Plans may be changing for Sakhee, who wasn't coming to the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I), but after a scintillating run in the Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) he may indeed head to New York.
Sakhee is owned by Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin operation whose racing manager, Simon Crisford, has not ruled out the Breeders' Cup.
In the 17-year history of the Breeders' Cup, there have only been four Arc winners to try the difficult double. No one has accomplished the feat yet. The Arc is a tough 12-furlongs only three weeks before the Breeders' Cup. Plus there is shipping and acclimation.
What could help the son of Bahri, however, is that he had an easy time of it in the Arc, winning off by six lengths.
Still, we have seen European "super" horses attempt this in the past. The biggest name was Dancing Brave, who in the third Breeders' Cup in 1986 was 1-2 at Santa Anita. He finished fourth under Pat Eddery as American turf runners Manila, Theatrical and Estrapade took the first three spots.
Three other Arc winners have attempted the Arc/Turf combo but failed: Trempolino ran second to Theatrical in 1987; Saumarez finished fifth in the race won by In The Wings in 1990; and Subotica ran fifth behind Fraise in 1992.
If there was a Breeders' Cup turf race at nine or 10 furlongs, Bill Mott would be a happy trainer. But, he has a decision to make about where to run Hap next. The son of Theatrical -- who was Mott's first Breeders' Cup winner -- won the Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IIT) at Keeneland Oct. 7.
"His best distance, we think, is a mile and an eighth. We feel confident he can go a mile and a quarter. But, a mile and a half, well, we don't know."
Still, Mott said his first instinct is to run Hap, owned by the Allen Paulson Living Trust, in the Breeders' Cup Turf, not the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT).
This theory worked well last year for Quiet Resolve and trainer Mark Frostad. Quiet Resolve ran third in the Turf Mile at Keeneland, then almost stole the Turf at 42-1, finishing second by a half length to Kalanisi. Quiet Resolve ran fifth in this year's Keeneland Turf Mile.
When pre-entries are taken Oct. 15, Senure will be the big name from the West Coast while With Anticipation comes from the East Coast.
Fantastic Light's connections are still trying to decide between the Turf and Classic.