09/09/2013 2:38PM

Breeders' Cup Turf: The Fugue earns her way in with Irish Champion victory over the boys

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Barbara D. Livingston
The Fugue (left), a tough-trip third in last year's Filly and Mare Turf, could try the boys in the Turf after a run a the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in early October.

The $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 2 may have a female presence.

The Fugue earned a fees-paid berth to the BC Turf, as part of the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In program, with a victory in Saturday’s $907,500 Irish Champion Stakes against males at Leopardstown in Ireland.

After the race trainer John Gosden said The Fugue, a 4-year-old filly owned by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, remains a candidate for the rich Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in Paris on Oct. 6, but mentioned the Breeders’ Cup as a long-term goal.

The Arc is Europe’s top flat race for older horses, and is led by the improving 3-year-old Flintshire and Novellist, a 4-year-old colt.

This year, Novellist has won three Group 1 races in the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In program for the BC Turf – the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud in June, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in July, and the Grosser Preis von Baden in Germany on Sept. 1.

The Fugue, a troubled third in the BC Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita last November, could face a sizable group of American-based runners in the BC Turf.

The first three finishers of Saturday’s Grade 2 Bowling Green Handicap at Belmont Park – Hyper, Finnegans Wake, and Boisterous – are candidates, with possible starts in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park on Sept. 28.

The first two finishers of the 2012 BC Turf – Little Mike and Point of Entry – may run again this year, despite less-than-ideal preparations.

Point of Entry, sidelined with a condylar fracture to his left hind cannon bone after a win in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap at Belmont Park on June 8, has returned to training at Belmont Park with Shug McGaughey. Point of Entry was in light training in Ocala, Fla., in August.

“He’s been galloping a mile and a half every day,” McGaughey said last week.

Owned by Phipps Stable, Point of Entry has won 9 of 17 starts and earned $2,314,490. He is unbeaten in two starts this year, having won the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on Feb. 9, beating Animal Kingdom, who later won the $10 million Dubai World Cup.

Point of Entry’s schedule before the BC Turf has not been finalized.

“Obviously, we’d like to get a race into him,” McGaughey said.

Little Mike, winless in four starts this year including a sixth in the Arlington Million on Aug. 17, is likely to start in the $750,000 Shadwell Mile on turf at Keeneland on Oct. 5, trainer Dale Romans said.

Little Mike could be part of an American team including Real Solution, the winner of the  Arlington Million (following the disqualification of The Apache); Big Blue Kitten, the winner of the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 17; and Vagabond Shoes, who won the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap on Aug. 24.

Races such as Saturday’s $300,000 Northern Dancer Turf at Woodbine, the Hirsch and the $150,000 John Henry Turf Championship at Santa Anita on Sept. 29 are key upcoming preps for North American runners.