10/29/2011 11:59AM

Breeders' Cup: Dullahan's connections opt for Juvenile

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Breeders’ Futurity winner Dullahan, pre-entered in both the Juvenile and Juvenile Turf, will race next week in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, said Jerry Crawford, head of the Donegal Racing group that owns the colt.

Crawford came to his decision shortly after Dullahan worked Saturday morning at Churchill Downs, breezing five furlongs in 1:00.80 seconds.

"We’re going to give him a chance to win the Eclipse Award and send him on the dirt," he said. "He’s earned the right to be all that he can be, and that means putting him in the Juvenile."

A 2-year-old son of Even the Score and a half-brother to 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, Dullahan has been most effective on turf and Polytrack in five-race career. Besides winning the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity over Keeneland’s synthetic Polytrack surface, he was third in the Grade 2 With Anticipation Stakes on grass at Saratoga in September.

His two dirt races, both coming over the Churchill Downs strip during the track’s spring/summer meet, resulted in less-than-stellar performances – a third- and fifth-place finish, though both races were sprints, and came at the start of his 2-year-old campaign, before he improved with added distance and maturity.

"Dullahan’s genetics are dirt," Crawford said. "But the truth is with these 2-year-olds is you don’t know what you have, until you have it or you don’t have it."

Dullahan’s presence in the Juvenile leaves Speightscity in danger of not making the race – in the event of no late defections. He is the second alternate as determined by the Breeders’ Cup selection committee, with Sabercat one spot in front of him.

However, he could still land on an also-eligible list for the race when final entries are taken Monday, and draw into the field if a horse is scratched by Friday, the day before the race.

Sabercat, the first alternate, is expected to make the field because one of those that was selected over him, Majestic City, was also pre entered in the Juvenile Turf, a race his connections have stated is their first preference.

Dullahan’s participation in the Juvenile clears an opening for Daddy Nose Best in the Juvenile Turf – provided Daddy Long Legs, also cross entered in the Juvenile, goes in the latter race, which was listed as his connections’ first preference at the time of pre-entry.