08/24/2006 12:00AM

Trainer expects peak effort from Go Now


As great as the experience was, Ron Moquett would prefer not to be remembered as a one-hit wonder. Moquett pulled off perhaps the biggest upset of the year when Seek Gold won the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at 91-1 in June at Churchill Downs, but the trainer wouldn't mind something a little less shocking for his next stakes win.

He hopes that moment will come Saturday at Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky., where Go Now will take on seven other older horses in the $50,000 Governor's Handicap. Go Now, like Seek Gold, was part of a multi-horse package that Moquett's main client, Couch Bowman Racing LLC, purchased in May from owner Robert LaPenta and trainer Nick Zito.

A victory by Go Now in the Governor's would not be anywhere near as surprising as what Seek Gold pulled off in the Foster, but the 5-year-old horse only figures as one of the middle choices in the one-mile race. Winless in more than a year, a span of nine races, Go Now has been consistently competitive in all three races - all richer than the Governor's - since Moquett assumed his training.

"Whether he wins or not, I really think this will be his best race of year, judging by the way he's coming into it," said Moquett. "He's really training well."

The likely Governor's favorite is Junior College, although the Tony Reinstedler-trained gelding also is entered Saturday in the $150,000 Arlington Breeders' Cup Sprint Handicap. The six-furlong distance of the Arlington BC would seem preferable to Junior College, who posted a career-high 107 Beyer Speed Figure in winning the 6 1/2-furlong Don Bernhardt at Ellis last month, but the competition in the Chicago race is considerably tougher than what he would face in the Governor's.

Moquett said he hopes Reinstedler opts for Arlington with Junior College if for no other reason than "he's the speed, and this has kind of showed to be a speed-favoring track. But it looks like we're right there with everybody else. I think we've got the class of the field, and it looks like he's getting better and better. I look for him to run very big."

Completing the field are Just See James, Esprit du Roi, Chippewa Trail, Huntin Gene, Cowboy Hardware, and American Man.