10/16/2012 2:51PM

Breeders' Cup Classic: Brilliant Speed to make final start of his career

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Tom Keyser
Brilliant Speed will retired after the Breeders' Cup Classic and stand stud at Three Chimneys.

Brilliant Speed, whose biggest win came in the 2011 Blue Grass Stakes, will make the final start of his career in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 3, trainer Tom Albertrani said Tuesday.

[BREEDERS' CUP 2012: DRF top 10 lists, video replays, latest news]

Brilliant Speed is scheduled to begin stud duty in the spring at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky. Now age 4, Brilliant Speed has made the bulk of his starts on turf, and his biggest win came on Polytrack, but he was a close third in last year’s Belmont Stakes after finishing seventh in the Kentucky Derby, which, like the Classic, is at 1 1/4 miles on dirt.

“There’s no downside,” said Albertrani, who admitted he and owner Charlotte Weber would be “taking a little bit of a chance” against a group of proven older dirt runners.

Albertrani said Junior Alvarado would ride Brilliant Speed in the Classic.

Brilliant Speed is a son of the recently deceased Dynaformer, who was at Three Chimneys, so he will carry on that line at the farm.

Brilliant Speed was bred and is owned by Weber’s Live Oak Plantation. Live Oak also has To Honor and Serve in the Classic. He is trained by Bill Mott.

Brilliant Speed has won 3 of 20 and is winless in six starts this year. He most recently finished third in the Bowling Green Stakes on the Belmont Park turf Sept. 8.

Pre-entries for all 15 Breeders’ Cup races are due Monday and will not be announced until two days later, on Wednesday, Oct. 24. Albertrani said Brilliant Speed would not be cross-entered in any other race.

“We’re just going to enter the Classic,” he said.

Also Tuesday, Whitney winner Fort Larned, third most recently in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, breezed five furlongs at Churchill Downs in 1:03 with jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., who trainer Ian Wilkes said would ride Fort Larned in the Classic.

A maximum of 14 horses can run in the Classic, and it appears the field will be very close to that number. If more than 14 are pre-entered, as many as seven horses – including Flat Out, Fort Larned, and Game On Dude – would be guaranteed berths based on having won Win and You’re In races. If there are fewer than seven Win and You’re In qualifiers, the rest of those seven slots would be filled by those having earned the most Breeders’ Cup points this year.

After those seven are determined, the next seven would be selected, in order of preference, by an international Breeders’ Cup committee. Any remaining horses above 14 would be placed on an also-eligible list, in order of preference, by the committee.