10/08/2008 12:00AM

Driving Snow skipping Breeders' Cup


Driving Snow nearly upset Bittel Road in Sunday's Grade 3 Woodford Reserve Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland, finishing a close second, beaten a head.

Don't bank on an immediate rematch. While Bittel Road is likely for the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita, Driving Snow is not, said co-owner Tommy Hamilton, who owns him with his wife, Bonnie.

Driving Snow, a 2-year-old British-bred son of Verglas purchased privately by Hamilton's Silverton Hill Farm following four races this summer in Ireland, was not nominated to the Breeders' Cup as a foal, said Barbie Webster, nominations manager for the Breeders' Cup.

To compete in the $1 million Breeder's Cup Juvenile Turf, he would have to be supplemented at a cost of $90,000, or be nominated to the Breeders' Cup as a horse of racing age for $150,000, which would make him eligible for the Juvenile Turf and other Breeders' Cup races throughout his career.

"We like him, but we don't like him that much," Hamilton said of the costly supplemental fees.

Driving Snow is not alone in not being nominated to the Breeders' Cup. Jukebox Jury, winner of the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes at Ascot, a Win and You're In prep toward the Juvenile Turf, also was not nominated as a foal, putting his Breeders' Cup participation in doubt.

Bill Mott, trainer of Pioneerof the Nile - who ran third in Saturday's Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity over Polytrack at Keeneland after winning a maiden race on grass at Saratoga - said he favors running his colt in the Grade 1, $2 million Juvenile, calling the Juvenile Turf merely "a consideration."

"He ran a good enough race to warrant trying the Juvenile," he said. "He can always run on the turf another day."

If Pioneerof the Nile is pre-entered for the Juvenile and Juvenile Turf and both races overfill, he may stand a stronger chance of gaining entry into the Juvenile Turf. His third in the Breeders' Futurity earned him 4 Breeders' Cup points - a total that ranks him as one of the point leaders for the Juvenile Turf, but not for the Juvenile.

Per Breeders' Cup rules, when a race is oversubscribed, half of the maximum field size is made up of Win and You're In prep winners from their corresponding divisions and those with the highest Breeders' Cup point totals from top-three finishes in U.S. graded stakes. A selection committee chooses the remainder of the field and the pecking order among alternates.

The Juvenile can have 14 starters, the Juvenile Turf 12.