10/11/2006 12:00AM

Attila's Storm the only returnee


Barring any unforeseen changes, Attila's Storm will be the only returning starter from the 2005 Breeders' Cup Sprint when entries are drawn for this year's edition on Nov. 1.

Attila's Storm earned another chance at the Breeders' Cup by finishing third behind odds-on favorite Henny Hughes after setting the early pace in Saturday's Grade 1 Vosburgh. The outing was the first in more than eight months for Attila's Storm, who suffered a hind leg fracture while finishing third in Santa Anita's Grade 2 Palos Verdes Handicap on Jan. 21.

In the 2005 Sprint, Attila's Storm finished fourth, 3 1/4 lengths behind winner Silver Train, after engaging in a furious battle for the lead.

"He came out of the Vosburgh in great shape," trainer Rick Schosberg said Wednesday. "I don't think he's lost three pounds, and he's bucking and kicking around the barn this morning. "Obviously he went into the race a little short Saturday, although it was the tightest I could get him with the time frame involved, and under the circumstances I thought he ran great. Henny Hughes will be the horse to beat again in the Sprint, and I think with any luck we'll make it a lot closer than two lengths the next time."

Schosberg said he'd rather have more than four weeks to work with until the Breeders' Cup, but believes the one month turnaround shouldn't bother Attila's Storm.

"He ran as hard as he could in last year's Sprint and was still able to return 30 days later to win the Fall Highweight," said Schosberg.

Henny Hughes stamped himself as the heavy favorite for the Sprint following his victory over War Front in the Vosburgh. The victory was the third in as many starts this season for the 3-year-old Henny Hughes, who is undefeated since finishing second in the 2005 Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

The presence of Henny Hughes in the Sprint will most likely keep the top filly contender Dubai Escapade out of the lineup, according to her trainer, Eoin Harty. Harty said Dubai Escapade remains under consideration for both the Sprint and Distaff, although she could also start in Aqueduct's First Flight Handicap on Oct. 28.

"Right now we're training her like she still might run in the Breeders' Cup, although I don't think she'll go a mile and one-eighth and I don't think she can beat Henny Hughes," said Harty. "She's also owned by the same team who have Henny Hughes, so unless something were to happen to him, it's probably doubtful she'll run in the Sprint."

The Sprint picked up a couple of additional starters this week: Kelly's Landing, who won Saturday's Grade 3 Phoenix Breeders' Cup at Keeneland, and the Calder-based Nightmare Affair, who will be supplemented into the race at a cost of $180,000.

Bordonaro, who earned a career high 119 Beyer Speed Figure winning Saturday's Grade 1 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup, would also have to be supplemented to start in the Sprint, and trainer Bill Spawr said earlier this week that would not be likely.