Classic Field Continues to Grow; Fleetstreet Dancer to Run

Fleetstreet Dancer, runner-up in the Goodwood Breeders' Cup (gr. II), is the latest addition to the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) field, trainer Doug O'Neill said Thursday. That brings the number of prospective starters to 12.

Fleetstreet Dancer was beaten a half-length by Pleasantly Perfect in the Goodwood. Although a dozen horses now appear to be heading to the Classic, O'Neill sees a much shorter field. "I can't imagine there being more than seven or eight horses in the race, to be honest with you," O'Neill said of the Classic. "It's 120 grand to run even if you're nominated. I don't know who's going to be that eager to run a longshot and pay 120 grand, so I guess if we don't get in, maybe it wasn't meant to be. But at this point, we plan to run. I would think the defections have to help our chances."

O'Neill claimed Fleetstreet Dancer for $40,000 for father and son Leroy and Ty Leatherman of Granada Hills, California, on Oct. 9, 2002. The horse won a $62,500 optional claiming race in his next start, on Nov. 11, and while winless since, has been second or third in seven graded stakes races in nine subsequent starts.

"He's doing great," O'Neill said of the 5-year-old gelded son of Smart Strike. "He's a hard trier and he likes this track. And he's better (running from) off the pace. The one time we put him on the pace he ran his worst race. He's definitely better tracking, and even better
being covered up. Tyler (Baze) did a good job in the Goodwood, kept him in the clear. In that race we told him not to be covered up, a, because of his post (No. 7) and b, the track seemed like it was playing better in the four and five lane. But he's doing good and the game plan is to go."

The field for the Classic consists of Medaglia d'Oro, Congaree, Perfect Drift, Ten Most Wanted, Evening Attire, Volponi, Bowman's Band, Hold That Tiger, Pleasantly Perfect, Fleetstreet Dancer, and possibly Dynever, Tenpins, and Falbrav.

In other Breeders' Cup developments, as reported by the Santa Anita press department:

Got Koko, who ended Azeri's win streak at 11 in the Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap on Sept. 28, had her first workout Tuesday since the victory. "We just wanted to get her loosened up," trainer Bruce Headley said of her five-furlong workout in 1:00.40. "We have two more works penciled in (before the $2 million Breeders' Cup
Distaff-Presented by Nextel), one seven (furlongs) and another five (furlongs). Her style is to come from off the pace but Lady Luck always has something to say about everything. Hopefully, she has the right thing to say."

David Hofmans plans to work Adoration "an easy five-eighths" Friday in preparation for the Distaff. Fourth, beaten 3 1/4 lengths by Got Koko in the Lady's Secret, Adoration is scheduled to work seven furlongs next week, the trainer said. Asked his evaluation of the Lady's Secret, Hofmans said, "It was definitely a sub par race for Azeri. If she can bounce back, she'll be tough, but I don't know her condition. It's kind of questionable right now. With Sightseek and Got Koko in the race, it's one of the most competitive races on the program. Got Koko loves this track (five for seven), and Azeri will be tough if she
bounces back, and Sightseek looks awful good. It's a tough race."

Track superintendent Steve Wood says it will be business as usual on Breeders' Cup day, as far as the main track is concerned. "It will be exactly the same as it is now (barring unforeseen weather conditions)," Wood said. "It will be the same for horses coming in as it is for horses that are here right now. We'll all be doing our jobs the same way and perform the same maintenance."

Irish Warrior ($2 million John Deere Turf) worked four furlongs on Hollywood's fast main track Thursday in :48 for Wally Dollase, while at the same track, Megahertz ($1 million Filly & Mare Turf) went six furlongs on the main track in 1:14.40 for Bobby Frankel.

Ruler's Court ($1.5 million Bessemer Trust Juvenile), 14-length winner of the Norfolk Stakes, jogged Thursday for Eoin Harty on the colt's first day at the track since Sunday's sensational victory.

Bob Baffert on Congaree's bullet seven-furlong workout inm1:22.54 before Wednesday's first race: "Horses always work faster towards the afternoon, especially good horses."

Former jockey Corey Black, who works Storming Home, a majormcontender in the John Deere Turf, had this advice for European horses coming for the 1 1/2 mile event: "They better bring their A-plus game."