10/04/2004 11:00PM

Cacique is Hasili's fifth runner - and fifth star

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Bago, winning Sunday's Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, would be trying dirt for the first time in the BC Classic.

LAS VEGAS - Dansili, Banks Hill, Heat Haze, Intercontinental, and now Cacique. From five named foals, Hasili has produced these five major stakes winners, and she is certainly worthy of consideration for Broodmare of the Year honors. All were by the late international sire sensation Danehill (by Danzig), with the exception of Heat Haze, who is by Green Desert (another son of Danzig).

Bred to be at his best at one mile, Cacique won the Group 2 Prix Daniel Wildenstein (formerly the Prix du Point) at Longchamp last weekend, and his trainer, Andre Fabre, who developed Dansili, Banks Hill, Heat Haze, and Intercontinental, said Cacique was likely for the Breeders' Cup Mile.

Cacique started his career with two straight victories, then ran second behind Bago, who won Sunday's Arc, in back-to-back Group 1 races, the Prix Jean Prat and Grand Prix de Paris. Without Bago in the race, Cacique won his next outing, the Group 3 Prix Daphnis at nine furlongs, beating another well-regarded 3-year-old, Ershaad (Kingmambo out of Insight, a group-winning Sadler's Wells mare). Ambitiously placed in the 12-furlong Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes against Bago and older runners, Cacique finished fourth, right behind Bago, over a very soft course.

Cacique is a perfect fit for the Breeders' Cup Mile. Three of his siblings have raced in the past three Breeders' Cups, and while Banks Hill has been the only winner, that four of Hasili's foals have even contested the Breeders' Cup is a rare if not unprecedented achievement.

Hasili's first foal, Dansili, was a champion older horse in England and France. His furious late rally up the rail in the 2000 Breeders' Cup Mile, where he closed his last quarter in 22 seconds and change, was breathtaking. Eleventh of 14 runners after a half-mile, he finished fastest of all to be third for Fabre, beaten just a neck and a nose by War Chant and North East Bound.

His full sister Banks Hill romped to an impressive 5 1/2-length victory the following year for Fabre in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf as a 3-year-old, and also captured an Eclipse Award as female turf champion. Although a stakes winner at 4, she was not the same brilliant filly that she was at 3. She finished second in the 2002 F-M Turf behind stablemate Starine, whom she had thrashed the year before.

Multiple stakes winner Heat Haze did not fare as well in last year's Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, but Hasili could have two Breeders' Cup representatives this year. Intercontinental is probably best suited to the Breeders' Cup Mile, but full brother Cacique is firmly pointing to that race, so Intercontinental might show up in the longer Filly and Mare Turf.

Bago adds intrigue to BC Classic

Bago was brilliant winning last Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, and he put to rest the doubts he could stay 12 furlongs. The key was the racing surface. Bago did not show his usual turn of foot over very soft ground when he was third in the Juddmonte International Stakes and the Prix Niel, but his devastating late kick was in full force over the Arc's "good" course.

Bago had already shown his high class before winning the world's most prestigious grass race, and the only question that remains is his ability to transfer his grass form to dirt.

Bago is by Nashwan (Blushing Groom), a champion at 3 in England and France who won 6 of 7 lifetime starts, including the Epsom Derby, 2000 Guineas, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, and Coral-Eclipse Stakes. Standing in Europe, Nashwan has produced offspring who perform almost exclusively on grass, and his best runners have been prominent turf horses, such as champions Wandesta, One So Wonderful, Myself, Najah, and Swain.

Swain got better with age and was voted older champion in England at 5. He was even better at 6, winning the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes for the second time, as well as the Irish Champion Stakes.

Working in Bago's favor is that Swain was able to duplicate his top class on dirt. He finished second by a nose to Silver Charm in the 1998 Dubai World Cup, and finished a troubled third behind Awesome Again and Silver Charm in the Breeders' Cup Classic later that year. Seemingly on his way to victory, Swain bore out sharply and continued to drift out under Frankie Dettori's left-handed whipping.

Even though it would be his first race on dirt, the ultra-classy Bago deserves serious consideration if he does participate in the Classic.