Ballygallon Stud's Aragorn, a two time grade I winner on turf this season and a leading contender for the 2006 NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile, will face seven rivals in Saturday's $400,000 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Mile Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Winner of the 1 1/8-mile Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) in record time at Del Mar earlier in the meet and the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park before that, Aragorn will carry top weight of 123 pounds, including regular rider Corey Nakatani. He gives his foes from six to 10 pounds.
Trainer Neil Drysdale's charge has not been worse than second in six California starts since being transferred from Great Britain last year.
Laura's Lucky Boy, who will be making his first start since finishing 11th in the 2005 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) at Belmont Park, will carry 117 pounds, as will Sweet Return, runner-up in the Eddie Read.
Quasimodo and Hendrix, who finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the Read, are back to tackle Aragorn once again.
Fresh faces are El Don, winner of Del Mar's California Dreamin' Handicap; We All Love Aleyna, runner-up in the Aug. 17 Harry Brubaker Handicap, and Wild Buddy, who finished third to T.H. Approval in Hollywood Park's Sunset Handicap (gr. IIT) July 16.
Laura's Lucky Boy and Quasimodo will run as a Mercedes Stable entry.$400,000 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Mile Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 8, 5:30 p.m.), 3 & Up (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. a-Laura's Lucky Boy (KY), 117, Norberto Arroyo, Jr.
2. Aragorn (IRE), 123, Corey S. Nakatani
3. El Don (CA), 115, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
4. a-Quasimodo (KY), 114, Victor Espinoza
5. Hendrix (KY), 116, David R. Flores
6. We All Love Aleyna (FL), 113, Martin A. Pedroza
7. Sweet Return (GB), 117, Alex O. Solis
8. Wild Buddy (FL), 114, Jon K. Court
(a) Mercedes Stable entry