04/10/2007 11:00PM

Blue Grass: Top two, then the rest


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Five were certain, two more were thrown in when entries were taken on Wednesday, but the Grade 1, $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes on Saturday at Keeneland is widely perceived as a two-horse race between Street Sense, the favorite for the May 5 Kentucky Derby, and California invader Great Hunter, who won the Breeders' Futurity over this track last fall against Street Sense.

Street Sense landed right in the middle of the field in post 4, with Great Hunter on the outside in post 7. The small field and the furlong run to the first turn should ensure that posts will not be a factor in the 1 1/8-mile race. Mike Battaglia, the linemaker at Keeneland, made Street Sense the 4-5 favorite, with Great Hunter 9-5.

In addition to Great Hunter and Street Sense, three other horses expected for the race - Dominican, Teuflesberg, and Zanjero - were entered for the Blue Grass. Two rank longshots, Love Dubai and Time Squared, were added to the mix on Wednesday.

Time Squared will be coming back just eight days after a victory against maidens here in his fourth start on April 6. It was his first race on Polytrack, and his first race with blinkers. He broke poorly, rallied extremely wide into the stretch, and got up to win by one length under jockey Julien Leparoux, who is back aboard for the Blue Grass. Time Squared was seventh and last in the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 3 in his third start.

"He came out of his last race very good," said Patrick Biancone, the trainer of Time Squared. "We have thought for a long time that he is very talented. Little details have taken time for him to show up. He won easy, so we are taking a shot."

Love Dubai won three times on Polytrack surfaces in Great Britain, then came to the United States and raced last Saturday in the Illinois Derby. He trailed throughout in the nine-horse field and wound up 31 3/4 lengths behind the victorious Cowtown Cat.

Teuflesberg, who was third in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park in his last start, picked up the services of jockey Edgar Prado in a last-minute change. Stewart Elliott, who had ridden Teuflesberg in his last two starts, was expected to have the mount. But trainer Jamie Sanders said she received word from Elliott's agent late Tuesday night that he would not be able to ride because of commitments on Saturday at Oaklawn Park.

"It's a blessing in disguise," said Sanders, who was happy Teuflesberg got post 6 because "he won't stand in the gate long."