10/17/2012 3:13PM

Breeders' Cup: Emcee fresh and ready for Sprint or Dirt Mile

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Tom Keyser
Emcee will run in the Breeders' Cup off this 4 1/2-length victory in the Grade 1 Forego on Sept. 1.

Emcee has been pretty much out of sight and out of mind, tucked away at the Greentree Training Center in Saratoga since punching his ticket into the Breeders’ Cup with an impressive 4 1/2-length victory in the Grade 1 Forego on Sept. 1. The question that remains to be answered, however, is which direction Emcee will be headed on Breeders’ Cup Day, to the six-furlong Sprint or the Dirt Mile.

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Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said the decision will be made in consultation with Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford, but that Emcee will probably be pre-entered in both races.

“If I had to make the decision today, I’d say it would be more likely we’d run in the Sprint,” McLaughlin said. “We really don’t want to go to the Mile with him for two reasons. First of all, because he’s not a miler and, secondly, two turns isn’t what we’re looking for with him.”

The indecision on the part of Emcee’s connections regarding what path to take for the Breeders’ Cup is based solely on the inconsistent manner the Santa Anita racetrack has been playing this meeting, McLaughlin said.

“Originally, it looked like speed was winning everything out there,” he said. “The horse that went to the lead would just keep going and win. And if Emcee goes in the Mile, he’s going to be on the lead in that spot. But the second weekend, horses were winning from off the pace. He won’t be on the lead at six furlongs. So we’ll just keep monitoring the races, likely pre-enter next week in both spots, and keep our options open.”

Emcee, a 4-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song, has started just three times at six furlongs, winning his career debut by 4 1/2 lengths as a 3-year-old and finishing third at the distance in both the Grade 3 Tom Fool and Grade 1 Vanderbilt handicaps earlier this year. Emcee has never raced beyond seven-eighths of a mile, the distance at which he won the Forego.

“We decided to just train him up to the Breeders’ Cup because he started twice at Saratoga and ran such a huge race in the Forego on all figures,” McLaughlin said. “There was no point to keep on running and running him after that. He’s been training great at Greentree and will have two more works up there, on each of the next two Fridays, before shipping to Santa Anita.”

As many as 17 horses, including Emcee, still appear to be possible starters in the Sprint. One of those, Noble’s Promise, is unlikely to be Breeders’ Cup-bound, according to trainer Ken McPeek.

“We haven’t completely ruled it out yet,” he said. “We’re going to continue to monitor the race, but I’d say it was doubtful at this point.”

Noble’s Promise is coming off a second-place finish behind Sum of the Parts in Keeneland’s Grade 3 Phoenix.

Other potential Sprint contenders include defending champion Amazombie, the Bob Baffert-trained trio of Coil, Capital Account, and Fast Bullet; Camp Victory, Poseidon’s Warrior, Gantry, Hamazing Destiny, Justin Phillip, Trinniberg, The Lumber Guy, Sean Avery, Sum of the Parts, Jimmy Creed, and Smiling Tiger.