Upcoming events on both sides of the Atlantic could have a significant impact on the field for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I). The Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III) will be run on Saturday (Sept. 28) at Arlington Park, the site of the World Thoroughbred Championships. Also on Saturday, in Europe, expensive Keeneland September sale yearlings from 2001--Van Nistelrooy and Newfoundland--are expected to tangle in the Royal Lodge Stakes (Eng-II) at Ascot. And next Thursday (Oct. 3), Elusive City, one of Europe's brightest stars, will tackle the Shadwell Stud Middle Park Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket.
Arlington listed Golphin Racing Stable's Sharp Impact and Anasheed among the expected field for the one-mile Futurity. Sharp Impact (by Siphon) captured the Sept. 7 Spectacular Bid Stakes at Arlington by three-quarters of a length over Wiggins. He recently worked five furlongs in 1:00.08 at Arlington. Anasheed (by A.P. Indy) broke his maiden in the third start of his career, rallying to take a mile race at Arlington by 1 1/2 lengths.
Other candidates include Mike Pregram's Echeverria (by Awesome Again), second in the James C. Ellis Juvenile Stakes at Ellis Park, and Carl Bowling and Charles Thompson's Christmas Away (by Skip Away), second in the Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes. In his most recent work, Christmas Away covered four furlongs at Churchill Downs in :48.40. Drs. K. K. and Vilasini Jayaraman's Comic Truth also is expected to run. He scored in the Lafayette Stakes at Evangeline Downs and the Pioneer Stakes at Louisiana Downs. Among the other possibles are Overbrook Farm's Sapling Stakes (gr. III) runner-up Boston Park and Wiggins. Boston Park worked a half-mile at Churchill Downs on Tuesday, covering the distance in :47.40.
Royal Lodge contenders Van Nistelrooy and Newfoundland (both by Storm Cat) are controlled by the powerful Coolmore Stud team. Demi O'Byrne bought both at Keeneland last September, paying the sale-topping price of $6.4 million for Van Nistelrooy and $3.3 million for Newfoundland. In his most recent outing, Van Nistelrooy finished second in the Sept. 15 Aga Khan Studs National Stakes (Ire-I). Newfoundland has not won since his career debut.
According to the Racing Post, The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Elusive City (by Elusive Quality) prepared for his Middle Park challenge with a race day visit to Newbury on Sept. 21. With jockey Kieren Fallon aboard, the colt visited the pre-parade and parade rings, broke from the stalls twice, and cantered. In the past, Elusive Quality has been difficult to load. However, he has finished first in all three of his career races, including the Prix Morny Casinos Barriere (Fr-I) and the Gerrard Investment Management Richmond Stakes (gr. II). Trainer Gerard Butler told the Racing Post that he is not quite sure that Elusive City wants to go the Juvenile distance of 1 1/8 miles. Butler also said that Elusive City recently visited Newmarket, where he "popped through the stalls three times."
Keep your eyes on Canada as well.
Added Edge, the impressive winner of the Sept. 22 Swynford Stakes at Woodbine, will not go on to the Breeders' Cup, according Barry Irwin of Team Valor, which owns a two-thirds interest in the son of Smart Strike. Instead, Added Edge probably will be pointed for the Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) in November at Churchill Downs. An April foal, Added Edge is too young, in Irwin's opinion, to run 1 1/18 miles this year without being "knocked out."
Team Valor, however, has another plan, hoping to start the Irish-bred colt Grand (by Grand Lodge) in the Juvenile. The stable purchased Grand privately following his 23-length victory on dirt in England. His next target is the Grey Breeders' Cup Stakes (Can-II) at Woodbine.
Mark Casse, who trains Added Edge, plans to saddle Stonerside Stable's Gigawatt for the Grey. The son of Wild Again broke his maiden in his second start, winning an 8.32-furlong race at Woodbine by 17 1/4 lengths on Sept. 1. Casse said he has been training Gigawatt with older horses and that the colt has been tremendous during his morning moves.
In other news involving Juvenile candidates:
John Oxley's Sky Mesa, scheduled to start next in the Oct. 5 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. II) at Keeneland, worked five furlongs in :59.80 at the track on Monday. The son of Pulpit, who captured the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I), is tied for first with Elusive City and Whywhywhy in the Juvenile division of the World Thoroughbred Rankings
Michael Tabor's Zavata (by Phone Trick), who stands fourth in the rankings, worked four furlongs in :50.37 at Saratoga on Sept. 21. He is scheduled to run next in the Oct. 5 Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Trainer Bob Baffert said that Mike Pegram's Icecoldbeeratreds (by In Excess), seventh in the rankings, will run next in the Champagne. The Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) winner worked seven furlongs in 1:26.00 at Santa Anita Park on Monday. Baffert previously had indicated that he would keep Icecoldbeeratreds sprinting. The Champagne is 1 1/16 miles. Del Mar Futurity runner-up Kafwain, another member of Baffert's large contingent of 2-year-olds, worked a mile in 1:39.60 at Santa Anita on Monday..