Updated on 09/18/2011 1:13AM

BC unlikely for Pure as Gold


ARCADIA, Calif. - Pure as Gold, who has emerged as a leading sprinter in California, is unlikely to start in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4, even if he wins Saturday's $250,000 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Stakes at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting, trainer Jack Carava said.

While allowing that he could change his mind should Pure as Gold win the six-furlong Ancient Title convincingly, Carava said he is concerned about the toll that a start in the Breeders' Cup Sprint could have on the 4-year-old gelding, who was claimed for $100,000 in June.

"Henny Hughes looks real tough back there," Carava said of the leading contender for the BC Sprint. "He'd have to run so hard. There are a lot of races out here this winter.

"If he ran real impressively, we'd think about it. I don't see it in the plans now."

Owned by La Canada Stables, Pure as Gold has made two starts since being claimed at Hollywood Park. He pulled a 23-1 upset over Bordonaro in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Handicap at six furlongs at Del Mar on July 30. The race was mired in controversy after Jon Court, who rode Pure as Gold, inadvertently struck Bordonaro in the face with his whip in early stretch. The stewards did not change the order of finish after an inquiry.

Pure as Gold returned to finish second in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Breeders Cup Handicap at seven furlongs on Aug. 20. Pure as Gold led to midstretch but could not hold off a late run from Siren Lure, a candidate for the BC Sprint.

Pure as Gold is one of seven probable starters in the Ancient Title, a group expected to include Bordonaro, Fast Parade, Jungle Prince, Spellbinder, Thor's Echo, and Zanzibar.

Bordonaro has not started since the Bing Crosby Handicap. Trained by Bill Spawr, Bordonaro won the Sunshine Millions Sprint and the Grade 3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap earlier in the year.

Thor's Echo must be supplemented to the Ancient Title for $5,000. Trained by Doug O'Neill, Thor's Echo finished fourth behind Fast Parade in the Green Flash Handicap at five furlongs on turf at Del Mar in August. The race was Thor's Echo's first start since finishing second in the $2 million Golden Shaheen Sprint in Dubai in March.

Fast Parade may skip the Ancient Title to run in the $500,000 Nearctic Stakes at six furlongs on turf at Woodbine on Oct. 22, trainer Peter Miller said Wednesday.

Salty Humor in first graded stakes

This weekend is the time to gamble on how good Salty Humor is doing, trainer Sean McCarthy thinks.

The winner of an allowance race at Del Mar on July 30 and an optional claimer at Golden Gate Fields on Sept. 9, Salty Humor makes his graded stakes debut in Saturday's $250,000 Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile.

Without question, the Grade 2 Oak Tree Mile will be the toughest race of Salty Humor's career. The

4-year-old gelding faces a small group that is led by Aragorn, the top turf miler in the United States.

"He's doing super," McCarthy said of Salty Humor. "It's a reach, but he's doing so well it might be a race worth trying."

Owned by the Totally Platinum partnership, Salty Humor has won 3 of 15 starts and $122,895. In his only prior stakes appearance, Salty Humor finished sixth in the Sham Stakes in February 2005. Giacomo finished third in that race, a few months before winning the Kentucky Derby.

The Oak Tree Mile will have a small field. The other probable starters are Lord Admiral, an Irish import who has been second or third in eight stakes this year, and Wild Buddy, who was second to Aragorn in the Grade 2 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap on Aug. 26.

Salty Humor has run on turf in his last six starts. He has given McCarthy a reason to dream of the Breeders' Cup Mile, should an upset occur on Saturday.

"If he wins the race, we'd go," McCarthy said. "He's just improving. His attitude is great."

Candy Factory retired

Candy Factory, the winner of two turf stakes for fillies and mares in the last 14 months, was retired in late September, said trainer Dan Hendricks. The filly has been sent to the farm of owners Rex and Nancy Dahlberg in Santa Ynez, Calif.

No breeding plans have been announced, Hendricks said.

Candy Factory won 5 of 13 starts and $257,377. Trained by Mike Machowsky at the start of her career, Candy Factory won the Solana Beach Handicap for statebred fillies and mares in 2005.

Candy Factory joined the Hendricks stable earlier this year. In her final start, on Aug. 25, she won the TOC and CTT Handicap at 1 3/8 miles on turf at Del Mar.

Candy Factory was training for a start in the Yellow Ribbon Stakes on Sept. 30 when a knee injury was diagnosed, Hendricks said.

Foxysox works for QEII

Foxysox, the winner of three stakes for 3-year-old fillies on turf last spring, worked five furlongs in 1:01.80 on Wednesday in preparation for the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 14.

Owned by Warren Williamson and trained by Carla Gaines, Foxysox finished second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks on Aug. 19 in her last start.

Leave Me Alone not ready to race

Leave Me Alone, the winner of the Test Stakes at Saratoga in 2005, worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 on Wednesday, but is unlikely to start at the Oak Tree meeting, trainer Eric Kruljac said.

Owned by Steve Mitchell, Leave Me Alone, 4, has not started since finishing seventh in the Princess Rooney Stakes at Calder in July. She is winless in eight starts since the Test.

Kruljac said that Leave Me Alone will start in coming months, and if she does not perform well, she will be retired. He ruled out a start in the California Cup Distaff here on Oct. 28.

"With any bump, she'll go to Kentucky" to be bred, Kruljac said. "She's worth so much as a broodmare."