08/28/2005 11:00PM

They'll do it again in Gold Cup

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Horsephotos
Flower Alley (left), John Velazquez up, begins to edge away from Bellamy Road before scoring a 2 1/2-length win in Saturday's Travers. Both horses are being pointed to the Jockey Club Gold Cup on Oct. 1.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - If you liked the show Flower Alley and Bellamy Road put on in Saturday's Travers, then you'll want to follow them to Belmont Park for the Jockey Club Gold Cup on Oct. 1.

Flower Alley beat Bellamy Road by 2 1/2 lengths in Saturday's , and both horses are now on the same schedule that will hopefully get them to the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Belmont on Oct. 29. Both Todd Pletcher, the trainer of Flower Alley, and Nick Zito, the trainer of Bellamy Road, have targeted the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup for their horse's final Breeders' Cup prep.

Pletcher said he was pleased with how Flower Alley, who was ridden by John Velazquez, came out of the Travers, and even sees room for improvement for Flower Alley, who raced on his wrong lead in the stretch of the Jim Dandy.

"I think he's a horse that is still getting better and better," Pletcher said. "He stayed focused longer. He stayed on his correct lead. Johnny kind of said afterward once he shook loose that he lost interest a little bit.''

Flower Alley earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 110 for his Travers victory.

Meanwhile, Zito said he was thrilled with how well Bellamy Road ran in his first start off a 112-day layoff, or since finishing seventh in the Kentucky Derby. Bellamy Road set the pace in the Travers and gave way grudgingly in the stretch. His connections, which include Edward Sexton, the racing manager for owner George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stable, had debated whether to run in the Travers or the King's Bishop and were happy with their choice.

"I thought it was brilliant," Zito said. "Edward Sexton and I, we did put our necks out and Bellamy Road put them back in place. It was a big step, but, boy, did he pass the test."

While Zito sees Bellamy Road making a step forward in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Pletcher said he is hoping that isn't the case.

"Sometimes really hard races off a long layoff don't always move a horse forward," Pletcher said. "Obviously, Bellamy Road has a right to improve off of it. Sometimes they don't always work out that way."

Roman Ruler, who finished third in the Travers, shipped back to Southern California on Wednesday. Trainer Bob Baffert said he thought his horse was compromised by a deep surface, and felt Jerry Bailey would have needed to keep him closer to have been more effective.

"Jerry didn't want to change his style," Baffert said. "We finally got this horse to relax a little bit. Jerry said he lost interest a little bit. It wasn't the same track we were training on."

Baffert also said that Roman Ruler didn't handle the security barn situation very well. Baffert said he is still hopeful of making the Breeders' Cup Classic with Roman Ruler, but was unsure how he would get there.

"I want to get him back here and look at him and see how taxing it was on him," Baffert said. "He ran third just because he's a good horse. The main things is so far he looks good."

Don't Get Mad, who finished fourth, was on the same plane with Roman Ruler but got dropped off in Kentucky. Trainer Ron Ellis said he will keep Don't Get Mad with his brother-in-law, trainer Paul McGee, until he decides where to run Don't Get Mad next. Options include the $500,000 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park on Sept. 30 or the $250,000 Discovery at Belmont on Oct. 29.

As happy as Zito was with Bellamy Road, he was equally disappointed in Andromeda's Hero, who finished fifth. Zito said he may have made a mistake adding blinkers to Andromeda's Hero, who raced closer to the pace than usual. Zito said that Andromeda's Hero could run next in the Pegasus at The Meadowlands on Sept. 30 or an allowance race at Belmont.

Reverberate, who finished sixth, may be headed to the turf, trainer Sal Russo said. Chekhov, who finished last, will be given the remainder of the year off and be pointed to a 4-year-old campaign, trainer Patrick Biancone said.