09/25/2007 11:00PM

Dirt Mile: Discreet Cat shows his stuff

EmailArguably the top prospect for the newly created Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile will have his final prep for the Oct. 26 race when Discreet Cat runs Sunday in a tough renewal of the Grade 1 Vosburgh at Belmont Park.

Discreet Cat was ridden by Garrett Gomez when he capped a sensational 2006 by romping in the Cigar Mile last November, and Gomez will be back aboard Sunday in the six-furlong Vosburgh. Gomez also was aboard Monday when Discreet Cat, owned by Godolphin and trained by Saeed bin Suroor, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.84 at Belmont.

The Vosburgh is shaping up as a potentially productive race toward the $1 million BC Dirt Mile, which will be run at one mile and 70 yards. Besides Discreet Cat, other Vosburgh runners whose connections are taking a close look at the Dirt Mile include Park Avenue Ball and Teuflesberg, while several other horses from the Vosburgh also would be logical Dirt Mile candidates depending on how they perform Sunday.

In all, at least 16 horses are listed by Breeders' Cup Ltd. as prospects for the Dirt Mile, one of three new Breeders' Cup events. The race will be run around two turns this year and next, although in future years it could be run around one turn.

Among the other top Dirt Mile possibilities is Hard Spun, although his connections would like to see him run well enough Saturday in the Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park to earn his way into the $5 million BC Classic.

"Right now, we're thinking Classic, with the Dirt Mile as a fallback," said trainer Larry Jones.

From California, trainer Bob Baffert has said Midnight Lute will run in the BC Sprint, not the Dirt Mile, while Surf Cat and Lava Man are expected to run Oct. 7 in the Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile on the Santa Anita turf. Trainer Bruce Headley has been noncommittal about which Breeders' Cup event, if any, he is eyeing for Surf Cat, while trainer Doug O'Neill is looking to use the turf-to-dirt angle for Lava Man by running him back in the Dirt Mile.

One Dirt Mile possible, Latin Rhythms, was euthanized Sunday after breaking down at Santa Anita. Another horse, Costa Rising, has been eliminated from consideration.