Updated on 10/29/2012 5:03PM

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

Email
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.