10/21/2007 11:00PM

After Market lets off some steam

EmailOCEANPORT, N.J. - After Market, who should be among the favorites in the Breeders' Cup Mile, got his first look at the Monmouth Park track on Monday morning, squeezing in a training regimen just before the 7:45 a.m. renovation break, which actually was delayed by After Market's stablemate Tiago, the last horse allowed onto the track before it was closed for mid-morning renovation.

After Market "got a little hot" on Monday, according to trainer John Shirreffs, who then explained why: "I galloped him two miles."

Most horses doing a routine gallop go between a mile and 1 1/2 miles, but Shirreffs said he wanted to take a little starch out of After Market by doing more.

"He's a Storm Cat, you know," said Shirreffs, referring to the hot temperament regularly exhibited by offspring of the great stallion. "Hopefully he can rest this afternoon."

After Market won four grade d turf stakes in a row between April and August, at which time he was widely regarded as one of the top grass horses in the country. But his star has somewhat dimmed coming into the Breeders' Cup, in part because the perception exists that After Market's ideal distance might be between nine and 10 furlongs, while Breeders' Cup turf races are run at eight and 12.

Doubters will refer to After Market's second-place finish to Trippi's Storm as the favorite in the one-mile Kelso Handicap last month at Belmont, but Shirreffs had no problem with After Market's performance.

"I think if he would've gotten a better trip, he would have won," he said. "He was eight wide in the stretch."

Kip Deville's work delayed

Kip Deville's final workout for the Breeders' Cup Mile was canceled Monday because of what trainer Rick Dutrow termed "extremely minor" swelling in his leg, and Dutrow said he planned to work Kip Deville on Tuesday over the Aqueduct grass course.

Dutrow said the Kip Deville had a small amount of filling in a pastern, the area below the ankle, and that if necessary the horse could have worked Monday.

"I have the luxury that I can wait, because he's ready to go," Dutrow said. "It's not a major problem."

Dutrow did however say that if the filling still was present Tuesday, Kip Deville probably wouldn't work. "But I can't imagine that would be the case," Dutrow said.

Lady Joanne still at home

While Street Sense continues to acclimate to Monmouth Park, stablemate Lady Joanne has remained behind in the relative anonymity of Churchill Downs, where she worked five furlongs in 1:01.80 under jockey Calvin Borel on Monday for the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

"I hear she went great," said trainer Carl Nafzger, who left Lady Joanne behind with his former assistant Ian Wilkes.

Nafzger explained the reason he brought Street Sense to Monmouth a week in advance of the Breeders' Cup but will ship Lady Joanne to town closer to her race.

"Lady Joanne is easygoing, ships well, and with her style I think she'll handle the track at Monmouth Park without any problem, so there was no reason to bring her in early," said Nafzger.

"Street Sense, on the other hand, gets a little nervous when he travels and I wanted to give him a chance to get in here and acclimate himself to the surroundings and to see how he handles the racetrack."

Local tie for Nafzger

Thirty years ago, Bob Kulina was in his first year as racing secretary at Monmouth when a struggling Nafzger asked him for a few stalls. Nafzger had some young horses stabled at a nearby farm called Willow Brook, which today is a housing development.

Kulina granted Nafzger a handful of stalls alongside a thriving stable trained by Melvin "Sunshine" Calvert, who trained such standouts as In Reality, My Dear Girl, and Superbity while working for the family of Mrs. Frances Genter. Calvert befriended Nafzger, and in 1982, while getting ready to retire, he asked Nafzger to train a second string of Genter horses at Arlington Park in Chicago, closer to where the Genters lived in Minneapolis.

Nafzger soon became established in the Midwest with the Genters as his main client, ultimately hitting a peak when Unbridled, owned by Mrs. Genter, earned Horse of the Year honors in 1990. Kulina, a lifelong racing official who has served for years as vice president and general manager of Monmouth, said with a grin that he and Nafzger have had a running joke about how the quirks of fate put Nafzger and the Genters together.

"Carl says I ran him out of Jersey," said Kulina, "and I tell him I made his career by putting him next to Sunshine Calvert."

Strangers to dirt racing

As if any Breeders' Cup race needs more unknown variables, the BC Juvenile Fillies has this for horseplayers to consider: Nine of the 16 pre-entered fillies have never raced on dirt, including several of the top contenders. All nine, including the two also-eligibles, Annie Skates and Joffe's Run, have raced only on turf or synthetic surfaces.

Clearly Foxy, unbeaten in two starts on turf, will be one of the fillies trying to make the transition to dirt. A Volponi filly based in Canada with trainer Mark Casse, she was one of the few to arrive more than a week early at Monmouth.

"Dad always likes getting in a week or so early," said Norman Casse, the trainer's assistant and 24-year-old son. "He's always thought this filly would be better on Polytrack or dirt. Originally she was going to run in the Epitome," a $250,000 turf stakes here Friday, "but he thought it'd be worth a shot trying the Breeders' Cup."

Clearly Foxy won the Grade 3 Natalma at Woodbine in her last start at 17-1.

While Clearly Foxy will be a medium-range longshot, several others with no racing experience on dirt figure to take heavier action in the 1 1/16-mile Juvenile Fillies. That group may include part of the large California contingent of Cry and Catch Me, Grace Anatomy, Izarra, Set Play, and Tasha's Miracle - all of whom have raced exclusively on synthetics - along with Zee Zee, a Bill Mott-trained filly whose three starts have all been on turf.

Champs Elysees missing from Europeans

The broodmare Hasili already has produced two Breeders' Cup winners - Intercontinental and Banks Hill - but she won't have a chance for three this year. Champs Elysees, who was pre-entered for the Turf last week by trainer Andre Fabre, did not ship with the overseas arrivals who came in Sunday, and is out of the Breeders' Cup, according to Alistair Donald of the International Racing Bureau, which does logistics for overseas Breeders' Cup shippers.

Nine other horses, however, arrived Sunday after flying from England to Newark Liberty International Airport, and the group is expected to clear U.S. Department of Agriculture quarantine sometime Monday night and be permitted to train Tuesday morning.

Among the Sunday arrivals was Red Rocks, back to try to win the Turf for the second straight season. Red Rocks has only a Group 3 victory from four starts this season, but trainer Brian Meehan said Monday that Red Rocks was coming into Saturday's race "in great form," and that he had "traveled well" from England.

Ireland-based trainer Aidan O'Brien's Breeders' Cup team arrives here Tuesday, and will include the certain favorite for the Turf, Dylan Thomas, and possible favorites for the Mile (Excellent Art) and Juvenile Turf (Achill Island).

Frankel tending to ailing animal

Trainer Bobby Frankel, who has four horses pre-entered for this year's Breeders' Cup, will not attend the races at Monmouth Park but instead will watch the event from back home in California.

"My dog, Happy, who I've had for eight years, is very ill, and I'm not going to leave here," Frankel said Monday. "I've got lots of good help at Belmont and elsewhere and I know my horses are in good hands."

- additional reporting by Marty McGee and Mike Welsch