Updated on 09/16/2011 8:25AM

BC Classic is Volponi's first option


ELMONT, N.Y. - Volponi, who returned to dirt racing with a solid second-place finish in last Friday's Meadowlands Cup, will be pointed to the Breeders' Cup Classic, trainer Phil Johnson said Monday.

"He's a mile-and-a-quarter horse, and I am thinking seriously about it,' Johnson said.

Johnson said he might also pre-enter Volponi for one of the two turf races - the $1 million Mile or the $2 million Turf - though he wasn't sure which one. Under Breeders' Cup rules, a horse may only be pre-entered in a maximum of two races.

"I would prefer the Classic,' said Johnson, who added there were things he wanted to study before deciding whether to pre-enter Volponi in the Mile or the Turf, at 1 1/2 miles.

There is a chance Volponi may not get into the Classic if more than 14 horses are entered for the $4 million race. The top seven-point earners gain automatic entrance into the field, and Volponi is currently part of a three-way tie for seventh with Dollar Bill and Repent.

A committee made up of racing secretaries and directors select the other seven entrants then place the remaining horses on an alternate list by preference. Pre-entries are to be made on Oct. 15 with entries made and post positions drawn on Oct. 23.

Volponi is a graded stakes winner on both turf and dirt, having taken the Pegasus on dirt as a 3-year-old, and the Poker Handicap on turf earlier this year. Before the Meadowlands Cup, Volponi had run his previous four races on turf. He won the Poker at a mile, was beaten a neck in the nine-furlong Bernard Baruch Handicap, and two lengths in the 12-furlong Sword Dancer Handicap. Before the Meadowlands Cup, he was beaten three-quarters of a length in the Belmont Breeders' Cup Handicap.

In the Meadowlands Cup, Volponi raced in sixth position early. He raced six wide down the backstretch and continued making up ground through the stretch on longshot winner Burning Roma. Owner Harold Queen has no plans to send Burning Roma to the Breeders' Cup.

"He got a little squeezed in that race and got beat three-quarters of a length so I got to think that cost him,' Johnson said. "I liked his race very much.'

Green Fee a go if he gets in

Green Fee, the upset winner of Saturday's Kelso Handicap, could also be a horse whose Breeders' Cup status will be decided by a committee.

Trainer Danny Peitz said he and owners Robert and Lawana Low want to run Green Fee in the Mile, but worry if he can get into the field. He is unlikely to make it in on points. The Mile is a race that typically oversubscribes because of the plethora of European horses.

"I don't think we'll get in, but I'm sure the Lows will be game to go if we do,' Peitz said. "Will it be a dream to think we could get that pace set-up and he could run as good? Probably. But stranger things have happened.'

Peitz likened the Breeders' Cup to the NCAA basketball tournament. "You just have to be good for three weeks,' he said. "We'll probably have to be better than we were, but we'll be going to try and be third and hoping for anything better.'

Trainer Christophe Clement did confirm Monday that Forbidden Apple, second as the favorite in the Kelso, will run in the Mile.

Summer Colony loss no big deal

Trainer Mark Hennig said he was not surprised or disheartened by Summer Colony's loss in Saturday's Beldame. She finished third, beaten four lengths by Imperial Gesture.

Hennig knew Summer Colony was 0 for 6 around one turn, but believed the Beldame was a better race to prep for the Breeders' Cup Distaff than Sunday's Spinster at Keeneland.

"I felt like we had a good shot to win at Keeneland, but I felt it would take something away from us in the long run,' Hennig said. "We were focused on the Breeders' Cup. I didn't feel like it was the end of the world if we got beat because I feel [the championship] basically is going to come down to one race.'

Hennig said both Summer Colony and Gygistar, who is being pointed to the Sprint, would most likely leave for Chicago on Oct. 23. Hennig said he might also send Gold Mover to Chicago for the $100,000 Safely Kept Handicap, one of the three other stakes on the Breeders' Cup undercard.

Roaring Fever gets blinkers

Roaring Fever, a half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winning Raging Fever, worked four furlongs in 47.65 seconds Monday morning in preparation for Sunday's Grade 3, $100,000 Cowdin Stakes. The work equaled the fastest of 56 moves at the distance.

Roaring Fever worked in blinkers, equipment he will wear for the first time on Sunday.

"If you watched him in both of his races he came into the stretch with his neck turned, looking at the grandstand,' Hennig said. "This way, he'd have to turn his whole head if he wants to look at it.'

Roaring Fever probably won't have the same crowd distractions at Belmont that he had at Saratoga. Roaring Fever won his maiden going 5 1/2 furlongs on Aug. 9 before coming back 22 days later in the Grade 1 Hopeful, where he faded to fifth after setting the early pace. Sky Mesa, the leader of the juvenile division won the Hopeful.

"As much to me as it looked like he caved in turning for home, he didn't get beat that far by a horse who is the standout leader of the 2-year-old division,' Hennig said.

Sunday, the competition should be a bit lighter. Among those expected to run in the 6 1/2-furlong Cowdin are Boston Bull, Mt. Carson, Paris Adventure, Run Production, and Wacky for Love. Endemaj, and Prince in Command are possible.

No Breeders' Cup for Mott

For the first time since 1985, trainer Bill Mott will not be represented in the Breeders' Cup.

Mott's last two chances to have runners came over the weekend. But Patrol ran a poor sixth in the Kelso at Belmont and Startac was scratched out of the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland because of filling in an ankle. Mott said Startac would most likely be sidelined for the remainder of the year. He did not have any plans for Patrol.

Mott ranks second in the Breeders' Cup in purse money won with $8,492,560. He also ranks fourth in Cup starters (39) and fourth in races won (5), including the 1995 Classic with Cigar.

"We hadn't been doing anything, but wishful thinking the last couple of years,' said Mott, whose only Cup runner in 2001, Hap, finished fifth in the Turf.