Regal Ransom’s four victories have come in 1 1/8-mile races run around two turns, his connections feel he could be just as effective in one-mile races run around one turn.

Regal Ransom will try to prove Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin Stable right when he cuts back to a one-turn mile in Sunday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park. Carded as a one-mile turf race since 1988, the Kelso was actually run on the dirt last year after heavy rain forced the race to be moved to the dirt. This year, the New York Racing Association scheduled the Kelso on dirt, as a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, to be held at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.

At 2, Regal Ransom won his debut going seven furlongs at Saratoga, making all the pace and finishing in 1:22.42. His other one-turn races came in Dubai, where he twice finished second behind North American graded stakes winners Desert Party and ahead of Redding Colliery.

“His race in Dubai going seven-eighths against Desert Party and Redding Colliery, those races look all right now,” said Rick Mettee, the New York-based assistant trainer for Godolphin. “He’s a fast horse by nature. You can see the way he breezes.”

Regal Ransom has two bullet works at Belmont after firing two bullets at Saratoga, where he won a stakes-caliber, 1 1/8-mile allowance race by 3 1/4 lengths Sept. 1. Alan Garcia rides Regal Ransom, the 119-pound highweight, from post 8.

Le Grand Cru has won three one-turn mile races at Belmont, adding the Westchester in April to his win in last year’s Kelso. He comes off a 10-week layoff for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Tizway has not been out since running third to Quality Road in the Met Mile here in May. He suffered a foot injury that forced him to miss the Whitney, but he has been training steadily and strongly in Saratoga for trainer James Bond.

“It seems like he’s ready,” Bond said. “His last two works were just right on. Hopefully, he runs like he’s been training. The mile is a little more to his liking, and it looks like there’s some speed in there.”Convocation, has run well in mile races and at Belmont. Cool Coal Man finished second to Regal Ransom last out at Saratoga. Jersey Town returns to Belmont, where he is 1 for 1. Caixa Eletronica earned his best Beyer Speed Figure, a 101, in a one-turn mile race at Gulfstream. Mythical Power was expected to run in Saturday’s Jockey Club Gold Cup.