Updated on 09/17/2011 10:22PM

BC Mile: Euros are talented, but U.S.-based Leroidesanimaux still the one to fear


Most of the horses that have come into the Breeders' Cup Mile with big, sometimes inflated, reputations have been trained in Europe. Miesque and Spinning World lived up to their billing with victories, but Zilzal, Mark of Esteem, and Rock of Gibraltar all failed.

This year, for the first time since Lure took his second Mile in 1993, the big horse in the run-up to the Mile is trained in the United States.

The Brazilian-bred and -owned Leroidesanimaux will represent America if, as expected, his owners at TNT Stud ante up the $135,000 supplementary fee necessary to get him into the race. The winner of his last eight starts, three of them Grade 1's at or about a mile, the 5-year-old Leroidesanimaux never seems to put a foot wrong. Built like a bull, he runs well on any kind of turf.

His 7 3/4-length, weight-spotting cakewalk at Woodbine last Saturday, even at the expense of a substandard Atto Mile field, encouraged Ladbrokes to make him its 7-4 Mile favorite. That move is a testament to the respect the world should be showing Leroidesanimaux in a year in which European milers are well above average.

At least they were before the retirements of Footstepsinthesand, Shamardal, and Divine Proportions. Yet even with what remains, a European horse would be the favorite in a Breeders' Cup Mile without Leroidesanimaux.

Much will be revealed this Saturday when Dubawi, Rakti, and Starcraft meet in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Newmarket.

Dubawi, Ladbrokes's 7-4 QEII choice, is Godolphin's most successful son of Dubai Millennium. He followed his Irish 2000 Guineas triumph with a victory in the Prix Jacques le Marois on Aug. 14, earning a Timeform rating of 130, compared with the 129 that Leroidesanimaux got in the Atto.

With just eight career starts under his belt, Dubawi is still improving, and has been beating better horses than has Leroisdesanimaux.

On his best day, Rakti may be the world's premier miler, as he showed when winning the May 14 Lockinge Stakes by five lengths, breaking the Newbury track record for a mile by 1.6 seconds and earning a Timeform rating of 131+. But the 6-year-old Rakti is somewhat inconsistent and has not run since finishing second to Valixir in the Queen Anne Stakes on June 14. He would also require a $135,000 supplementary fee.

Starcraft was rated at 128 by Timeform for his Prix du Moulin de Longchamp victory on Sept. 4 but must be supplemented to the Mile for $300,000. With Proclamation out of the Mile, with Whipper and Valixir both well beaten by Starcraft in the Moulin, and with little to fear from Artie Schiller, who struggled to win the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch, Leroidesanimaux's chief competition should emerge from the QEII.

Still, Leroidesanimaux is so prodigiously talented that victory in the Mile should come if he merely runs his usual race.

Mile Contenders
3-year-olds & up, 1 mile (turf). Purse: $1.5 million.

1DubawiS. bin Suroor4-1
Top-class 3yo is the favorite in Saturday's strong QE II at Newmarket
2LeroidesanimauxR. Frankel7-2
More dominating than ever in Atto Mile for 8th straight win; a monster
3RaktiM. Jarvis5-1
Got a huge 131+ Timeform winning two back; also goes in the QE II
4Three ValleysR. Frankel8-1
Liked his win in the Dmr B.C. Handicap; is definitely on the upswing
5Artie SchillerJ. Jerkens6-1
Decision to pass the Atto Mile in favor of the Kelso looks smart now
6StarcraftL. Cumani10-1
Group 1 Prix du Moulin winner helps make the QE II a very tough race
7ValixirA. Fabre6-1
May have tailed off after being Europe's best miler early in the season
8Soviet SongJ. Fanshawe15-1
Big win over Alexander Goldrun two back; respect her if she ships
9WhipperR. Collet20-1
Close 10th in this last year; his Timeform ratings are better this year
10SingletaryD. Chatlos Jr.15-1
Last year's Mile winner doesn't seem to have the same spark this year
The top 10 contenders for each of the eight Breeders' Cup races are ranked by Mike Watchmaker, who set the odds and wrote the comments. Actual Breeders' Cup fields will have up to 14 starters.