10/27/2005 11:00PM

BC Mile analysis


Eight straight wins including three Grade 1's makes LEROIDESANIMAUX a standout. Proven on soft going, he does not require the lead and repeatedly has demonstrated the ability to fight back. Bobby Frankel is 3 for 63 in the Breeders' Cup, 3 for 25 since 2001. ARTIE SCHILLER, a Grade 2 winner, was under a drive much of his final prep while pushing a hot pace. These fractions will be easier because the two favorites are the only real front-runners. Artie Schiller handles soft turf, likes Belmont, and will get a pressing trip. SINGLETARY defeated a suspect field at Santa Anita, but he sure looked good smoking the final quarter 22.40 seconds. The 2004 BC Mile winner, he is back in top form. FUNFAIR had an eight-pound weight break beating Artie Schiller. The top-class Europeans have muddled recent form. They are good enough, but are they over the top?

- Brad Free

Horses with early speed tend to be vulnerable in this race. Runners who are fourth or fifth during the early going have won the Mile 38 percent of the time. FUNFAIR used moves from fourth and fifth to win his last two races, including the Kelso on this course. He will be an overlaid price. LEROIDESANIMAUX has won eight straight races, and looked especially good while winning the Atto Mile by 7 3/4 lengths for a career-best 115 Beyer. The concerns are that his running style does not fit the profile for this race, and that a bounce is possible at low odds following the big win. VALIXIR won two Group 1's and a Group 3, then disappointed in his last two races. A rebound would make him a serious threat.

- Steve Klein

Either you're with LEROIDESANIMAUX or you're against him. I'm against him. Of course he's been a fire-breathing monster this year, but isn't this precisely the kind of upset scenario that the BC is all about? Big field, formful opponents, the unknown Euro element, and Leroidesanimaux's first Belmont try all make a wild result quite plausible. I'm going with ARTIE SCHILLER, who is 7-4-2-1 at Belmont and whose folks would love to atone for that 12th-place debacle in last year's Breeders' Cup. He is as honest as the day is long and gets jockey Garrett Gomez, an inside draw, and quite possibly a dream trip. GORELLA steps forth in the Mile tradition of such Euro fillies as Royal Heroine, Miesque, Ridgewood Pearl, and Six Perfections. His recent Keeneland try was very encouraging. SINGLETARY is apparently back in peak form if his victory in the Oak Tree BC is a true indicator.

- Marty McGee

LEROIDESANIMAUX looks very hard to beat. He has won at four different tracks during his eight-race win streak while competing in solid races. He has endless responses when challenged, but his score last time out in the Atto Mile was particularly revealing, because it proved he can also dominate, and do so over footing termed less than good. SINGLETARY upset this race last year, and turned in what might have been his best race since when he won the Oak Tree Mile three weeks ago, producing a very fast final quarter-mile fraction. ARTIE SCHILLER isn't putting the competition away this season the way he did last year, and that contributed to him being an unlucky loser in the Kelso. Nevertheless, he is very consistent. Valixir, was huge in Europe from May through July, but may have tailed off.

- Mike Watchmaker