The presence of classy Europeans Mastercraftsman and Sweet Hearth to the pre-entry field for the $1-million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) on Nov. 7 gives the runners from the powerful Godolphin stable the prospect of some tough competition.
As expected, Godolphin and trainer Saeed bin Suroor pre-entered four in the Dirt Mile—Regal Ransom, Girolamo , Midshipman , and Pyro. All four are viewed as contenders.
However, Regal Ransom and Girolamo have been cross-entered in the $5 million Classic (gr. I), which is the first preference for both. Jerome Handicap (gr. II) winner Girolamo is first on the also-eligible list for the Classic.
Mastercraftsman also has been cross-entered in the Classic. However, the Dirt Mile is his first preference. If even just Mastercraftsman runs in the Dirt Mile as expected, that opens the door for Godolphin to run Girolamo in the Classic, if they so desire.
Mastercraftsman won the St. James Palace Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot and ran second to superstar Sea The Stars
in the Juddmonte International (Eng-I) at York. The 3-year-old son of Danehill Dancer also won the Diamond Stakes (Ire-III) by five lengths on a synthetic track in Ireland. The Breeder’ Cup Dirt Mile will be contested on Santa Anita’s synthetic Pro-Ride surface.
Sweet Hearth, second in the Prix de la Foret (Fr-I) at Longchamp while defeating Goldikova, had been expected for the Dirt Mile and was cross-entered in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT). However, word came from Europe the day after Breeders’ Cup pre-entries were announced that Sweet Hearth is not running in the Breeders’ Cup.
Whitney Handicap (gr. I) winner Bullsbay, Florida Derby winner (gr. I) Quality Road, and El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) winner Chocolate Candy were all entered in both the Dirt Mile and Classic. The Classic is the second preference for Bullsbay and Chocolate Candy, and the first preference for Quality Road.
Oak Tree Mile (gr. IIT) winner Cowboy Cal was entered in both the Dirt Mile and Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT). The Mile is his first preference.
Crown of Thorns, runner-up in the Ancient Title Stakes (gr. I), was cross-entered in the Sprint. The Sprint is his second preference.
$1 Million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I, 2:12 p.m.), 3-year-olds and up, One Mile (Pro-Ride)
Horse, Owner, Trainer
Bullsbay, Mitchell Ranch, Franklin Lewkowitz, Joe Rice, H. Graham Motion
Cherokee Artist, J. Mack Robinson, H. Graham Motion
Chocolate Candy, Estate of Sid Craig; Jenny Craig, Jerry Hollendorfer
Cowboy Cal, Magnolia, Todd A. Pletcher
Crown of Thorns, B. Wayne Hughes, Richard E. Mandella
El Gato Malo, West Point Thoroughbreds, Craig Dollase
Furthest Land, Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey, Michael J. Maker
Girolamo, Godolphin Racing, Saeed bin Suroor
Join in the Dance, Jake Ballis , Rashard Lewis , Reagan Swinbank, Todd A. Pletcher
Karelian, Green Lantern Stables, George R. Arnold II
Mambo Meister, Quantum Racing Team #1, Philip A. Gleaves
Mastercraftsman (IRE), Michael Tabor , Mrs. John Magnier , Derrick Smith, Aidan P. O'Brien
Midshipman, Godolphin Racing, Saeed bin Suroor
Mr. Sidney, Circle E Racing, William I. Mott
Monzante, Jay Manoogian , Gretchen Manoogian , Scott Anastasi, Mike R. Mitchell
Neko Bay, Mr. & Mrs. Jerome S. Moss, John A. Shirreffs
Pyro, Godolphin Racing, Saeed bin Suroor
Quality Road, Edward P. Evans, Todd A. Pletcher
Ready's Echo, Let's Go Stable, Todd A. Pletcher
Regal Ransom, Godolphin Racing, Saeed bin Suroor