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Sep 30, 2011

Fields set for Breeders' Cup preview stakes



Elmont, NY (Sports Network) - Entries have been drawn for Saturday's Belmont Park stakes races that serve as a preview for the 28th Breeders' Cup next month. The major focus will be on the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup and the $350,000 Beldame Invitational which are part of the "Win and You're In' Breeders' Cup program.

Topping the field for the 1 1/4-mile Gold Cup is Travers winner Stay Thirsty. The three-year-old will be facing six older thoroughbreds for the first time.

Owned by Mike Repole, Stay Thirsty will be ridden by Javier Castellano from post three. The colt, trained by Todd Pletcher, earned $1.25 million this year with earlier victories in the Gotham and Jim Dandy Stakes.

"It seems that since the (Kentucky) Derby he's trained like a different horse," Pletcher noted. "You see some horses, they run in the Derby, it knocks them for a loop and it takes them a long time to recover. He sort of did the opposite; he kind of thrived off it. The Belmont (second to Ruler On Ice) was his best race to that point and he followed that with two better races. It just seems like he's getting better and better."

Here is the complete field for the Gold Cup in post position order: Ice Box, Corey Nakatani; Rodman, Rajiv Maragh; Stay Thirsty, Javier Castellano; Drosselmeyer, Jose Lezcano; A.U. Miner, Calvin Borel; Flat Out, Alex Solis; Birdrun, John Velazquez. Flat Out and Birdrun are both owned by Preston Stables.

Whitney Handicap winner Tizway is being kept out of the Gold Cup after spiking a fever last week and missing some training.

The 1 1/8-mile Beldame for fillies and mares is led by four-year-old filly Havre de Grace. The Fox Hill Farm female is coming off a win versus males in the Woodward four weeks ago at Saratoga.

Trained by Larry Jones, Havre de Grace for the 1 1/8-mile race will have regular rider Ramon Dominguez in the saddle and will start from the outside post in the five-horse field.

Havre de Grace sits atop the NTRA Poll and this year has won four of five starts for $1.1 million. She also won the Azeri, Apple Blossom and Obeah Stakes with a second to Blind Luck in the Delaware Handicap.

Here is the full field for the Beldame from the rail out: Life At Ten, John Velazquez; Royal Delta, Jose Lezcano; Banker's Buy, Corey Nakatani, Satans Quick Chick, Edgar Prado and Havre de Grace, Ramon Dominguez.

Arlington Million winner Cape Blanco is back in the country for the $500,000 Turf Classic at 1 1/2-miles. The four-year-old colt earlier won the Man o'War at Belmont Park in July.

In five starts this year his U.S. races are the only victories for the Irish- bred. He comes into the Turf Classic with nearly $1.5 million for 2011 and more than $3.5 million in 14 career starts with eight wins.

Trained by Aidan O'Brien, Cape Blanco will start from the inside post with Jamie Spencer riding. Completing the field to the colt's outside are Teaks North, Javier Castellano; Dean's Kitten, Ramon Dominguez; Mission Approved, Rajiv Maragh; Winchester, Cornelio Velasquez and Grassy, John Velazquez.

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