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Sep 29, 2006

Seven set for Hawthorne Gold Cup


Cicero, IL (Sports Network) - Saturday's $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup has attracted a field of seven older thoroughbreds. The 1 1/4 mile race takes place five weeks before the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Topping the field are the first two finishers from the Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs. Flamethrowintexan defeated Papi Chullo in the Longacres by only a neck after going wire to wire. Papi Chullo is the 3-1 morning line favorite, however, and Flamethrowintexan is 4-1.

Flamethrowintexan is owned by Grasshopper Stable and trained by Jim Penney. The five-year-old will start from the outside post in the seven horse field with regular rider Ricky Frazier riding.

The chestnut gelding has won 14-of-23 lifetime starts for $702,517. He has won his last two starts and has been in the money the last six times.

This will be the first time Flamethrowintexan will tackle 1 1/4 miles, but his trainer is not concerned.

"He's had no problems over nine furlongs (four wins from five starts), so we think he'll stretch out just fine," Penney added. "It's the furthest he's ever gone, over a track with a long stretch, and he has to do it against Grade II company. There are several tough obstacles to hurdle, but it's time he steps up to the big leagues. He does love a challenge."

Papi Chullo followed his second place finish at Emerald Downs with a solid fourth in the Woodward Handicap earlier this month. Owned by the other Greg Norman, Papi Chullo will break from post 3 as Robby Albarado returns to the saddle.

The four-year-old colt is trained by J. Buenaventura Vargas and is going after his first stakes win. Earlier this year he was third to Giacomo in the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar. Papi Chullo has two wins in 11 starts for $204,160.

The field might be reduced by one if It's No Joke runs in the Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park on Saturday. It's No Joke has earned the bulk of his career winnings this year and has won three of eight starts in 2006.

Stan Fulton owns the four-year-old colt and Rebecca Maker trains. It's No Joke is set to be ridden by Eddie Razo, Jr. from the 2 hole and is 9-2 in the program.

Completing the field in post position order are Summer Book, A.P. Arrow, Kid Grindstone and Nolan's Cat.

Missing from the Hawthorne Gold Cup will be the familiar face of Perfect Drift. The seven-year-old gelding has run in the last three Gold Cups, winning in 2003. He was second the following year and last year finished fourth as the 4-5 favorite. Perfect Drift is entered in the Kentucky Cup Classic.

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