10/19/2011 3:51PM

Breeders' Cup: Prospective Mile field loses several contenders

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The news this week concerning the Breeders’ Cup Mile was not so much who is in, but who is out.

Dream Ahead, who would have been among the Mile favorites on the strength of his victory over Goldikova in the Oct. 3 Prix de La Foret, was retired from racing. Scratch his name from the list and do the same for Immortal Verse, another Goldikova conqueror earlier this year. Immortal Verse finished a subpar third in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Saturday at Ascot, and if she races again this year it will be in the Far East.
Frankel, the QEII winner, also is done for the year, and there is only a sliver of a chance that QEII runner-up Excelebration is coming for the Mile.

And finally, Jamaica Handicap winner Western Aristocrat (who wound up returning to trainer Jeremy Noseda in England rather than staying on in the United States as had initially been announced), also was withdrawn from Mile consideration.

What it all means is that Goldikova will have Strong Suit and Gio Ponti as the most serious horses standing between her and a fourth straight BC Mile victory.