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Going For The Gold

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 7/7/2010 2:19:11 PM

A short but sweet field will be vying this weekend at Hollywood Park in the mile and a quarter $500,000 Gold Cup and the winner will join an established group of A-listers that have won the race over the decades.

Rail Trip will be attempting to become a multiple winner of this fixture like Native Diver and Lava Man.

Seabiscuit kicked it off with a win in the inaugural running. Gallant Man, Exceller, Affirmed, Ferdinand, Best Pal and Cigar also heard the cheers from Inglewood after success.

Although 15 nominated probably no more than 9 will likely face the starter.

Awesome Gem is one of them and he will be a price. He is 0 for 4 this year, has limited speed, but has stepped to the plate and knocked it out of the ballpark in big races before evidenced by his near $2 million bankroll.

Compari is a youngster compared to some and his brilliant speed must always be respected. He’s made most of his money on grass but did win here on the Cushion Track last year in the Snow Chief after cutting out :46.59 and 1:10.69 splits. He will at least muddle the pace.

Cigar Man would likely light up the tote. He has been spanked a couple of times by Rail Trip recently and is 0 for 6 at Hollypark.

Brushburn is taking a glance at the race but he is just a reformed claimer that is coming off the race of his life when third in the Grade 1 Whittingham.

Victory Pete will have his work cut out after just one race this year, a press and fade 7th in an allowance event.

Tres Borrachos gave backers a nice 23-1 thrill in this race last year when he tried to steal the event but had to settle for a second. His trainer Beau Greely is taking the high road according to quotes in the Hollypark notes; Greely: “He’s got ability, he’s been training well, there’s nothing wrong with him and he’s got a good record at Hollywood Park.”

Richard’s Kid is a scary proposition. He has to overcome a possible Dubai bounce as he was 7th in the World Cup in his last race and his trainer, Bob Baffert, did not appear to be overly optimistic in his recent quotes.

Baffert: “I think it’s a good spot for him to start back. He needs to be going long and it should set him up good for Del Mar. I think Rail Trip will be awful tough to beat.”

Speaking of Rail Trip, he is just a serious horse. In the money in all 11 starts with 8 wins, he’s never been out of the exacta in Inglewood and he should get a perfect stalk and pounce trip.

An interesting runner that could be a hint of a price is Tap It Light. He is three for 5 since entering Mike Mitchell’s barn. His trainer has had awesome success over the years with runners like this, former claimers. He plucked Ever a Friend from a seller back in 2007 and watched him take the Grade 1 Kilroe 4 months later. He turned $50,000 claimer Church Service into a Grade 3 winner and won the Grade 2 Murray after claiming On the Acorn for $40,000.

There is plenty of pace to set up Light’s kick.

Look for Compari and Tres Borrachos to fight for the lead with Rail Trip in the garden spot and Tap It Light not losing contact with the field.

Cigar Man, Awesome Gem and Richard’s Kid will be trying to save ground for the money run.

At the top of the lane Compari will put away Borrachos, Rail Trip will get to him with a 16th to go and they will both be hard pressed to hold off value play Tap It Light.

The board reads Rail Trip, Tap It Light and Compari when the smoke clears.

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