10/05/2005 11:00PM

Cool Creek resembles Wilko


NEW YORK - The final major Breeders' Cup preps for the Juvenile, Juvenile Fillies, Mile, and Sprint will take place Saturday at Keeneland, Oak Tree at Santa Anita, and Belmont Park, site of the Oct. 29 Breeders' Cup

Lane's End Breeders' Futurity

When I look at Cool Creek, who will make his first U.S. start in this spot, I see Wilko all over again. And if Wilko could upset Afleet Alex in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile in his first U.S. start, then I'm going to take a shot that Cool Creek can also be successful in this much easier spot.

Like Wilko, Cool Creek comes to this country a relatively heavily raced 2-year-old who has campaigned mainly in sprint races. Wilko had 10 starts before he ran in the 2004 Juvenile, and Cool Creek has already started nine times, and both actually competed in a couple of the same races. In July, Cool Creek was a closer second in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood than Wilko was last year, and last month, Cool Creek was a closer fourth in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster than Wilko was last year. Before the Champagne, Cool Creek finished ahead of 24 (count 'em!) opponents when second in a stakes at The Curragh, and most recently, he defeated 12 opponents to win the Group 2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury, which gives him one more victory than the two wins Wilko brought to this country last fall.

There are other things that make Cool Creek appealing here. For one, the field he catches is not an especially strong one. Outside of High Cotton, who earned a 92 Beyer Speed Figure winning a maiden sprint last time out, and Laity, who got an 83 Beyer in his runaway score in the Cradle, most of this field has earned Beyers only in the 70's.

Shadwell Turf Mile

I like the Aidan O'Brien-trained Ad Valorem to beat the formidable Bobby Frankel-trained pair of Three Valleys and Alinghi.

Ad Valorem, a Group 1 winner last year at 2, may be 0 for 3 this year, but he did hit the board in two very tough Group 1 mile events in England. In his first start this year in June, Ad Valorem finished second in the St. James's Palace Stakes at York. He was beaten by Shamardal, who might well have been a superstar miler had injury not cut short his career. Ad Valorem did, however, finish in front of Oratorio, who came back to win strong Group 1 races in his next two starts. In his most recent start in July, Ad Valorem finished third in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood behind Proclamation, who as a result of that win became one of the top-rated milers in Europe, and the highly respected Soviet Song.

Oak Tree BC Mile

With Singletary having morphed into a second-off-the-layoff horse and returning from a layoff here, and Designed for Luck having not raced in 16 months, Buckland Manor becomes a strong play.

Buckland Manor's affinity for the Santa Anita turf course, where he is 4 for 8, is obvious. He ran an outstanding race when second in the Frank Kilroe last March, beaten just a length by Leroidesanimaux, and that after being blocked from late on the far turn to midstretch. Leroidesanimaux, of course, won his two starts since to stretch his win streak to eight, and is a prime contender for the Breeders' Cup Mile.

As for Buckland Manor, he has not raced since late May. But he was coming off a similar layoff when he ran in this race last year, and was beaten only a nose.


Keeneland: Lane's End Breeders' Futurity
2-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles

Approximate post: Eastern-5:08 p.m., Central-4:08 p.m., Mountain-3:08 p.m., Pacific-2:08 p.m.; Lexington, Ky., forecast: Partly cloudy, 62 degrees

1Special Interest65365250-1
2Sharp Attack73715010-1
3Cool Creekn/an/an/a20-1
4Greater Fool79--15-1
5Stream Cat7368509-2
7High Cotton9277-7-2
9Charley Tango75647110-1
11Dawn of War63718715-1
13Kid Lemonade74747112-1

Odds by Kristin Sadler

Keeneland: Shadwell Turf Mile
3 and up, 1 mile, turf

Approximate post: E-5:45 p.m., C-4:45 p.m., M-3:45 p.m., P-2:45 p.m.; Lexington, Ky., forecast: Partly cloudy, 62 degrees

1Seeking Answers102998820-1
3Ad Valoremn/an/an/a5-1
4Gulch Approval808110015-1
5Three Valleys1051041095-2
6Cool Conductor8810310112-1
7Durban Thunder10194n/a15-1

Odds by Kristin Sadler

Oak Tree At Santa Anita: Oak Tree B.C. Mile
3 and up, 1 mile, turf

Approximate post: E-9:00 p.m., C-8:00 p.m., M-7:00 p.m., P-6:00 p.m.; Arcadia, Ca., forecast: Clear, 74 degrees

1We All Love Aleyna105101869-2
2Wild Buddy10498978-1
4Designed for Luck1091071016-1
5Buckland Manor841031109-2
6King of Happiness851041075-2

Odds by Michael Hammersly