Horse Greeley Probable Choice in Norfolk BC

(from Oak Tree report)
Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) winner Horse Greeley and unbeaten Principle Secret, the West Coast's leading contenders for the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), face off Sunday in Oak Tree's $250,000 Norfolk Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II).

The Norfolk, contested over 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita, drew a field of 10 2-year-olds.

Even though he was beaten in their lone common meeting, Horse Greeley is expected to be a slight favorite over Principle Secret off his strong showing in the Del Mar Futurity. Both contenders attempt to carry their speed around two turns for the first time.

Trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella for owners/breeders Ray and Martha Parfet, Horse Greeley drew off to a 1 3/4-length victory over Great Hunter in the at Del Mar while covering seven furlongs in 1:22 4/5.

"I don't think the extra distance should be any problem," said jockey Victor Espinoza. "He's ready to go and (Mandella) is really excited about the horse. So am I."

Principle Secret defeated runner-up Horse Greeley by 4 3/4 lengths in what was the racing debut for each at five furlongs on July 22 at Del Mar. He returned to take Del Mar's Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) in his last start by three lengths over Great Hunter on Aug. 13. The winning time was 1:16 for 6 1/2 furlongs.

Christopher Paasch, who trains the Kentucky-bred son of Sea of Secrets for Charles Cono, said, "He should have no distance limitations based on the breeding, not at all."

With earnings of $192,400 from his two wins and a second in three starts, Horse Greeley is the most accomplished starter. Principle Secret has banked $121,000 from his pair of victories. Malt Magic is the only contestant to have won around two turns, having broken his maiden for trainer Bob Baffert at one mile.

Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, who moved his tack to New York in March, is returning to Santa Anita to ride Stormello for trainer Bill Currin. Stormello finished third in both the Best Pal and Del Mar Futurity.

$250,000 Norfolk Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II, Race 8, 4 p.m.), 2-Year-Olds, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey
1. Unusual Suspect (CA), Clinton L. Potts
2. Principle Secret (KY), Alex O. Solis
3. a-Lucky Thirteen (CA), Jorge F. Chavez
4. Malt Magic (KY), David R. Flores
5. Horse Greeley (KY), Victor Espinoza
6. Sunshine Ridge (FL), David Cohen
7. Roman Commander (KY), Corey S. Nakatani
8. a-Swiss Ski (CA), Aaron T. Gryder
9. Spot the Diplomat (CA), Patrick A. Valenzuela
10. Stormello (KY), Kent J. Desormeaux
a-Heinz Steinman entry
Each assigned 122 pounds.