09/25/2007 11:00PM

BC Sprint: Several passing on preps

EmailTo prep or not to prep? That is the question facing trainers pointing for this year's Breeders' Cup Sprint.

While a number of trainers will use Saturday's Grade 1 Vosburgh or the following weekend's Grade 1 Ancient Title or Grade 2 Phoenix Breeders' Cup to bring their horses into the Sprint, others will train their candidates up to the Breeders' Cup. That group includes Bob Baffert with Midnight Lute, Eddie Kenneally with Kelly's Landing, Rick Violette with High Finance, and Rick Schosberg with Attila's Storm.

Greg Gilchrist also is leaning toward forgoing a prep for his Sprint hopeful Smokey Stover, although the Northern California-based horseman did leave the door open, however slightly, for an appearance in the Ancient Title.

"He's nominated to both the Ancient Title and Phoenix as a precautionary measure," Gilchrist said. "If they were to come up short fields and our horse was jumping over the top of the barn and needed something to do, we could run. The Ancient Title would be the more likely of the two simply because of logistics."

Smokey Stover has won 5 of his 6 starts this year, including the Icecapade Stakes as a test run over the Monmouth Park strip on Sept. 1. His lone loss came over a wet track in Calder's Grade 2 Smile in his previous outing, eight weeks earlier.

"He came back from Florida with a lung infection and probably had it during the race," Gilchrist said. "But he came out of the race at Monmouth in great shape and showed me right there he can take the layoff."

The prospective lineup for the Sprint should take better shape following Saturday's Vosburgh, which will feature a strong field that is expected to include Discreet Cat, Mach Ride, Will He Shine, Park Avenue Ball, First Defence, Talent Search, Fabulous Strike, and Teuflesberg.

Violette said he will hold the Grade 2 winner High Finance out of the Vosburgh and remains undecided whether to run him in the Sprint or Dirt Mile. High Finance comes off an eighth-place finish as the favorite in the Grade 1 Forego.

"If he's doing as well next month as he is now, we'll take a look at both races and run in one or the other," Violette said.