Updated on 09/16/2011 8:29AM

BC Countdown - Juvenile: No longer in stablemate's shadow

Email

For three months, the buzz in the 2-year-old division was all about Zavata. From a hard-luck second in the Three Chimneys Juvenile as a first-time starter, to a breathtaking 7 1/4-length victory in the Saratoga Special, Zavata ruled the juvenile ranks.

Meanwhile, stablemate Whywhywhy was going about his business, winning the Flash and Sanford Stakes in relative anonymity.

My, how times have changed.

Following his defeat at 1-5 in the Hopeful and subsequent ankle injury that kept him out of the Champagne, Zavata has fallen off the radar screen heading into next Saturday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Arlington Park. Meanwhile, a groundswell of support is developing for Whywhywhy following his Grade 1 victory in last month's Belmont Futurity.

"I remember when Whywhywhy was in the shadow of Zavata, now I would say Zavata is in the shadow of Whywhywhy,' trainer Patrick Biancone said Thursday from Arlington. "I'm happy to have both of them. I think they're two very good 2-year-olds. What they've done so far is quite remarkable.'

Zavata and Whywhywhy were two of 16 horses pre-entered for the Juvenile, which will be run this year at nine furlongs because of the track configuration at Arlington Park. Since only 14 horses will be allowed in the body of the race, Marino Marini and Ontario - two of five juveniles pre-entered by trainer Aidan O'Brien - were placed on an alternate list and would need defections to get into the race.

Owner Fabien Ouaki and Patrick Biancone, the trainer and part-owner of Whywhywhy, had to pay a $90,000 supplemental fee to get him into the race. That means the purse of the Juvenile will be $1.07 million.

Thursday, Biancone sent both horses out for five-furlong moves at Arlington. Whywhywhy worked a controlled five furlongs in 1:03.80 while Zavata was asked for a bit more going in 1:02.80. Both horses worked in company with other horses.

"Whywhywhy was very impressive,' Biancone said. "Zavata worked good.'

While Zavata was breaking off in his work, there was a loose horse on the track. Biancone said it had no bearing on the move.

Having missed the Champagne due to filling in an ankle, Zavata will enter the Breeders' Cup off an eight-week layoff. Biancone said he doesn't believe it will be a problem.

"I would have preferred to have run in the Champagne for sure,' Biancone said. "If you would have had told me two months ago that he would have come into the Breeders' Cup without a Group 1 win under his belt I would have said you were crazy. So far, the main thing is his health is good.'

Zavata, by Phone Trick, is viewed primarily as a sprinter. Whywhywhy is also by a sprint sire, Mr. Greeley, but the bottom side of his pedigree suggests he can go long.

"He may be the perfect horse,' Biancone said. "He has the speed of the father and the stamina of the mother.'

Biancone has to make rider changes on both his horses. With Edgar Prado riding Sky Mesa, Biancone has named Pat Day to ride Whywhywhy. Jerry Bailey has taken the call on the Bob Baffert-trained Bull Market, so Gary Stevens has picked up the mount on Zavata.

Biancone said both Zavata and Whywhywhy would breeze one more time next week.

Newmarket race possible for O'Brien trio

Tomahawk, Marino Marini, and Ontario - three horses pre-entered in the Juvenile - were also entered in Saturday's Group 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket. Trainer Aidan O'Brien said that it's possible he could wheel one or more back in the Juvenile.

"It's possible some of the of the horses that would run in the Dewhurst might go,' O'Brien said. "We're not really sure.'

Three of O'Brien's horses - Hold That Tiger, Tomahawk, and Van Nistelrooy - drew into the body of the Juvenile.

O'Brien said his Breeders' Cup contingent would arrive on Tuesday.

* For the first time in a Breeders' Cup, trainer D. Wayne Lukas does not have a starter in the Juvenile. He has won the race five times.