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Sep 07, 2012

Woodward rivals set for different paths


Saratoga Springs. NY (Sports Network) - The top two finishers in the Woodward Stakes at Saratoga Race Course are doing fine with plans being made on how each will get to the Breeders' Cup.

To Honor and Serve posted a neck victory over 4-5 favorite.Mucho Macho Man in the 1 1/8-mile Woodward on Saturday as the 7-2 second pick. The two 4-year- olds were meeting for the first time since Mucho Macho Man won the Suburban Handicap on July 7 with To Honor and Serve finishing fourth.

Both colts may well meet again in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 3, but To Honor and Serve's trainer Bill Mott isn't closing the door on other options.

"Obviously, working backward, we want to go to California and we want to go to the Breeders' Cup," said Mott. "We'd have to decide whether we'd run in the (Dirt) Mile or the Classic. I think the connections, obviously, if at all possible and if we had a chance, would like to run in the Classic.

"Looking at the Belmont schedule for him, maybe we'd have a look at the Kelso (Handicap, one mile, Sept. 29), although it's going back from a Grade 1 to a Grade 2, and it's a handicap, so we'd have to see what happens with the weights. It's on the list of things to think about.

"There's nothing wrong with having a little momentum, a regular schedule (going into the Breeders' Cup). I mean, Cigar ran in the Woodward, the Jockey Club Gold Cup, and the Breeders' Cup Classic and it wasn't too much for him. But there aren't many Cigars, I suppose."

To Honor and Serve finished seventh in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs after getting into second at the top of the stretch. Mucho Macho Man was given a rest last year until November following a seventh in the Belmont Stakes.

Trainer Kathy Ritvo has Mucho Macho Man, owned by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, definitely going to the Classic at Santa Anita. The Jockey Club Gold Cup on Sept. 29 at Belmont Park will probably be the 4-year-old's only start before the Breeders's Cup.

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