10/24/2006 11:00PM

Champ to emerge from full house


This year's edition of the cavalry charge known as the Breeders' Cup Sprint again figures to feature a full complement of the world's fastest horses after 16 runners - including division leaders Bordonaro and Henny Hughes - were pre-entered Monday for the six-furlong dash at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4.

The Sprint will crown a new champion in 2006. Silver Train, who captured the 2005 Sprint at Belmont Park, was not among the horses pre-entered for the race.

Only 14 horses can start in the $2 million Sprint. Of the 16 pre-entered, Lewis Michael and Areyoutalkintome are on the also-eligible list. Lewis Michael has given first preference to the Mile, while Areyoutalkintome is expected to run Saturday in the California Cup Sprint. Trainer Eoin Harty said a final decision on the status of his once-beaten filly Dubai Escapade will not be determined until shortly before entries are drawn for all eight Breeders' Cup events in Louisville next Wednesday.

"I'll take her down to Churchill Downs later this week, work her over the track on Monday, and make a decision from there," Harty said of Dubai Escapade, who won the Grade 1 Ballerina in her last start. "At the moment she's doing very well, and I see no reason why she won't run."

Dubai Escapade was one of two fillies pre-entered for the Sprint, along with Malibu Mint, who defeated Dubai Escapade in Calder's Grade 1 Princess Rooney earlier this summer.

Henny Hughes and Too Much Bling are the only 3-year-olds in this year's Sprint lineup. Henny Hughes has easily won all three of his starts in 2006, including the King's Bishop and Vosburgh, both Grade 1 races. Too Much Bling has been beaten just once in five outings this year, but has not started since winning Calder's Grade 2 Carry Back Stakes on July 15.

Attila's Storm is the lone returnee from the 2005 Sprint at Belmont. He finished fourth, beaten 3 1/4 lengths by Silver Train after contesting the pace through midstretch. Attila's Storm has made only one start over the last nine months, finishing third behind Henny Hughes after setting the early pace in the Vosburgh.

Bordonaro heads a strong West Coast contingent that includes Thor's Echo, Siren Lure, and Areyoutalkintome. Bordonaro, who will be supplemented into the race, is coming off the best performance of his career, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 119 for his one-length decision over Thor's Echo earlier this month in the Grade 1 Ancient Title at Santa Anita.

"We've been looking for reasons not to run with the money we have to put up to get into the race, but up to this point I can't find any," said trainer Bill Sprawr just minutes after Bordonaro arrived at Churchill Downs on Tuesday afternoon. "He's done exceptionally well since the Ancient Title."

Completing the list of horses pre-entered for the Sprint are: the Calder-based pair of Grade 1 winner Pomeroy and Nightmare Affair, War Front, Commentator, Kelly's Landing, and Friendly Island.