Updated on 09/17/2011 11:18PM

BC Mile: Leroidesanimaux heads Frankel contingent set to face European forces


Six weeks out, and the Breeders' Cup Mile is looking something like Bobby Frankel vs. the Europeans.

Frankel said this week that four of his horses - two of them fillies - are possible for the Mile. The leader of that pack, Leroidesanimaux, runs this weekend in one of the major Mile preps, the Atto Mile at Woodbine

Frankel also said that Three Valleys, winner of the Del Mar Breeders' Cup in his last start, and the females Alinghi and Intercontinental could wind up in the Mile. Alinghi, the Australian import who won the Ballston Spa at Saratoga in her first U.S. start, might run next either in the WinStar Galaxy or Shadwell Mile at Keeneland. Three Valleys could be bound for the Shadwell, with Intercontinental, Frankel said, possible for the WinStar.

The one to watch, as far as trainer Don Chatlos is concerned, is Leroidesanimaux.

"To me, that's the horse to beat," said Chatlos. "That's who we're all going to have to beat."

Why should Chatlos's opinion count? He won the Mile last year with Singletary, who is penciled in to defend his title at Belmont, with a prep three weeks out in the Oak Tree Mile. Singletary, who worked Wednesday at Hollywood Park, will have three more breezes before his Mile prep, Chatlos said.

Singletary wore front wraps when he finished third last time out in the Eddie Read at Del Mar, but Chatlos said the bandages were strictly precautionary, a response to an exceptionally firm Del Mar turf course. Referencing trainer Neil Drysdale's reputation for extreme caution, Chatlos said, "I kind of went Drysdale a little bit there. I was more concerned about the horse than the aesthetics of the thing."

When Singletary won last year at Lone Star, he beat two Europeans, and if even half the overseas horses considered possible for the Mile show up, this year's contingent would be excellent. As many as 10 Europeans are considered possible for the Mile, according to various published reports and an official at the English International Racing Bureau. Three of the best of them, Dubawi, Rakti, and Starcraft, are expected for the Sept. 24 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, among Europe's premier mile races. Dubawi, third in the Epsom Derby this year, won the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois in his last start. The New Zealand-bred Starcraft was an easy winner of the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp on Sept. 4, while Rakti finished second in his last start, the Group 1 Queen Anne, to Valixir, still another horse possible for the Mile. Others under consideration for the Mile are Gorella, Proclamation, Soviet Song, and Whipper.

After the Atto Mile, three major North American prep races remain. The Kelso is on Oct. 2 at Belmont, while both the Shadwell Mile and the Oak Tree Mile are the following weekend on Oct. 8.

After that, it should be clearer just how many Europeans, and how many Frankels, will be headed to New York.

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

1DubawiS. bin Suroor5-1
High-class European has won two strong Group 1's at this distance
2LeroidesanimauxR. Frankel7-2
Goes for eight straight in Atto Mile; runs only as fast as he needs to
3RaktiM. Jarvis4-1
Got a huge 131+ Timeform winning two back; dangerous if he comes
4ProclamationJ. Noseda10-1
Forget his sprint loss at Haydock; won Sussex at Goodwood two back
5Artie SchillerJ. Jerkens6-1
Bypassing a battle with 'Leroi' in Atto Mile, and will instead go in Kelso
6Three ValleysR. Frankel8-1
Liked his win in the Dmr B.C. Handicap; is definitely on the upswing
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.