10/18/2005 11:00PM

BC Mile: Leroidesanimaux rules pre-entries

Email

With Dubawi having been retired and Starcraft apparently opting for the Breeders' Cup Classic, Leroidesanimaux's name stood out even more boldly when pre-entries for the $1.5 million-added Breeders' Cup Mile were publicly announced Wednesday.

A winner of eight straight races, beaten only once since being imported from his native Brazil and only three times in a 12-start career, Leroidesanimaux comes into the Mile having dismantled Grade 1 opposition by nearly eight lengths in the Atto Mile on Sept. 18 at Woodbine.

And he will certainly be favored in what might wind up as a 13-horse field in the Mile. In all, 16 horses were pre-entered by the Monday deadline, but two of them, Sir Shackleton and Laura's Lucky Boy, have first preference in other races. Sir Shackleton has never raced on turf, while Laura's Lucky Boy has been going longer distances and seems more likely for the Turf. Starcraft's connections listed the Mile as their first preference, but trainer Luca Cumani said Wednesday that Starcraft, barring a last-minute change, would go to the Classic.

"If anything changes, we've still got the option of the Mile," Cumani said.

Five Europeans - Ad Valorem, Gorella, Majors Cast, Valixir, and Whipper - were pre-entered in the Mile. Valixir has the best resume among them, but he faltered in his most recent race, finishing fifth behind Starcraft on Sept. 4 in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp. Still, Valixir is a multiple Group 1 winner handled by the master French trainer Andre Fabre, and he could yet have a major impact.

Overseas shippers have done extremely well in this Breeders' Cup race, but last year's winner was an American, Singletary, and he is back to defend his title after an easy win in the Oak Tree Mile, the race that also served as his prep in 2004. The top two from the Kelso Handicap, Funfair and Artie Schiller, also were pre-entered, as was Host, who won the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland.

Host is one of five pre-entered horses who must be supplemented to the Mile, and one of two whose connections must pay an additional $300,000 to start. The other $300,000 supplement is Starcraft, so if, as expected, he races in the Classic, the gross Mile purse would be boosted to more than $2.2 million by the supplementary entry fees.

One of the $135,000 supplemental entries is Leroidesanimaux, and there is an interesting development regarding the favorite. Leroidesanimaux does his best work on or near the lead, but he will have company there in the Mile, since the speedy mare Sand Springs showed up on the list of pre-entries.