Lane's End Breeders' Futurity Anybody's Ballgame

A wide-open field of 11 passed the entry box for Saturday's Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. II), the first of three stakes on day two of Keeneland's 17-day fall meeting. The race is a key prep for the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) as several of the 2-year-olds in the field will be testing two turns for the first time.

The $400,000 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity is run at 1 1/116 miles and has a post time of 3:55 EST. All will tote 121 pounds.

Those expecting to attract the most attention are Tiger Hunt, Cooperation, Mass Media, and a pair from trainer Nick Zito: The Cliff's Edge and Eurosilver.

Tiger Hunt already owns a win at the distance, taking down the Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes at River Downs on Labor Day. The son of Kris S. came from 10 lengths off the pace to win going away by 1 1/4 miles. Bred by WinStar Farm, Tiger Hunt is owned by Team Valor and is trained by Elliott Walden.

Cooperation was a seven-length maiden winner at Del Mar on Aug. 17. In his stakes debut in the Sept. 10 Del Mar Futurity (gr. II), the son of Halo's Image ran fourth behind Siphonizer. Siphonizer figures to be the favorite this weekend in the Norfolk Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita. Cooperation is owned by James McIngvale and is trained by Bob Baffert. Baffert won back-to-back Breeders' Futuritys in 1999-2000 with Captain Steve and Arabian Light, respectively.

Mass Media has yet to go beyond six furlongs, but as a son of Touch Gold out of a Forty Niner mare, he should be able to handle the stretch out. After breaking his maiden by 11 1/4 lengths in August, he came back to win an allowance race by 22 lengths. Both races were at Louisiana Downs. Cole Norman trains Mass Media for Gary and Mary West.

Eurosilver, a homebred son of Unbrilded's Song ran into a tough one in his Aug. 8 debut at Saratoga, finishing second to eventual Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) winner Silver Wagon. Returning at the Spa on the meet's closing day, Sept. 1, Eurosilver broke his maiden by 5 3/4 lengths going 6 1/2 furlongs. The Cliff's Edge also broke his maiden at Saratoga, then ran third in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile (gr. III) at Turfway Park on Sept. 13. He was elevated to second via the disqualification of the winner, Pomeroy, who came out and bothered The Cliff's Edge slightly in upper stretch. The Cliff's Edge is a $200,000 Keeneland September sale graduate.

The Breeders' Futurity, won last year by Sky Mesa, hasn't produced a Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner since Favorite Trick in 1997, but it has proved to be a springboard for top runners later in their career. Recent winners include Cat Thief and Captain Steve in 1998 and 1999, respectively. Two years ago, Harlan's Holiday ran second to Siphonic.

Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. II), $400,000, Keeneland, 2-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles.
PP, Horse, Jockey
1, Tiger Hunt, Larry Melancon
2,Limehouse, Robby Albarado
3, Value Plus, Pat Valenzuela
4, Cooperation, David Flores
5, Desert Patrol, Cornelio Velasquez
6, War Image, Jorge Chavez
7, The Cliff's Edge, Shane Sellers
8, Mass Media, Edgar Prado
9, Distressed Debt, Shaun Bridgmohan
10, Eurosilver, Javier Castellano
11, Victory Light, Pat Day