10/16/2008 11:00PM

Donativum gets spot in field


The richest 2-year-old pre-entered for a Breeders' Cup race next weekend needed a break to gain a berth for Saturday's $1 million Juvenile Turf.

Donativum, trained in England by John Gosden, was the first alternate for the BC Juvenile Turf and only earned a spot into the field when trainer Bob Baffert withdrew Del Conte from consideration because of an ankle injury on Thursday.

Donativum has already won 2 of 5 starts and $971,695, most of which was earned with a half-length victory in the $1,775,000 Tattersalls Timeform Million over a straightaway seven furlongs as a 33-1 outsider at Newmarket on Oct. 4. In that race, he rallied from the middle of a 24-horse field to reach the front near the finish.

"After he won that, we felt he'd earned enough to have a go," said Peter Shoemark, Gosden's racing office manager.

Owned by Princess Haya of Jordan, Donativum began racing in May and has already had two distinctly different seasons. He was fourth, second, and seventh in his first three starts before being gelded in early summer. Since then, Donativum is unbeaten in two starts, including a maiden race over six furlongs in England on Aug. 24.

The style of the Newmarket win has left Donativum as a contender in the Juvenile Turf, which is run over a mile. Friday, he was listed as a 8-1 shot with European bookmakers Corall Eurobet.

The Juvenile Turf will be Donativum's first start on a firm turf course. He will be ridden by Frankie Dettori.

"Firm ground shouldn't be a problem," Shoemark said. "Whether he's good enough, we'll have to wait and see."

One of Donativum's principal rivals is Grand Adventure, the winner of the Grade 3 Summer Stakes over a mile on turf at Woodbine on Oct. 4 in his stakes debut. Trained by Mark Frostad, Grand Adventure worked seven furlongs in 1:24.60 on the turf training track at Woodbine on Friday.