Updated on 09/16/2011 8:25AM

BC Countdown - Mile: Big mystery: Who will O'Brien run?


Only Aidan O'Brien knows for sure, and with just over two weeks until the Breeders' Cup, he isn't telling.

Following the rousing victory by Landseer last weekend in the Shadwell Mile at Keeneland, O'Brien now has the top three candidates for the Breeders' Cup Mile, according to the latest Daily Racing Form rankings: Rock of Gibraltar, Hawk Wing, and Landseer.

Which of those horses actually will start in the BC Mile is the subject of intense speculation among overseas racing journalists. Michael Tabor, who owns all three horses in partnership with John Magnier, said in the Wednesday editions of The Racing Post that even in light of how well Landseer ran at Keeneland, it "would not preclude" O'Brien from running Rock of Gibraltar in the Mile.

Indications are that Hawk Wing is the least likely of the three to go in the Mile, but "obviously, it's all up in the air," International Racing Bureau spokesman Adrian Beaumont said Wednesday from London. "We're all waiting to see what is decided."

Clearly, the prerace moves made by Tabor and O'Brien will go a very long way in determining the complexion of the $1 million BC Mile. Otherwise, the three major preps run last weekend in the U.S. have had the most effect on the Mile outlook.

The Shadwell Mile probably was the best of the three, with Landseer beating Touch of the Blues and favored Beat Hollow in a three-way photo. Trainer Neil Drysdale, who kept Touch of the Blues at Keeneland, said he was thinking about wheeling him back on the grass course for an easy breeze Thursday morning, just four days after the Shadwell.

"We'll see about the Breeders' Cup after that," said Drysdale.

Trainer Bobby Frankel said Beat Hollow likely would remain on target for the Mile. Beat Hollow, making his first start since winning the Aug. 17 Million, ran respectably in defeat. Frankel also has Aldebaran as a top Mile contender.

In the other preps last weekend, Green Fee upset Forbidden Apple in the Grade 2 Kelso at Belmont, and Night Patrol prevailed in a proverbial cavalry charge over Kachamandi and Nicobar in the Oak Tree BC Mile at Santa Anita. Night Patrol is on the fence for the Mile, trainer Nick Canani said early this week.

For Green Fee, trained by Dan Peitz, the victory was his first in a graded stakes. Peitz said he would like to run Green Fee in the Mile, but the 6-year-old horse lacks sufficient Breeders' Cup points, and an invitation from the selection committee seems unlikely. Forbidden Apple will run at Arlington, said trainer Christophe Clement.

American horses dropping out of the Mile rankings from last week were Balto Star, Congaree, and Del Mar Show.

In other European news, Dress to Kill, a filly trained by Dermot Weld, is likely for the Mile after staying unbeaten this year by winning a Group 2 race Saturday at Newmarket. Domedriver, winner of the Group 2 Prix du Daniel Wildenstein on the Arc de Triomphe undercard Sunday at Longchamp, also is likely for the Mile, according to trainer Pascal Bary.

- From the William Hill bookmaking outlet in England, the 5-4 Mile favorite is Rock of Gibraltar, followed by Landseer (6-1) and Beat Hollow (7-1).