Updated on 09/15/2011 1:12PM

Countdown to the Cup: The Turf (10/11)


The betting on the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf at Belmont Park on Oct. 27 hinges on the participation of Sakhee, the winner of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris last Sunday.

Following the Arc, Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said Sakhee was likely to start again in October, but declined to specify whether he would appear in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket, England, on Oct. 20, or the Turf a week later.

As of Wednesday, Sakhee seemed likely to stay in Europe, a decision that would make the Turf a more open betting race. With Sakhee in the lineup, Coral Eurobet offered him at even-money earlier this week in future-book betting.

In a way, it is hard to imagine a Breeders' Cup Turf without a runner from the Maktoum family's Godolphin Racing. Godolphin won the 1999 Turf with Daylami and was fifth in the 2000 Turf with Fantastic Light, who is being pointed for the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Godolphin is also believed to be considering Tobougg, who was third in the English Derby last June. The deadline for a decision is Monday when pre-entries are made for all Breeders' Cup races.

Without Sakhee, there is still likely to be a European favorite for the Turf in Mutamam, the winner of the Canadian International at Woodbine on Sept. 30.

Other European probables include Daliapour and Moon Queen, who will be longshots.

Daliapour finished fourth in the Canadian International, but was disqualified to seventh for causing interference. The filly Moon Queen won the Prix de Royallieu over 1 1/2 miles at Longchamp last Saturday. She is being pointed for the Turf instead of the Filly and Mare Turf because of the Turf's distance of 1 1/2 miles.

The race's distance is a concern for trainers Bill Mott and Mark Frostad, who will start Hap and Quiet Resolve, who were first and fifth, respectively, in the Shadwell Keeneland Turf Mile last Sunday.

While the race is typically a prep for the Breeders' Cup Mile, both trainers feel their horses will do better in the longer, and more lucrative, race.

Mott said there is a "good possibility" that Hap will be entered for the Mile and the Turf, and is leaning toward a start in the Turf. Hap has never won beyond 1 1/8 miles.

"There's no question" that he's between distances, Mott said.

Quiet Resolve was second at 41-1 in the 2000 Turf, missing by a half-length to Kalanisi. Quiet Resolve was third in the 2000 Shadwell Mile, but was fifth, beaten four lengths in Sunday's running.

"We're pointing him for the Turf," Frostad said. "His best trip is not a mile. We did this last year and we're trying the same thing.

"He came out of this race in good order. He's probably a mile and a quarter or a mile and three-eighths horse. He can get the mile and a half - barely."

Four top American candidates will enter the Turf off wins. Senure (Clement Hirsch Turf Championship), With Anticipation (Man o' War Stakes), Timboroa (Turf Classic), and Blueprint (Sunset Handicap) remain on schedule.

Senure and Timboroa are trained by Bobby Frankel.

Cetewayo, third in the Turf Classic at Belmont Park on Sept. 29, is under consideration for the Turf, according to trainer Michael Dickinson. He said owner John Chandler "is mulling it over."

Dickinson said Slew Valley, who was 10th in the Canadian International, may start.

Manndar, eighth in the 2000 Breeders' Cup Turf, will not start this year after finishing unplaced in the Kelso Handicap last weekend at Belmont Park, trainer Beau Greely said. Instead, Manndar is likely to appear in the Knickerbocker Handicap at Belmont Park on Oct. 26.