Updated on 09/15/2011 1:13PM

Belmont notebook: Balto Star goes all grass


ELMONT, N.Y. - Balto Star, who has won on both dirt and turf this year, will be pointed to the Breeders' Cup Mile on grass, trainer Todd Pletcher said Friday. The 3-year-old gelding will also be pre-entered for the $2 million Turf, but the Mile will be made first preference.

Balto Star has raced only once on turf, winning a money allowance race at a mile last month at Saratoga.

"The Mile seems like a wide-open race; hard to identify a standout," Pletcher said. "His race at Saratoga was very good, his breeze on Sunday was very good, the horse is doing good. I feel like it's worth taking a shot."

In the spring, Balto Star developed into a Triple Crown contender with monster victories in the Spiral Stakes and the Arkansas Derby. He was beaten a combined 77 1/2 lengths in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes before getting the summer off.

Following his turf victory, Balto Star finished second, beaten one-half length by Guided Tour in the Kentucky Cup Classic on dirt.

Pletcher said Balto Star would also be pre-entered in the $2 million Turf "because the pace scenario could be favorable in the mile-and-a-half. Of course, it is a question whether he wants to stay a mile and a half regardless of pace scenario."

Pletcher said Pat Day would ride Balto Star in the Mile.

Godolphin contingent arrives

A trio of Godolphin horses pointing to the Breeders' Cup arrived Friday afternoon at Belmont Park, where they will continue preparations for their respective Breeders' Cup races on Oct. 27.

Fantastic Light (Classic), Sakhee (Turf), and Noverre (Mile) arrived at John F. Kennedy Airport at 11:30 a.m. and were bedded down in Belmont Park's quarantine barn about two hours later. They are expected to be released from quarantine on Sunday and join Godolphin's New York contingent stabled in Barn 6.

Fantastic Light figures to be one of the favorites for the Classic based on his upset over Galileo in the Irish Champion Stakes. Sakhee will be the favorite in the $2 million Turf after winning last Sunday's Arc de Triomphe. Noverre, who won the Group 1 Sussex Stakes in August, will be one of the contenders in the Mile.

Tom Albertrani, an assistant to trainer Saeed bin Suroor, was expected to arrive in New York on Saturday.

Lailani stretches her legs

Lailani, the Flower Bowl winner and probable favorite for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, stretched her legs Friday morning with a half-mile breeze in 52.22 seconds over Belmont's main track.

It was the first timed move for Lailani since she won the Flower Bowl on Sept. 29, her seventh consecutive victory after beginning her career with two losses. According to William Knight, the assistant trainer to Ed Dunlop, Lailani's victory in the Flower Bowl puts her ahead of schedule for the Breeders' Cup.

"I think it puts us at an advantage because we trained her specifically for this race," Knight said. "She's acclimatized to New York, she's used to the track. If everything goes well from here to the race, I think we are at an advantage, especially versus the European horses."

Knight said Lailani will have her final serious work for the Breeders' Cup on Thursday over the turf course.

Knight added that Jerry Bailey, who rode Lailani in the Flower Bowl, will retain the mount for the Breeders' Cup. Frankie Dettori had ridden Lailani to her five previous victories.

Hofmans's Cup runners settle in

Siphonic, the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity winner, and Starrer, the Overbrook Spinster runner-up, have begun their training over Belmont's main track as they prepare for their Breeders' Cup assignments on Oct. 27.

After arriving from Kentucky on Wednesday, both horses jogged on Thursday and galloped Friday. Siphonic will run in the Juvenile, Starrer will go in the Distaff.

"They're both real anxious and happy to be at the track, they both like the track," said Michelle Jensen, assistant to trainer David Hofmans. "I think the races stepped them up. They held their weight, they're both bright."

Free horsemen's seminar on Monday

All horsemen and backstretch employees are invited to attend a free seminar on how to work with horses Monday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The seminar will feature Pat Parelli, his wife Linda, their horses, and top students from their Colorado ranch.

Bob Duncan, the New York Racing Association starter, spent time with the Parellis and was impressed with their horsemanship.

"There is no 'master/slave' relationship between human and equine," Duncan said. "It's a partnership."

The seminar will begin in the Belmont Cafe on the first floor of the clubhouse.

o Monarchs Pro, a debuting 2-year-old trained by James Bond and owned by his wife, Tina, suffered a broken left foreleg galloping out after the running of Friday's sixth race and had to be euthanized.