Aidan O'Brien, who has been represented in the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) the last four years, may be back again this year with Mrs. John Magnier's Powerscourt, who was the subject of a controversial disqualification in the Arlington Million (gr. IT).
Powerscourt, a son of Sadler's Wells, finished first by 1 1/2 lengths at Arlington, but was disqualified and placed fourth for allegedly interfering with winner Kicken Kris, who was awarded the victory. In his next start, Powerscourt finished a close third in the Bailey's Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I) behind Azamour, but came down with an injury afterward, and was forced to miss the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fra-I).
"He's just back exercising, and it's still possible he can make the Classic or the (John Deere) Turf," O'Brien said from his office at Ballydoyle. "He tore the muscles in his near hind quarters. I don't know know if he can make it back in time, but we're hoping he can. We're going to watch him train and make a decision by the end of next week."
O'Brien said he's also considering Antonius Pious for the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile
(gr. IT) and Yesterday for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT). The daughter of Sadler's Wells finished third in last year's running, beaten 2 3/4 lengths by Islington. O'Brien said he has a couple of 2-year-olds he's thinking about bringing for the juvenile races.
If Powerscourt does come, he will join Arc winner Bago as the European representatives in the Classic. Bago, who has been pointing for the Classic since
his victory in the Grand Prix de Paris (Fra-I), will bring a record of seven victories from nine starts into the race. Powerscourt's two stakes victories have come in the Tattersalls Gold Cup (Ire-I), in which he romped by six lengths, and the Daily telegraph Great Voltigeur Stakes (Eng-I) at York. He also was second in the Prince of Wales's Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot.
In the 2001 Classic, O'Brien's Giant's Causeway was beaten a neck by Tiznow. O'Brien since has finished sixth with Galileo in 2001, seventh with Hawk Wing in 2002, and fifth with Hold That Tiger last year.