10/17/2012 3:52PM

Breeders' Cup Classic: Defections keep field under the limit

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Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Dullahan will be pre-entered in the Classic, but will also be pre-entered in the 1 1/2-mile Turf.

The defection of Stay Thirsty on Wednesday from the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and the confirmation that Wise Dan will not even be pre-entered in the race, means that the number of horses expected to be pre-entered in the Classic on Monday should not exceed the maximum of 14. And there is a chance that fewer still could run in the race on Nov. 3 at Santa Anita, since, at the least, Dullahan and Nonios will be pre-entered in two races and could opt out.

The news regarding Wise Dan was expected – owner Morton Fink and trainer Charlie Lopresti always had said the Mile was their target – but Fink on Wednesday said Wise Dan wouldn’t even be pre-entered in the Classic, just to kick tires for a week.

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Horses can be pre-entered in more than one BC race on Monday, but Fink said there was no chance Wise Dan would even be pre-entered in the Classic, let alone be considered to run.

“I sent in my entry slip three days ago, and just put down the Mile,” Fink said from his home in Chicago. “That’s the only one we’re running in.”

Both the Mile and the Classic are on Nov. 3 at Santa Anita.

The official list of pre-entries will be announced next Wednesday. At that time, horses can be put in more than one race. But when final entries are taken, and post positions drawn, on Oct. 29, horses must be put in one race.

In the case of the Classic, at least two horses will be pre-entered in two races.

Dullahan, the winner of the Pacific Classic, will be pre-entered in both the Classic, at 1 1/4 miles on dirt, and the Turf, at 1 1/2 miles, trainer Dale Romans said Wednesday. Dullahan arrived at Santa Anita on Monday, and Romans said he would work on the dirt on Saturday.

Romans said he did not yet know who would ride Dullahan in the Classic if he runs there.

Nonios, second in the Awesome Again, will be pre-entered in both the Classic and the Dirt Mile, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said Wednesday. Martin Pedroza has the mount.

By contrast, trainer Mark Casse on Wednesday said Hawthorne Gold Cup winner Pool Play would be pre-entered only in the Classic, and would not cross-enter the Marathon. Miguel Mena will be aboard, Casse said.

As of Wednesday, it appeared 13 horses would be pre-entered Monday in the Classic. Including jockeys, the field is expected to be Alpha (Ramon Dominguez the rider), Brilliant Speed (Junior Alvarado), Dullahan, Flat Out (Joel Rosario), Fort Larned (Brian Hernandez Jr.), Game On Dude (Rafael Bejarano), Golden Ticket (David Cohen), Mucho Macho Man (Mike Smith), Nonios (Pedroza), Pool Play (Mena), Richard’s Kid (Garrett Gomez), Ron the Greek (Jose Lezcano), and To Honor and Serve (John Velazquez).

– additional reporting by David Grening