Last year's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) winner Brilliant Speed will be geared toward a start in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park Nov. 3, trainer Tom Albertrani said Oct. 16.
The 4-year-old son of Dynaformer is already scheduled to stand at Robert N. Clay's Three Chimneys Farm upon retirement in partnership with owner Charlotte Weber of Live Oak Stud, but will have one last "hurrah" on the biggest stage before the end of the year. His past nine starts, including all of his races in 2012, have been over the lawn.
"This will most likely be his last race before he retires to stud, so we're optimistic about running him on the dirt one last time just to see if we could change things around with him," Albertrani said. "He's been a little unlucky this year so in his last race we're hoping for a good performance."
In addition to winning the Blue Grass over Polytrack at Keeneland in 2011, Brilliant Speed also won the Saranac Stakes (gr. IIIT) on turf at Saratoga Race Course last August, his most recent win.
"He's run a couple decent races on the dirt in the past; it's just a different approach," Albertrani remarked. "He works well on the dirt. We know it may be a difficult task for him, but we're taking a chance."
Whether or not Brilliant Speed will make the Classic field is another question. Limited to 14 starters, up to seven of the race's starting slots are guaranteed to "Win and You're In" victors and, if less than seven Breeders' Cup Challenge winners are entered, horses with the most Breeders' Cup points earned in 2012 get first shot. The other half of the field is selected by an international committee.
"There's about 14 horses that could be in front of him, so whether we get in or not is another question," Albertrani remarked.
Three Chimneys purchased a significant interest in Brilliant Speed prior to his third-place finish in the Aug. 18 Sword Dancer at Saratoga. Out of the Gone West mare Speed Succeeds, the colt was bred in Florida by Live Oak and currently has a 3-3-7 record from 20 starts, with earnings of $1,203,531.