St Nicholas Abbey, Point of Entry Head Turf

St Nicholas Abbey, Point of Entry Head Turf
Photo: Mathea Kelley
Last year's Breeders' Cup Turf winner, St Nicholas Abbey, is back again in 2012.

Pit last year's European-based Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner against New York's finest coming off five consecutive victories, and the 2012 Turf might look like a two-horse race between St Nicholas Abbey and Point of Entry  .

Several others have the credentials for an upset, though. In addition, trainer Dale Romans decided to enter TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I) winner Dullahan and Arlington Million (gr. IT) winner Little Mike in the Turf instead of the Classic (gr. I) or Mile (gr. IT), respectively.

Point of Entry, trained by Shug McGaughey, drew the rail and will likely and deservedly go off as the favorite. The 4-year-old colt is coming off three consecutive grade I wins in New York, two of them at the Turf's 1 1/2-mile distance. However, in the previous five Breeders' Cup Turfs at Santa Anita Park, only one New York-based horse, Manila, has won.

Contrast that with the Europeans' Santa Anita Turf record. Europeans took home the trophy in 2003, when High Chaparral dead-heated with Johar, and twice with Conduit in 2008-09.

If St Nicholas Abbey, who drew post 3, scores a similar double, he will have to do it at two different tracks. He won the race at Churchill Downs in 2012. Aiden O'Brien trains St Nicholas Abbey and previously won the Turf with High Chaparral in 2002 at Arlington Park and 2003 at Santa Anita.

The distance of the Turf may not be ideal for either of Romans' runners, but he felt that they each have their best opportunity in the 12-furlong race.

"They have totally opposite styles and complement each other," said Romans.

Dullahan drew post 9, while Little Mike drew post 7.

Slim Shadey began his career in Europe and has raced primarily in California all year. The 4-year-old gelded son of Breeders' Cup Mile winner Val Royal most recently captured the John Henry Turf Championship (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita. He will break from post 11.

Trailblazer, a 5-year-old son of the Sunday Silence stallion Zenno Rob Roy, competed in Japan before traveling to Santa Anita for the Breeders' Cup. Trailblazer prepped in the Arroyo Seco Mile (gr. IT), where he closed well for second behind Mile candidate Obviously. He will be on the outside.

Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) Nov. 3 3:18 PM PDT
Post Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1 Point of Entry John Velazquez Claude R. McGaughey III  3-1
2 Turbo Compressor Joe Bravo Todd Pletcher  15-1
3 St Nicolas Abbey Joseph O'Brien Aidan P. O'Brien  7-2
4 Treasure Beach Jamie Spencer Aidan P. O'Brien  12-1
5 Shareta Christophe Lemaire Alain De Royer-Dupre  7-2
6 Cogito Frankie Dettori Doug O'Neill  30-1
7 Little Mike Ramon Dominguez Dale Romans  12-1
8 Kindergarden Kid Julien Leparoux Peter Miller  30-1
9 Dullahan Joel Rosario Dale Romans  12-1
10 Optimizer Jon Court D. Wayne Lukas  20-1
11 Slim Shadey Garrett Gomez Simon Callaghan  10-1
12 Trailblazer Yutaka Take Yasutoshi Ikee  6-1

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