10/16/2007 1:42AM

Eve of Eve of Pre

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Ponyexpress_2
This is like waiting for the Pony Express. Breeders' Cup pre-entries were due at noon Monday but they won't be officially unwrapped until 46 hours later. All 11 (remember, this is the year of 3 on Friday and 8 on Saturday) fields will be announced Wednesday morning at Monmouth, and [DRF plug alert]the pp's will be available online later that day and on newsstands Thursday.

I don't have any inside info. Two things I'm especially curious about when the envelopes are opened will be a)whether there was a spurt of last-minute interest from Europe and b)the new races. Once you get past Dylan Thomas, the Turf and Mile are not exactly brimming with champions and you would think more Euros than have been mentioned to date might have found the situation attractively ripe.

As for the three new races, we just don't have any history or context in which to evaluate them. How do we know what a strong or weak Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile looks like? What can we expect to happen when you put the best 14 sprinting fillies in training in one starting gate? What does a Juvenile Turf race even look like?
It stands to reason there could be huge wagering opportunities in these races because of their very novelty.

Speaking of wagering opportunities, here's the menu for October 26-27, according to the Breeders' Cup website:

Friday, October 26
Race 1 (12:30 pm) WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER, PICK 3, PICK 5, DD
Race 2 (1:00 pm) WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER, PICK 3
Race 3 (1:30 pm) WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER, PICK 3, PICK 4
Race 4 (2:05 pm)WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER, PICK 3
Race 5 (2:40 pm) WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER, PICK 3, PICK 6
Race 6 (3:15 pm) WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER, PICK 3
Race 7 (3:50 pm)WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER, PICK 3, PICK 4
Race 8 (4:25 pm) WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER, PICK 3, DD*
Race 9 (5:00 pm) WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER, DD*
Race 10 (5:35 pm) WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER, DD*

*[Update: The 8th, 9th and 10th are the F&M Sprint, Juvenile Turf and Dirt Mile. Each will be the first half of a two-day daily double to an as-yet-unannounced Saturday BC race.

Saturday, October 27
Race 1 (11:00 am) WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER, PICK 3, PICK 5, DD
Race 2 (11:25 am) WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER, PICK 3
Race 3 (11:55 am) WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER, PICK 3
Race 4 (12:30 pm) WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER, PICK 3. PICK 4
Race 5 (1:10 pm) WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER, PICK 3
Race 6 (1:55 pm) WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER, PICK 3, ULTRA PICK 6
Race 7 (2:35 pm) WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER, PICK 3
Race 8 (3:20 pm) WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER, PICK 3, PICK 4
Race 9 (4:05 pm) WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER, PICK 3
Race 10 (4:50 pm) WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER, DD
Race 11 (5:35 pm) WPS, EX, TRI, SUPER

[Update: The order for the eight BC races -- the 4th through 11th -- is Juvenile Fillies, Juvenile, F&M Turf, Sprint, Mile, Distaff, Turf, Classic.

A few other points:

*There will be a pick-five on the first five races each day.

*There will be dime supers on all superfecta races.

*If no one picks six Friday, it will carry to Saturday but the BC Day pick-six is a mandatory-payout pool.

*Note the underlining in the following notice about cashing IRS tickets, posted on the BC site:

For winnings that exceed 300-1 odds, the IRS requires that a W2-G Tax form be completed. Individuals required to cash IRS threshold tickets (payouts of $600 or more) must have two forms of identification including a Social Security Card and photo ID, such as a driver's license or passport. Winning tickets exceeding $5,000 will have federal withholding taxes removed from the gross winning amount.

To keep us thinking until Wednesday morning, here are the William Hill antepost odds released Monday. The biggest move from the previous lines was a drop on War Pass in the Juvenile from 3-1 to 9-4 (2.25-1). Keep in mind that they may well be listing horses who were not pre-entered Monday. I've removed three horses from their lines: Shakespeare(Mile), who has been retired; Student Council(Classic), reportedly pointing instead for the Japan Cup Dirt; and My Typhoon(F&M Turf), who reportedly is being entered in both the Mile and Distaff but not the F&M Turf.

Breeders' Cup Classic
5-1 Any Given Saturday, Curlin, Lawyer Ron, Street Sense
10-1 Hard Spun
16-1 Tiago
20-1 Magna Graduate
25-1 Awesome Gem, Diamond Stripes, Lewis Michael, Spring At Last
33-1 Circular Quay, Corinthian, Sun King, Xchanger
50-1 AP Arrow, Dominican

Breeders' Cup Mile11-4 Excellent Art
6-1 After Market
8-1 Kip Deville
10-1 Out Of Control (Doubtful),
12-1 Remarkable News
14-1 Becrux, Shakis, Trippis Storm
20-1 Art Master, Galantas

Breeders' Cup Turf
6-4 Dylan Thomas
5-1 English Channel
6-1 Red Rocks
8-1 After Market, Better Talk Now
9-1 Sunriver
12-1 Grand Couturier
20-1 Shamdinan

Breeders' Cup Filly And Mare
7-2 Nashoba's Key
7-1 Citronnade, Royal Highness, Wait A While
8-1 Passage Of Time
10-1 Honey Ryder, Lahudood, Precious Kitten, Simply Perfect
12-1 Lady Of Venice
14-1 Argentina, Vacare
16-1 Timarwa

Breeders' Cup Distaff:
11-2 Ginger Punch
6-1 Lears Princess
13-2 Hysterical Lady, Panty Raid
7-1 Lady Joanne, Tough Tiz's Sister, Unbridled Belle
8-1 Indian Vale
10-1 Teammate
11-1 Octave
14-1 Bear Now, Miss Shop
16-1 Balance
33-1 Talkin About Love

Breeders' Cup Sprint
4-1 Midnight Lute
7-1 Smokey Stover, Idiot Proof, La Traviata
8-1 Greg's Gold, Kelly's Landing
10-1 Benny The Bull
12-1 Talent Search
14-1 High Finance, In Summation
16-1 Mach Ride, Attila's Storm
25-1 Bordonaro, First Defence,

Breeders' Cup Juvenile
9-4 War Pass
11-2 Dixie Chatter, Wicked Style
10-1 Majestic Warrior, Pyro, Tale of Ekati,
12-1 Cherokee Triangle, Salute the Sarge
14-1 Big City Man, Kodiac Kowboy, Slew's Tiznow, Texas Fever
16-1 Chitoz, Globetrotter, J Be K, Old Man Buck, Z Humor
25-1 Gold Coyote

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies
5-2 Indian Blessing
13-2 Cry and Catch Me
8-1 Izarra, Proud Spell
10-1 Irish Smoke
12-1 A To The Croft, Grace Anatomy, Smarty Deb, Spirit Awakening
14-1 Tasha's Miracle
16-1 Set Play
25-1 Annie Skates, Backseat Ryhthm, Calico Bay, Dreaming of Liz, Sunday Holiday
33-1 A Little Gem

You'll also find quite a few names not on the William Hill lists over at Railbird. where Jessica Chapel has virtuously culled the names of confirmed pre-entrants from various published news reports.

And if you're a fan of either Harry Potter books or racing greyhounds, you can click here to theleakycauldron.org ("The Most Trusted Name in Potter") for the full story and cute pictures of author J. K. Rowling's new pet.