10/25/2007 11:00PM

After Market still a go for BC Mile

EmailOCEANPORT, N.J. - The trainer John Shirreffs changed plays yet again on Friday morning, electing to exercise After Market on the Monmouth main track rather than taking him to the grass course, which had been the plan as of Thursday afternoon. After Market, who can't perform properly on soft turf, was to have given the Monmouth course a test-run, but Shirreffs said he decided not to alter After Market's routine so close to a race.

Despite three days of rain here, the course was listed as "good" for Friday's races, and Shirreffs said that as of Friday he had no plans to scratch After Market from the Breeders' Cup Mile.

"I looked at the turf, and it looks fine," Shirreffs said late Friday morning.

Still, there is more rain in the local forecast - the National Weather Service predicts one-fifth to one-half inch through Saturday morning, with another half to three-quarters of an inch possible Saturday - and After Market earlier this year was scratched the morning of the Arlington Million due to a wet turf course deemed not to his liking.

Europeans test the course

While After Market stayed on the main track, there was plenty of turf-course activity Friday morning, with most of the European invaders exercising on the grass. Most jogged or galloped - notably Dylan Thomas (Turf) and Excellent Art (Mile) - with Passage of Time (Filly and Mare Turf) allowed to quicken through the stretch run. George Washington, one of the last horses on the track, jogged on the main track in preparation for his start in the Classic.