Updated on 09/16/2011 8:18AM

On second thought, Bonapaw's going


ELMONT, N.Y. - Upon learning that it would cost only $90,000 and not $200,000 to supplement Bonapaw to next month's Breeders' Cup Sprint, part-owner Dennis Richard said Monday that Vosburgh winner Bonapaw would run in the $1 million race.

"We're kicking it around with our bookkeeper, but it looks like all systems are go," Dennis Richard, who owns Bonapaw along with his twin brother, James, said Monday from New Orleans.

The Richards thought the supplemental fee to run in the Sprint would be 20 percent of the $1 million purse. But the supplemental fee is only 9 percent because Bonapaw's sire, Sabona, is nominated to the Breeders' Cup. Bonapaw, a 6-year-old gelding, was not nominated as a foal.

Bonapaw earned his way into the Sprint with a decisive 2 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $300,000 Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont. It was his first Grade 1 win, and his third straight stakes victory. The previous two stakes wins came at Arlington Park, site of this year's World Thoroughbred Championships on Oct. 26.

"That's why we want to go back," Richard said. "He seems like he's at home at Arlington. That's one plus in our favor. That's where the plusses end. When you see who's in there the plusses come to an end."

Richard was referring to the deep field expected for the Sprint, including speedy types Orientate, Xtra Heat, and defending Sprint champion Squirtle Squirt.

Trainer Norman Miller said he would almost prefer to run in the Mile, because it would be an easier race for Bonapaw to carry his speed in. But Bonapaw, who has raced only once on turf, may not get into the Mile. Miller did say that Bonapaw could return to New York for the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 30.

Bonapaw remained at Belmont Park Monday morning and won't van back to Chicago until Wednesday at the earliest.

"Bonapaw came back good, thank God," Richard said. "He's a little stiff, but that's to be expected. There's no ankles, no hocks, none of that stuff. He's eating up everything; he looks good as new."

Harlan's Holiday headed for Pegasus

Trainer Todd Pletcher said Monday that he is leaning toward running Harlan's Holiday in Friday night's $350,000 Pegasus Handicap at The Meadowlands, though he will also enter him in Saturday's $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont.

Pletcher believes the Pegasus, a nine-furlong race restricted to 3-year-olds, would be easier on Harlan's Holiday than the 10-furlong Gold Cup, in which he'd have to face older horses Lido Palace, Milwaukee Brew, and Evening Attire. Fellow 3-year-olds Repent and Nothing Flat, the second- and third-place finishers in the Travers, will also run in the Gold Cup.

"In the Jockey Club, he may need to run his A-plus race that day," said Pletcher, adding that his major objective this weekend is to get a prep race into Harlan's Holiday for the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic.

Among those expected for the Pegasus are Labamta Babe, This Guns for Hire, No Parole, Make the Bend, Smoked Em, and Trump Marina. Regardless of where Harlan's Holiday runs, John Velazquez will ride him, replacing Edgar Prado, who sticks with Repent.

Harlan's Holiday won the Florida Derby and Blue Grass Stakes and was sent off a lukewarm 6-1 favorite in the Kentucky Derby, in which he finished seventh. Following a fourth-place finish in the Preakness, Harlan's Holiday was given a rest. He was also transferred from trainer Ken McPeek to Pletcher.

Harlan's Holiday returned to the races on Sept. 2 with a 4 1/2-length victory in the Grade 3 Pennsylvania Derby, a performance enhanced when runner-up Essence of Dubai came back to win last Saturday's Super Derby.

A lack of speed expected for the Gold Cup is another reason why Pletcher wants to run Harlan's Holiday in the Pegasus. It is also a reason Pletcher is contemplating running Balto Star in the Gold Cup.

On Sunday, Balto Star worked a half-mile in 50.62 seconds over Belmont's turf course. Pletcher is planning to run Balto Star in either the Kelso at Belmont or the Shadwell Mile at Keeneland on the first weekend of October, but has not ruled out the Gold Cup.

"A mile and a quarter if the pace scenario is right would still be stretching it," Pletcher said. "But, we have to keep an eye on it."

Repent takes shot at Gold Cup

Three-year-olds have enjoyed great success in the Gold Cup with the likes of Man o' War, Kelso, Citation, Damascus, Buckpasser, Nashua, Easy Goer, and Skip Away having defeated their elders in this race.

Saturday, Repent and Nothing Flat will represent the sophomore class in the 84th Gold Cup. Repent, who could very well go off the favorite, worked four furlongs Sunday in 47.65 seconds over Belmont's main track, equaling the fastest of 45 drills at the distance.

Repent is coming off a half-length loss to Medaglia d'Oro in the Travers, his first start off a 140-day layoff.

"I think he's got a little improvement in him," McPeek said. "I'm not sure it's a ton. I think he's got two or three lengths he can improve off that race."

Because of how well Repent had performed off a layoff in the past, McPeek was very confident going into the Travers. McPeek said he briefly thought about skipping the Gold Cup and training him up to the Classic.

"It was a little tempting to sit it out, but at the same time we need to go because he's doing good," McPeek said. "It's an awful prestigious race to skip."

Trainer Nick Zito won the 2000 Gold Cup with Albert the Great, who in that race ran the fastest 10 furlongs ever (1:59.24) by a 3-year-old in New York. Saturday, he will pin his hopes on Nothing Flat, a late-running colt who finished a distant third in the Travers.

On Monday, Nothing Flat worked five furlongs in 59.65 seconds, the fastest of 13 works at the distance by 1.88 seconds.

Zito said he initially shied away from the Gold Cup when Street Cry and Medaglia d'Oro were mentioned as likely starters. That is why he shipped Nothing Flat to Turfway Park where he ran in the Sept. 14 Kentucky Cup Classic, finishing fifth

"He didn't like the track there at all," Zito said. "He's run well here, it's a small field, and he's definitely a horse that'll get the distance."

Jose Santos, who rode Nothing Flat in the Travers, will ride in the Gold Cup.

Martin returns with a Roar

Trainer Jose Martin, who has been in semi-retirement the last few years, sent out first-time starter Roar Emotion to a 10 1/2-length victory Sunday at Belmont.

Roar Emotion, a daughter of the stakes-winning Roar, showed good speed out of the gate, dropped back to fifth early, swept to the lead at the three-eighths pole, and won handily under John Velazquez. She covered seven furlongs in 1:25.36.

Martin said the filly reminds him very much of Lakeville Miss, whom he trained to the juvenile filly championship in 1977.

"Identical," Martin said. "Physically, she's big, strong; she's the same color. You'll never find a 2-year-old more gentle than her. This is a special filly. The way she ran, she's going to be tough to beat."

Martin said Monday morning he doesn't expect to have the filly in his barn much longer. Owner Chris Gerweck, of White Hall Lane Farm, is already entertaining offers to sell the filly, whom he purchased for a mere $37,000 earlier this year.

"Whoever puts the money in the bank first is going to get her," Martin said. "That's what the owner does, buy and sell."