Updated on 09/15/2011 1:06PM

Countdown to the Cup: The Mile (9/27)


Trainer Neil Drysdale wants Irish Prize as fresh as possible for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Mile at Belmont Park on Oct. 27.

Drysdale said on Wednesday that Irish Prize will not have a prep race, but will train up to the Mile. A 6-year-old, Irish Prize has won three major stakes this year, including the Grade 1 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile at Hollywood Park on May 28. Most recently, he was fourth in the Atto Mile at Woodbine on Sept. 9, finishing a length behind winner Numerous Times, a Breeders' Cup Mile candidate.

The loss did not discourage Drysdale.

"He gave away seven pounds and was drawn 14 of 14," Drysdale said. "He was beaten a length. I was very pleased with the run. The ground wasn't to his liking. It was very hard. He'll go on soft ground."

Drysdale said Irish Prize is likely to be his only starter in the Mile, a race in which his stable has excelled in recent years. Drysdale won the Mile last year with the 3-year-old War Chant. In 1998, the Drysdale-trained Hawksley Hill finished second by a head to Da Hoss.

The most significant prep for the BC Mile this weekend is Saturday's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot, England. Noverre, who was 11th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last November at Churchill Downs, will go favored in the race.

Owned by Godolphin Racing and trained by Saeed bin Suroor, Noverre has developed into a top 3-year-old in Europe this year. He won the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, England, and was third in the Jacques le Marois Stakes at Deauville, France, on Aug. 19.

Most of the American-based horses will start in preps at Belmont Park, Keeneland, or Santa Anita on the weekend of Oct. 6-7. Thady Quill, a stakes winner at Del Mar for trainer Bobby Frankel, will start in the $250,000 Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile on Oct. 7, a race that War Chant won last year.

Hap, who was second in the Arlington Million, is being pointed to the $500,000 Shadwell Keeneland Turf Mile at Keeneland on Oct. 7. The $250,000 Kelso Handicap, over a mile on turf at Belmont Park on Oct. 6, is likely to draw North East Bound and Affirmed Success.

Redattore, who won the Eddie Read Handicap at Del Mar and was third in the Arlington Million, is not a candidate for the Mile, according to trainer Richard Mandella. Expected to start in Sunday's Clement Hirsch Turf Championship at Santa Anita, Redattore would have to be supplemented to the Mile for $200,000.

"My heart is not up to the supplement," Mandella said. "It's not a good bet."