Saint Liam Will Train Up To BC Classic

(from Belmont Park notes)
Saint Liam, the authoritative winner of the Sept. 10 Woodward (gr. I) at Belmont Park, will make his next start in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic, Powered by Dodge (gr. I) on Oct. 29, according to trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.

The 5-year-old son of Saint Ballado returned from his two-length Woodward victory in good shape, Dutrow said. Saint Liam could be favored in the feature race of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, which will be run at Belmont for the first time since 2001.

"He came out good," said Dutrow Sunday morning. "Even though Commentator didn't run his race and Sir Shackleton isn't one of the better horses around, I thought our horse ran big. We're in a good spot. I just need to get him (to the Breeders' Cup) in good shape."

Saint Liam has won three grade I races this season: the Donn, Stephen Foster and Woodward. Dutrow, however, says Saint Liam's best performance in 2005 is his second-place, neck defeat, to Commentator in Saratoga's Whitney (gr. I).

"He laid it all on the line in the Whitney," Dutrow said. "To chase the whole race and still finish up was very big."

Saint Liam also received a bit of vindication by winning Saturday. Last September, Saint Liam finished a neck behind eventual Horse of the Year Ghostzapper in the Woodward after testing that foe through the length of the stretch.

"That was gratifying," Dutrow said.

Dutrow's other Woodward starters - Show Boot and Crafty Player - who were used to soften up Commentator on the front end, came out of the race no worse for the wear.

"So far, so good," Dutrow said. "They seem okay."