Updated on 09/16/2011 8:25AM

BC Countdown - Juvenile: Tabor connections have five live ones


The connections of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner, Johannesburg, are gearing up a full arsenal for an attempt at a second consecutive Juvenile victory.

Trainer Aidan O'Brien said Wednesday that he would pre-enter as many as five 2-year-olds for the $1 million Juvenile to be run on Oct. 26 at Arlington Park. How many actually make the field will be determined by a committee of racing secretaries if more than the maximum 14 horses are pre-entered on Tuesday. All of O'Brien's horses are owned by Michael Tabor, some in partnership with John and Susan Magnier.

Leading the way for O'Brien is Hold That Tiger, who unleashed a powerful run in the final furlong to pass 13 horses and win Sunday's Group 1 Grand Criterium by a half-length at Longchamp. Hold That Tiger is a half-brother to 1996 Belmont Stakes winner Editor's Note. A $1.1 million yearling purchase by Tabor, Hold That Tiger has won three of four starts.

Before his victory in the Grand Criterium, Hold That Tiger finished last in a Group 1 stakes at The Curragh. The son of Storm Cat came out of the race sick.

"He had a good break and he was only training for three weeks prior to the Grand Criterium," O'Brien said. "He was very impressive. He quickened really well."

O'Brien said he plans to also pre-enter Van Nistlerooy, a $6.4 million son of Storm Cat; Marino Marini, a $1.8 million son of Storm Cat; Ontario, another son of Storm Cat; and Tomahawk, a $2.5 million son of Seattle Slew. "I'm not sure what we'd run, yet they'll all be entered," O'Brien said.

Van Nistelrooy, a half-brother to three graded winners, including Halory Hunter, won his first three starts, including the Group 2 Galileo EBF Futurity Stakes. But he finished second and third in a pair of subsequent stakes starts.

Marino Marini won his first two starts, but comes out of a fourth-place finish in the Somerville Tattersall Stakes at Newmarket on Oct. 2. His dam is Grade 1 winner Halo America.

Ontario, a half-brother to Desert Prince, won the Group 3 Anglesey Stakes at The Curragh in July, but most recently finished seventh in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes.

Tomahawk won his maiden at first asking and has finished second in a pair of listed events.

Trainers with multiple runners is a constant theme in the Juvenile. Trainer Bob Baffert will bring three - Kafwain, Bull Market, and Vindication - and Patrick Biancone will bring both Whywhywhy and Zavata.

Biancone said the swelling in Zavata's hind leg that forced him to miss the Champagne has subsided and he has resumed training. Gary Stevens will ride. Biancone added Pat Day would ride Futurity winner Whywhywhy.

Trainer Tom Amoss said he was disappointed with Lone Star Sky's performance when he finished second to Sky Mesa in the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland. Amoss said he would work Lone Star Sky Monday with blinkers to see if they make a difference before deciding whether to go on to the Juvenile.

Though Wando came out of his victory in Woodbine's Grey Stakes with a cut on a hind leg, trainer Michael Keough said he still plans to run him in the Juvenile.