11/22/2008 12:00AM

Backbackbackgone out to wire Prevue


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Can the undefeated 2-year-old Backbackbackgone carry his speed seven furlongs Sunday at Hollywood Park?

The question will be answered in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue, where Backbackbackgone will be loose on the lead while racing for a $100,000 purse. And if he wins at seven furlongs, then who is to say he won't stay a 1 1/16 miles Dec. 20 in the $750,000 CashCall Futurity?

"Absolutely, that's the plan, to run here and then the Futurity," trainer Peter Miller said.

But first, Backbackbackgone must win the Prevue. If it turns out he cannot stay the distance, he will be in good company. His main rival Sunday is Azul Leon, a closing sprinter shortening up after finishing nowhere in two Grade 1 routes - the Norfolk and Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Backbackbackgone and Azul Leon are the key Prevue entrants, but neither is solid. The race is the first try beyond six furlongs for Backbackbackgone. Azul Leon enters in murky form. Others entered are Arashi Cat and Ventana, both compromised by slow starts last time; Woodbine shipper Congor Bay; and maiden-claiming winner Jack o' Lantern.

The track profile does not favor Backbackbackgone. Through Thursday, none of the 11 seven-furlong races this meet had been won by the pacesetter. But a gritty six-furlong comeback win gives his trainer and jockey, Rafael Bejarano, hope Backbackbackgone can stretch out.

"Seven-eighths is a tough distance," Miller agreed. "But he galloped out strongly last time. I knew he had the talent [to win his first start in five months]. I didn't know he had the heart and tenacity."

After a prolonged duel Oct. 18 at Santa Anita, Backbackbackgone refused to surrender and won by a nose, his third win from three starts. The pace scenario is softer Sunday; Backbackbackgone should get an easier lead.

If the distance compromises the pacesetter, it flatters a rival shortening in distance. Azul Leon was unable to carry his speed two turns, but summer sprint wins in the Grade 2 Best Pal at Del Mar and Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile established him as a top one-turn specialist. Garrett Gomez rides the Doug O'Neill trainee for the first time.

Ventana has worked spectacularly after finishing fourth behind Backbackbackgone, and is expected to be closer to the lead. Arashi Cat finished third in the same race. Congor Bay defeated a modest Woodbine allowance field last out.