10/17/2012 4:29PM

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint: Fast fillies Beholder, Kauai Katie still uncertain starters

Tom Keyser
Kauai Katie is still under consideration for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, which would be her first start in a route.

With a week to go before pre-entries are announced, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint remains in a healthy state of flux. The two probable race favorites, the fillies Beholder and Kauai Katie, are still on the fence regarding the six-furlong dash.

Beholder, trained by Richard Mandella, dominated a first-level allowance prep in her first start sprinting on dirt, receiving a 108 Beyer Speed Figure at Santa Anita on Oct. 4. A repeat of that race would make Beholder, a filly by the crack sprinter Henny Hughes, very tough to beat in the Juvenile Sprint.

Mandella, however, has also mentioned the Juvenile Fillies at 1 1/16 miles as Beholder’s possible Breeders’ Cup race. The Juvenile Fillies offers more money and prestige than the fledgling Juvenile Sprint, and a Beholder win in the Juvenile Fillies could garner plenty of Eclipse votes at the end of the year. Beholder worked a half-mile in 51 seconds at Santa Anita on Wednesday.

[BREEDERS' CUP 2012: DRF top 10 lists, video replays, latest news]

Kauai Katie also has other options. Undefeated and untested after three starts, the Todd Pletcher-trained Kauai Katie could also run in the Juvenile Fillies despite having no prior experience at distances greater than 6 1/2 furlongs. The owner of Kauai Katie, Stonestreet Stables, already has a top contender for the Juvenile Fillies in Grade 1 Frizette winner Dreaming of Julia, so Kauai Katie may go in the Juvenile Sprint or the Grade 3 Tempted Stakes at a one-turn mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 4. Kauai Katie breezed an easy half-mile in 48.49 seconds over the Belmont training track on Oct. 14.

The sole Win and You’re In Breeders’ Cup Challenge race for the division failed to provide any contenders. Reckless Abandon prevailed in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes on grass at Newmarket last week, but will be pointed for a 3-year-old campaign overseas.

The colt Merit Man, the winner of the $100,000 Tim Conway Stakes at Santa Anita on Oct. 6, looms a probable contender as does Carried Interest and Handsome Jack, the Futurity second- and fourth-place finishers. Carried Interest breezed four furlongs in 48.94 seconds at Aqueduct on Oct. 12. Scherer Magic, the beaten favorite in the Tim Conway, may give it another go, while Carving, fourth in the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes around two turns for trainer Bob Baffert, could attempt to turn back in distance. Scherer Magic worked a half-mile in 50.80 at Santa Anita on Oct. 15, while Carving drilled five furlongs that morning in 1:01.20.

Bern Identity, unraced since finishing third in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga, worked a bullet half-mile in 47.17 at Belmont on Oct. 13 and is not without a chance if trainer Kelly Breen opts for the Juvenile Sprint.