Updated on 10/29/2012 5:03PM

Breeders' Cup: Dullahan, Little Mike will be entered in Turf

Barbara D. Livingston
Dullahan will be entered in the Breeders' Cup Turf, trainer Dale Romans said Monday.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Dullahan and Little Mike will start in Saturday’s $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita, a change that trainer Dale Romans announced Monday after discussing options with the owners of both horses Sunday.

Little Mike, best known for winning the Arlington Million in August, will make his second start over 1 1/2 miles on turf in the BC Turf. He was fifth in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic on a yielding turf course at Belmont Park on Sept. 29 in his first start at the distance.

Romans said the condition of the Belmont turf did not suit Little Mike that day.

“You can draw a line through that race,” Romans said.

A bold front-runner, Little Mike has won 11 of 20 starts for Priscilla Vaccarezza. A 5-year-old gelding, Little Mike has won three stakes this year, including the Sunshine Millions Turf at Gulfstream Park in January and the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs in May.

Romans said Little Mike can be dangerous on the lead and has traveled well on Santa Anita’s firm turf course in training.

“Nobody can outfoot our horse – and win,” Romans said. “His gallop outs have been strong on this track. This is the sort of turf he likes, very similar to Gulfstream Park.”

Little Mike also was pre-entered for the BC Mile.

[BREEDERS' CUP 2012: Race-by-race coverage, video, early odds]

Dullahan was a candidate for the BC Classic until Romans discussed options with majority owner Jerry Crawford.

Dullahan will race over 1 1/2 miles on turf for the first time Saturday. In his only other start at the distance, Dullahan was seventh in the Belmont Stakes over 1 1/2 miles on the main track in June. A winner of 3 of 13 starts and $1,714,091, Dullahan is best known for winning the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar in August and finishing a fast-closing third in the Kentucky Derby in May.

In his last start, Dullahan was fifth in the Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap over 1 1/8 miles on a good turf course at Belmont Park on Oct. 6, a surface that Romans said he did not prefer.

The two Romans-trained runners have opposite racing styles.

“They complement each other,” Romans said. “One will be on the lead, and the other will be closing.”

Little Mile and Dullahan are part of a field of 12 in the BC Turf.  The addition of the two Romans-trained runners was the only surprise in the field.

The race features four foreign-based runners - Shareta, St Nicholas Abbey, Trailblazer, and Treasure Beach. The other eight are based with trainers in this country – Cogito, Kindergarden Kid, Optimizer, Point of Entry, Slim Shadey, Turbo Compressor, and the two horses trained by Romans.

Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
Dullahan. 2013 Dubai World Cup winner?
Dan Passero More than 1 year ago
Absolutely NOT....he is completely overated and overmatched and will you will not be able to find him with a search warrant on Saturday.
larry More than 1 year ago
when did santa anita go back to dirt???
PeterG More than 1 year ago
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
Tony Regalbuto More than 1 year ago
Wise move Mr. Romans! I'll be betting your horse Dullahan.
jon g More than 1 year ago
Why,you are betting a horse that has never won a turf race in the BC Turf. I hope alot of people follow your lead. Complete throw out
PeterG More than 1 year ago
I don't think Dullahan has much chance in the Turf either. I probably would have tried the Classic. Although like MJP said below, the Turf does look like it sets up for a closer or stalker like Dullahan. Even Treasure Beach ran his best race close to the front last time although I think he rates pretty well.
richard montgomery More than 1 year ago
This is like attempting a field goal and missing, instead of going for the touchdown.
Carson Horton More than 1 year ago
The only American horse with the slightest chance against the Euro's is Point of Entry...the owners and trainers of the others are dreaming!
John More than 1 year ago
Little Mike has ZERO chance, and they have been talking Dullahan and turf for a long time, they must know a little more and not letting us in ! Maybe he has been working a hole in the wind on turf ! Too many "iff's"too many good horse to take a shot here !
Steve More than 1 year ago
I'd say Little Mike has a far better chance than Dullahan (still a longshot, but Dullahan is totally hopeless). Dullahan's turf form is even worse than his dirt form. He has 0 wins on it despite facing far, far easier horses on turf than on dirt or synthetics.
Robert More than 1 year ago
I'd have to agree with steve. loose on the lead speed has won many races. i'd feel better if it were 1 1/4 but he is worth a shot.
Dan Passero More than 1 year ago
neither of them have any chance against the field they are facing.
William Sumner More than 1 year ago
Dullahan is a throwout on any surface.
Steve More than 1 year ago
their best chance was the Marathon.
rvraynmary More than 1 year ago
Isn't it fun to outguess the trainer???
ATOWN WHAT More than 1 year ago
Disagree with this -- Romans should have pushed for Dulluhan in the Classic. He is the last horse to beat Game On Dude, and I don't care if it was on polytrack. Dulluhan can run on dirt (see: Kentucky Derby). He has yet to win on turf, and now he is going up against the Euro studs and the beast that his Point of Entry, not to mention Little Mike who is a turf specialist! My guess is that they don't want Dulluhan getting embarrassed in a prime-time event like the Classic. I don't think that would happen but what do I know.
Steve More than 1 year ago
no shot either way. Synthetic horses take to Churchill downs more than any other dirt track (which is why Dullahan stunk it up in all his other dirt races) .