Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin
reported Sunday morning that Emcee,
who registered Godolphin Racing’s fourth Grade 1 win at
Saratoga this summer when
he captured yesterday’s Forego, emerged from the race in fine fettle. The
4-year-old Unbridled’s Song colt will either run in the Grade 1 Vosburgh
Invitational on Super Saturday, September 29 at Belmont Park, or train up to the
Breeders’ Cup on November 3 at Santa Anita Park, McLaughlin said.
“Emcee came out of his race
great,” McLaughlin said. “I’m very pleased with the way Alan [Garcia] rode him.
The setup was great. When Shackleford didn’t run, it was just follow [
Pacific Ocean ], and it worked out perfectly for us.
“Looking back at the [Grade 1
Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap, in which Emcee finished third on August 5], we
went early because we were in the two hole and Shackleford was in the one hole.
We thought we had to beat him. So, [the plan was] break and go. Going to the
Breeders’ Cup, if we go in the Sprint, they’re most likely going to go 21 and 43
anyway, so we’ll be laying off of them.”
McLaughlin said the six-furlong
Breeders’ Cup Sprint was the probable choice for Emcee, though the Breeders’ Cup
Dirt Mile also would be considered.
“Most likely [we would look at
the Sprint],” McLaughlin said. “I just sent an email to Simon [Crisford,
Godolphin racing manager] that we have to discuss. The difference is that the mile is two
turns at Santa Anita. If it was one turn, like at
Belmont , we’d be talking more about it, but
thinking about two turns, it changes a lot. We’re probably better sprinting.
It’s just that [in the mile] we’d probably be on the lead, and is that where we
want to be?”
The matter of a final prep for
the Breeders’ Cup is also up in the air.
“The Vosburgh is a question
mark,” McLaughlin said. “That’s another thing I’m going to talk to Simon about.
Because he did run back in four weeks here, and he had a little gap before that,
but we could do either. He’ll stay here, [to train at] Greentree.”
McLaughlin also confirmed plans
for Godolphin’s other stakes runners, all of whom are scheduled for fall races
ahead of the Breeders’ Cup. Alpha,
winner of the Grade 2 Jim Dandy and co-winner with Golden Ticket in last
weekend’s Grade 1 Travers dead heat, will head next to Parx Racing for the Grade
2 Pennsylvania Derby on September 22. Questing, who annexed the Grade 1 TVG
Coaching Club American Oaks and Grade 1 Alabama this Spa season, will run in the
Grade 1 Cotillion at Parx on the same day. It’s Tricky will join Emcee at
Park on Super Saturday for
a start in the Grade 1, $400,000 Beldame Invitational at 1 1/8 miles. While
Alpha is scheduled for a start in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Breeders’ Cup races
for the fillies remain in flux, as McLaughlin would like to keep them separate
at year’s end.
“It’s Tricky will run in the
Beldame, and then we have to talk about seven-eighths [in the Filly and Mare
Sprint] or the [1 1/8-mile Ladies Classic] because of Questing,” reasoned
McLaughlin. “We’ll see how she
does. If [Questing] wins impressively again, it might alter It’s Tricky’s
course. We’ll see; we have races still to go.”