10/04/2005 11:00PM

BC Turf: Exactly who will run against Powerscourt?


Top European trainer Aidan O'Brien is planning on sending two runners - Ace and Powerscourt - to the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf at Belmont Park on Oct. 29, but who they will face is unclear three weeks before the race.

The field for the BC Turf will include such major stakes winners as Better Talk Now, the defending champion; Shakespeare, who won the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park last Saturday; and Azamour, the winner of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in England in July.

Other probable starters are Bago, who was third in Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe; English Channel, the runner-up in the Joe Hirsch; Leprechaun Kid, who was promoted to second in Sunday's Clement Hirsch Turf Championship at Santa Anita; and Silverfoot, the winner of the Kentucky Cup Turf last month.

A decision has yet to be made on the status of Hurricane Run and Motivator, the first- and fifth-place finishers in the Arc, or Fourty Niners Son, who won the Clement Hirsch.

Trainer Andre Fabre told the English press on Monday that a decision on Hurricane Run will be made next week. Hurricane Run is the 2-1 favorite with the English bookmaking firm William Hill to win the Breeders' Cup Turf.

"I want to see how he comes out of [Sunday's] race and see his next work before committing him to that," Fabre said of the BC Turf.

Motivator is being considered for the Champion Stakes at Newmarket, England, on Oct. 15. A decision on Fourty Niners Son's status for the BC Turf has yet to be made, trainer Neil Drysdale said.

O'Brien has had great success in the BC Turf in recent years. He won consecutive runnings of the race in 2002 and 2003 with High Chaparral, finished second in 2001 with Milan, and was third last year with Powerscourt.

This year, Powerscourt has been in outstanding form, winning the Arlington Million in his lone appearance in North America. Powerscourt, 5, has overcome a training setback in the last month, O'Brien said Tuesday from his base in Ireland. "He's fine. He's had a break, and he's just coming back," O'Brien said.

Ace finished third behind Shakespeare and English Channel in the Joe Hirsch. Ace is winless in seven starts this year, all at the Group 1 or Grade 1 level. Ace returned to Ireland after the Joe Hirsch. "He's been ridden out and he seems fine," O'Brien said.

The Canadian International at Woodbine on Oct. 23 might produce a candidate for the BC Turf.

Being pointed for the Canadian International are Electrocutionist, the winner of the Juddmonte International in England in August; Laura's Lucky Boy, who finished fourth in Sunday's Clement Hirsch; and King's Drama, trained by Bobby Frankel.

Electrocutionist could start in the BC Turf if the ground is considered too soft at Woodbine. Frankel said on Wednesday he does not expect to have a starter in the BC Turf.

Turf Contenders
3-year-olds & up, 1 1/2 miles (turf). Purse: $2 million.

1Hurricane RunA. Fabre5-2
Most impressive winning the Arc; would be an attraction if he comes
2ShakespeareW. Mott8-1
His narrow win in Turf Classic was better than it may appear on paper
3PowerscourtA. O'Brien5-1
Romped in Arl. Million; could have won this last year with a good ride
4AzamourJ. Oxx5-1
Skipped the Arc; comes into this off a disappointing fifth in Ireland
5BagoJ. Pease6-1
Respectable third in Arc, but his four-race losing streak is a concern
6MotivatorM. Bell10-1
Tired fifth in Arc; might be well past his English Derby-winning form
7Fourty Niners SonN. Drysdale15-1
Finally got a good trip in Clement Hirsch, and won; respect the barn
8Better Talk NowH. G. Motion8-1
Won the Man o' War and U. N., but was outkicked in the Arl. Million
9English ChannelT. Pletcher15-1
Just missed in Turf Classic; it's news when this 3yo doesn't run well
10King's DramaR. Frankel15-1
Near-miss in the Man o' War showed that he can rate and be effective
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.